SUPERSTITION is usually the bane of a golfer's life, but Muskerry golfer Niall Gorey wasn't worried about tempting fate in advance of Muskerry's AIB Barton Shield matches at Carton House this week.
Gorey works for MMI, the company which makes the gold medals which the Golfing Union of Ireland awards to the winners of the Cups and Shields events.
Most golfers would shun the chance to view one of the medals in these circumstances in case it brought back luck, but not Gorey.
He had a good, long look at the medals, and was going to send a photo of him holding one to his Barton Shield playing partner David O'Donovan, but decided not to - because O'Donovan admits he is superstitious.
Yesterday the pair could laugh at it all, because they teamed up with Daniel Hallissey and John Waldron to bring the gold and glory back to Muskerry with the club's first Barton Shield win since 1953.
Gorey and O'Donovan beat Warrenpoint's William Hanna and Stephen Coulter by five holes.
Hallissey and Waldron lost to the Ulster team's Colm Campbell and Ryan Gribben by two holes, but as this Barton Shield is decided on the aggregate holes score of the two pairings, it was a Muskerry win overall by three holes.
A delighted Gorey summed up the match. "We got off to such a quick start. We had four birdies in the first seven and just kept our foot down. We never looked like making a bogey. We three-putted the 16th there from nowhere, just nerves, what else can you say?" he said.
In the other big final played yesterday, Castletroy staged a late smash-and-grab raid to bring the AIG Junior Cup pennant back to Limerick by defeating Castle GC of Dublin 3.5 to 1.5.
Brendan Reidy and Michael Murphy clinched their winning points against Kevin Moran and Gerry Moran - uncle of young Kevin - on the tricky par-three 16th, set in the O'Meara Course's own 'Amen Corner' where the River Rye enhances the challenge of the 15th and 16th holes.
Keith Bermingham got a half with Castle's Fergal Walsh, and Colm Geary went down 2&1 to Ben Murray of Castle.
The key to victory rested with 20-year-old UCD rugby-playing student Jonathan McDonnell, son of Castletroy team manager Jonny.
McDonnell Jnr had an epic battle with Castle's Harry Gleeson, but came back from being three down with four to play to win by one hole.
In the AIG Pierce Purcell Shield semi-finals, holders Spanish Point of Clare beat Enniscrone 4-1, and Monaghan's Rossmore ousted Collattin, also by 4-1.