Thursday 22 March 2018

Royal Dublin and Greenisland claim glory

Tiger Woods' spirit was alive at the AIG Barton Shield yesterday
Tiger Woods' spirit was alive at the AIG Barton Shield yesterday

Brian Keogh

Tiger Woods never played in the Irish club golf competitions, but the great one's spirit was alive and well at Carton House as Royal Dublin and little Greenisland captured silverware in very different ways over the pristine O'Meara track.

In the case of the AIG Barton Shield, it was Woods in full beast mode as Royal Dublin captured the elite foursomes crown for the first time in 47 years with a 12-up destruction of Galway.

"Maybe we buried the curse today and proved that a manager from Mayo really can win an All-Ireland," joked Royal Dublin's Mick Chambers, a Mayo man who's been living in Dublin for 25 years.

"The boys played some savage golf. Yesterday (Wednesday) for 32 holes we had two dropped shots and today we were under par in both matches."

Shaun Carter and Jeff Hopkins were three-under as they came back from one down after three to beat Joe Lyons and Stephen Brady by seven holes, winning five holes in a row from the fourth and then the three more on the spin from the 11th.

With Sligo man Barry Anderson and Cork's Ian O'Rourke five up on Ronan Mullarney and Colm Hughes in the bottom match, the Royal Dublin side were 12 holes to the good with 11 remaining and champions for the first time since 1968.

Lyons certainly had no complaints about the defeat, confessing: "Hats off to Royal Dublin, they totally outclassed us."

In the case of the AIG Junior Cup, there were shades of Woods' dramatic chip-in birdie on the 16th in the 2005 Masters as 60-year-old John Armstrong's three-footer for the title toppled in on its last roll to give Greenisland, a tiny nine-hole club 12 miles north of Belfast, its first green pennant with a 3-2 win over Westport.

Only called into the Greenisland team at the last hour having played no part in qualifying, Armstrong was one down with four to go but won the match one up when his opponent David Scott found water at the 15th and then three-putted the last three greens.

Having saved a half in bogey at the 16th, where he duffed his tee-shot into the river, there were no more costly mistakes from Armstrong.

One up playing the last after Scott three-putted the 17th, he bunkered his approach, splashed out to 15 feet and then ran his par putt three feet past with his opponent five feet away for par.

In the Pierce Purcell Shield semi-finals, Munster champions Thurles beat Leinster champions Grange 4-1 and will face Gort in today's final after the Connacht champions beat Nuremore 4-1.

Irish Independent

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