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County Strokeplay Championships - Review

Article Added: 2012/06/12

The County Strokeplay Championships were played at a glorious Lakeside recently where we experienced an increase in entrants on previous years. The course, which we have come to expect in recent times was flawlessly prepared and it is a credit to the groundstaff whose work ensured that every player that played in the event thoroughly enjoyed the experience. The sun was shining for most of the day but a fresh north-western proved to be the deciding factor for most of the players on the day as this ensured that the scoring would be difficult for all.

Senior Gents
Ronan Loughnane who coincidentally is Captain of Lakeside was in exceptional form on the day itself. His total of –10 on the day was outstanding when you consider that he had more than 4 drop shots and when he posted this score early on, one had to think would anyone surpass the mercurial Loughnane. Try as they may, no player could get the better of him but Con Clear Jnr of Riverdale was the only player to come close to him along with Noel Leahy of Lakeside who made a most welcome return to the game after a few years of exile. It is Ronan’s first ever Co Senior Championship and whilst he won this competition on home soil, his confidence will now get a much needed injection and I sure he will look forward to the remainder of the season with new optimism. He proved to be a very popular winner and there is no doubt that he was exceptionally proud of his fine achievement.

Intermediate Gents
Patrick Kennedy (Lakeside) has been one of the most consistent performers in the Intermediate Grade for the last 10 years. This was evidently proved when he battled the elements to post a most credible –4 and his score would remain at the top of the leaderboard. Pat is a most unassuming player and always gives a great account of himself when playing but this win is sure to kick on his season now with upcoming qualifiers for Munster & National Championships just around the corner. Whilst this is not Kennedy’s first Co Championship and certainly won’t be his last, his renewed sense of belief will ensure that the jovial Kennedy will have new goals as the season continues. His game around Lakeside is very strong but Kennedy has proved in the past that he likes windy conditions, which was so evidently proved when he finished Runner Up in the Munster Intermediate Strokeplay in 2010 and 2008 respectively. I am sure Pat will now look forward to the rest of the season with a new sense of purpose.

Junior Gents
John Martin (Tipperary Hills) has been the stand out Junior player all season and this was seen again when he managed to win his first Co Strokeplay. His play this year has been incredibly consistent and one must think that he will have a serious contender for bigger honours provided he qualifies of course. His play at Lakeside was more about his consistency rather than his scoring ability. Never one to make too many mistakes, this was the catalyst of his win where on some holes that day pars were golden. He is a great prospect and the man they call “Figo” has all the attributes to become a household in whatever grade he plays. He puts in a massive effort to improve his game on a continuous basis and this is why he has seen a dramatic improvement in his game in 2012. I have no doubt that with two major tournaments on the horizon, this win will give him the belief going forward and once he qualifies, he will be a major force in either major tournament.

Senior Ladies
Martha O’Brien (Lakeside) was the tour-de-force in this Championship and she blitzed her opponents on her home course. She really is enjoying a fine season and this win is sure to bring her that little bit more. She has great belief in her ability and has now broken into the top 12 ranked lady players in the country, a fantastic achievement for a girl of 19 yrs old. There is no doubt of her talent and she will look forward to the remainder of this season with renewed vigour.

Intermediate Ladies
Bridget Shelley (Lakeside) is a model of consistency and once again proved that she is the player to beat in this grade. She is enjoying a fine season and to be fair she has always been a great player but she seems to be more consistent when practicing more. She has won numerous Co Championships over the years but this win will certainly help to ignite the remainder of her season. She will be a major player for the Tipp Ladies in the upcoming Inter County Championships but also she has a few majors to look forward to where I have no doubt will go very very close to bringing home the spoils.

Junior Ladies
Margaret Forde (Riverdale) is a player that has improved dramatically over the last 2 years. In 2011 she was Runner-Up in the O/55 Junior Ladies Strokeplay and this has proved to a major boost for her confidence. She was inspired at Lakeside and really showed her true class on the day itself. Her game is now in a place where I really feel she could win a big title and also she would not feel out of place on the Tipperary Ladies Team. This win is going to be a major driving force for her over the remainder of the season and I have no doubt she will continue to excel as the season progresses.


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