In his weekly Limerick Leader column, Ivan Morris looks forward to a big weekend for Adare Manor Golf Club.
The next two weekends will be exciting and proud ones for the members of Adare Manor Golf Club. For the first time in the Club’s 113-year history, they will be contesting two Munster Branch GUI Interclub semi-finals.
First into action at Douglas GC on Saturday, August 3rd will be the mixed foursomes team who, through the vagaries of geography, face the unique challenge of a playing against a team from their own county, Newcastlewest GC. That can hardly have ever happened before in a Munster semi? But, of course the reason is that the Munster Branch classify NCWGC as part of the West region and Adare Manor is deemed to be in the North. The other semi-finalists are Kinsale (South) and Clonmel (East.)
The Adare Manor panel is: Brian Murray & Martina Scanlon, Tom Hickey & Ina Desmond, Damian Moloney & Mary Fagan, Aaron Moore & Bernie O’Dea, David Carroll & Marie McSweeney, Seamus Toomey & Emer Rouine, Richard Hickey & Margaret Shovlin, Terence Murray & Brid Naughton, Nigel Mann & Siobhan Curran, Alan Murray & Antoinette Meighan, Team Managers: Kieran Carroll & Margaret Hickey.
The following Saturday, August 10th, Adare Manor will be on the move again, this time to Killarney to take on Tramore in the Munster semi-final of the Irish Junior Cup with the winners facing the winners of Muskerry V. Ballybunion.
Although, Adare Manor won the Munster title in 2008 this is an entirely new team, which has its foundation in a successful Fred Daly campaign of a couple of years ago. Barry Leddin, Nigel Mann, John Long, Brian Murray and Joe Shire overcame Ennis by 3/2 in the area-final at Dromoland. They also beat formidable opposition in Nenagh, East Clare and Castletroy by the same margin. Such a competitive passage should stand in good stead at Killarney. Other valuable members of the panel under team managers, Danny O’Sullivan & Richard Hickey are Alan Murray, Brian Condon, Damian O’Brien, Eoin Ryan and Kevin Tobin.
Inbee’s Quest for 4 Majors
Only three women have previously won three of golf’s majors in a single season - Babe Zaharias in 1950, Mickey Walker in 1961 and Pat Bradley (Keegan’s aunt) in 1986.
Nancy Lopez and Annika Sorenstam were the most dominant women golfers in the last 40-years by miles but neither of them came close to winning three majors in a single season. Only one man has ever done it (Ben Hogan in 1953) but no man or woman has won four.
There’s no way that you would pick Inbee Park as anything exceptional. She isn’t tall, strong or athletic. She sways as she lifts her club, pointing it straight at the sky during a swing that looks ungainly and artificially slow. She isn’t a long hitter, she misses the fairways more often than most (ranking 55th) and she is only the 17th best at hitting greens in regulation. What is it then that makes her so special? She walks softly wielding a lethal, flat stick, that’s what! Inbee putts and the balls roll in from everywhere.
Ben Hogan was disparaging about how important putting was in compiling a low score. He believed putting was a separate game within a game. If Hogan were alive today, I could easily imagine him changing his tune and trying to do a deal: “Swap your putting for my ball-striking, my dear?”
It’s not only her putting that currently makes Inbee the most successful golfer in the world, male or female, at present. Her composure is as valuable an asset as her mastery on the greens. She has the perfect golfing temperament it’s something to do with her stern Korean upbringing, most likely. Playing one shot after another after another with no reaction or emotion, what happened previously or what might happen next does not seem to concern her. She has conquered the ‘impostors of triumph and defeat’ and she treats them as equals. I’ve never seen anything to match her.
If she were to walk down the street nobody would pay her any attention but the whole world of golf will be paying her full attention at The Old Course, St. Andrew’s this weekend as she embarks on an unprecedented challenge for four majors in a single season.
The Old Course is the ideal location for creating such stirring golfing history but it is wholly ironic that such a unique achievement by a woman might take place on the doorsteps of the exclusively male, R & A Clubhouse. Inbee isn’t the type to let that or anything else bother her. She is living proof that you don’t have to be that good a ball striker to win at golf as long as you can out think and out putt everybody. That’s exactly what Inbee Park does. It’s an education to watch her.