Ivan Morris Column - Agony and Ecstasy for Castletroy’s Chloe

Limerick Leader golf columnist Ivan Morris
CASTLETROY’S Chloe Ryan suffered agony and ecstasy in equal measure in the foothills of the Wicklow Mountains last weekend.

CASTLETROY’S Chloe Ryan suffered agony and ecstasy in equal measure in the foothills of the Wicklow Mountains last weekend.

A brave challenge for the significant and prestigious Irish Women’s Open Stroke Play Championship title at Dun Laoghaire Golf Club was cruelly ended at the first hole of a sudden death play off.

A brilliant run of three under par over the last five holes of the 54-Holes test was not quite good enough to bring Chloe to the top of the field alone. Joined by an overseas invader from Austria, Isabella Holpfer, Chloe could not match her opponent’s solid par four at the first extra hole, which brought a heartbreaking end to proceedings for the Limerick girl.

Hopefully this performance will be valuable encouragement to keep trying for the major breakthrough and working hard on improving her game.

This result will garner Chloe valuable World Ranking Points, which will be so vital for those hoping to be considered for selection to play in prestigious Curtis Cup Matches next year between Great Britain & Ireland and the USA at the very same Dun Laoghaire layout. To play in the Curtis Cup is the highest honour that any woman amateur golfer in these islands can achieve.

Castletroy Scratch Cup

Meanwhile, the annual scratch cup at Castletroy was dominated by Limerick golfers with Pat Murray coming out on top for the first time by the narrowest of margins over the University of New Mexico bound, Pallasgreen teenager, Mark McGrath.

It is more than a little surprising that it is Murray’s first win in this event.

Details: Winner: Pat Murray (Limerick), 145. Runner up: Mark McGrath (Limerick), 146. Third: Keith Bermingham (Castletroy), 148. Fourth: Niall Gorey (Muskerry), 148. Fifth: Gavin Smyth (Clonmel), 149. Sixth: David Reddan (Nenagh), 150. Best 1st 18: Colm Hughes (Galway), 73. Best 2nd 18: Lewy Halpin (Shannon), 71. Best nett: Cathal Nolan (Galway), 145. 2nd nett: Oisin Fitzgerald (Tralee), 146.

Nenagh and Spanish Point Dominate Purcell Shield

NENAGH and Spanish Point Golf Clubs have replicated the successes achieved by their Jimmy Bruen squads a fortnight ago and sailed through the ‘preliminaries’ of the North Munster area in the Pierce Purcell Shield at Ballyneety and Kilrush respectively without much difficulty.

They will now have to meet to decide who will advance to the Munster semi-final?

GUI and ILGU Discuss Merger

IRELAND’S women golfers are no longer operating in male shadows.

Stephanie Meadow’s heroics in the US Women’s Open last year and Leona Maguire’s ascent to the No. 1 spot in the World Amateur Rankings have seen to that.

But golf remains under pressure to redefine itself as an open, easily accessible, equal sport. It’s undoubtedly long overdue that the Golfing Union of Ireland (GUI) and the Irish Ladies Golf Union (ILGU) should discuss merging. My misgivings about aspects of the GUI’s stewardship are well known.

It’s a kind of a ‘the good that men do is oft interred with their bones’ attitude. Even though I have no idea if the ILGU is better, or worse, at organizing and legislating I’m convinced that a 50/50 representation would be the ideal way forward.

My strong advice to the ladies would be to play hardball in the negotiations and look for ‘some gallantry’ with a much better ratio of representations than any based solely on numbers.

It would be a huge mistake to allow the women’s game to be under-represented because history shows that they will be bullied and ignored sooner or later. While the result is not a foregone conclusion it does make sense. I hope it comes to pass.

Golfers Need Protection From Sun

LET’S be optimistic! Summer is almost here and those who enjoy outdoor sports like golf are urged to stay safe in the sun.

It’s important to remember to protect your skin with clothing and wear a hat that protects your face, neck and ears.

If you’re still not convinced, consider these facts. Seven people die from skin cancer every day in the UK, with rates of malignant melanoma rising faster than any other type of common cancer.

There are over 100,000 new cases of all skin cancers diagnosed in the UK each year and on average, someone who dies from skin cancer typically will lose 20-years of their life. There are at least two 15-34 year olds being diagnosed with malignant melanoma every day.