McNamara edges clear of strong Lee Valley opposition
15th April 2014
Credit: Denis Hurley, Irish Examiner
It may not have been Rory’s weekend in Augusta, but it was at Lee valley as Irish International Rory McNamara (Headford GC) claimed the Mardyke Arena University College Cork Lee Valley Senior Scratch Cup with a three-under-par total of 213 for the 54-hole tournament.
Going into Sunday’s final round tied with defending champion Gary O’Flaherty on 142 – four clear of the field – the plus-three handicapper member produced a 71 to take the title by three shots from West Waterford’s Eanna Griffin (+1) and O’Flaherty (+3, Cork GC).
McNamara, who joins an impressive list of recent winners including Shane Lowry, Rory Leonard, Keith Crowley and O’Flaherty, is the current West of Ireland champion, and this victory leaves him in good shape ahead of this week’s defence of that title at Co. Sligo Golf Club.
The 24-year-old never shot over par as he shot rounds of 72, 70 and 71, an achievement underlined by the fact that only the top six players finished under par, with all three rounds having their fair share of casualties among the elite field.
Limerick GC’s Pat Murray, who plays off plus three, finished fourth behind Griffin and O’Flaherty, while scratch player Dave O’Donovan from Muskerry – the only player to break 70 in the second round, shooting 68 – was fifth with Jeff Hopkins (+2, Royal Dublin) the only other player to finish under par for the competition.
With the event now regarded as one of the top scratch cups in the country, Lee Valley officials are now hopeful that it will become a world-ranking event for 2015, which would help to entice even more top-quality amateurs.
Rory McNamara, Headford G.C., winner of the Lee Valley GC Senior Scracth Cup, with Cecil Tassie, president; Patsy Ryan, Mardyke Arena UCC (sponsor) and Declan Ryan, captain
Picture: Quaid Gallery, Cork