McCarthy stunned to claim place in Irish PGA

Stephen McCarthy (Black Bush) during the Leinster Youths Amateur Open Championship at Esker Hills in June. Picture: Thos Caffrey /

Stephen McCarthy made an instant impact on his debut appearance as a professional golfer by securing a place at the Irish PGA Championship.

The 19-year-old Black Bush GC assistant carded a three over par 74 to win the qualifier at Roganstown GC.

“I only got my official PGA notification last week and this was the first event that I was eligible to play in,” said McCarthy.

“I didn't have any expectations at all but now I get to play in the Irish Championship. I've never even been down to play Adare Manor either. I suppose I better get down to have a look now at some stage ahead of the tournament.”

McCarthy, who lives in the Dunshauglin, played all his amateur golf at Black Bush before taking on an assistant's role under Head Professional, Shane O'Grady, at the start of the year. 

The teenager went to the turn in level par 35 at Roganstown, with birdies at the second and fourth offset by dropped shots at the third and sixth.

He began his back nine with a birdie at the par five 10th, but dropped shots at the 11th, 12th and 13th threatened to derail his hopes however, he steadied the ship and played the final five holes in one over, courtesy of a dropped shot at the par four 15th.

“It was a tough enough today with a swirling wind but I thought I hit it quite well,” added Stephen. “I managed to stay pretty calm even when I had that run of dropped shots. I just kept saying to myself that I still had a chance.”

Today's field of 28 were competing for 15 spots in the Irish Championship (supported by the Down Syndrome Centre) which will take place from Oct 2 – Oct 5 at Adare Manor  Golf Club.

The battle for the 15th and final spot came down to a three-way play-off with Mark O'Boyle (The Heath) edging out Jerry Scullion (Kilkeel) and Patrick Small (Galway GC) on the first extra hole.

The second and final qualifier will take place at Adare Manor GC on September 3. 

104th Irish PGA Championship Qualifier at Roganstown GC


1 Stephen McCarthy (Black Bush GC) 74

T2 Barrie Trainor (Cairndhu GC) 75

T2 Scott Wilson (Co. Louth GC) 75

T2 Hazel Kavanagh (Carr Golf Services) 75

T2 Brendan Walton (Island GC) 75

T2 Steve Moore (Spawell Driving Range) 75

T7 Leonard Owens (Royal Dublin GC) 76

T7 Conor Russell (Sutton GC) 76

9 Ian Brennan (Greenore GC) 77

T10 David Allen (Roe Park Hotel & Golf Resort) 78

T10 Philip Duff (Black Bush GC) 78

T10 Corey Doherty (Athlone GC) 78

T10 Keith Shannon (Greenore GC) 78

T10 Ted Higgins (Mount Wolseley Golf & CC) 78

T15 Mark O'Boyle (Heath GC) 79.