PGA Tour boss Tim Finchem won’t be chasing that juicy $10m FedEx Cup bonus at East Lake this week but ILGU Chief Executive Sinead Heraty is all set to do battle in the AIG Ladies Cups and Shields National Finals at Knightsbrook Hotel and Golf Resort.
The seven handicapper from Castle Golf Club in Rathfarnham will swap the boardroom for the pristine fairways of the Co Meath resort for today’s quarter-final showdown with Roscommon in the AIG Ladies Senior Foursomes.
It’s one of the six big events that make up what is a festival of golf that has seen up to 15,000 women participate somewhere along the line in the Senior Foursomes (minimum combined handicap 14), Junior Foursomes (handicap 15-6), Junior Cup (8-15), Intermediate Cup (16-22), Minor Cup (23-28) or Challenge Cup (29-36).
“We’re just delighted to be through this stage because we just got through strokeplay qualifying in East Leinster by the skin of our teeth,” Sinead said. “It’s huge for us. And the AIG Ladies Cups and Shields is huge too.
“In total, there are six competitions — four singles and two foursomes competitions, covering all handicap ranges from a combined 14 for the Senior Foursomes, right up to 36 for the Challenge Cup, which is hugely popular because you have a great mix of older women who have gone out in handicap and young girls who are starting off.
“We have in the region of 15,000 women playing in this since last March — around 370 clubs enter the competitions and if you multiple that by five on a singles teams with two subs and six on a foursomes team with two subs, it’s big.
“Now we are down to the last five teams in each competition with 30 teams at Knightsbrook, so it is a fantastic celebration of the game. It will be chocabloc down there, but it will be great.”
A first national AIG Ladies Senior Foursomes pennant — formerly known as the Townsend Foursomes in the Eastern District— would round off a fine year for Castle.
The men captured the Barton Cup recently with the long-serving club professional David Kinsella, who retires this year, cheering on his son Ross in the final at Clontarf.
Roscommon certainly face a strong Castle line up with Heraty partnering Sally Lenehan as former international and two-handicapper Aideen Murphy teams up with Martha Jones (13), and Martha’s daughter Amy (10) partners teenager Ruth Keating (5).
No matter who heads home with the silverware, the event is a winner for sponsors AIG, who also support the GUI’s Cup and Shields finals.
“It’s a nice fit for AIG,” Sinead added. “They have been the longtime sponsors for the GUI’s Cups and Shields so we renamed our Ladies Interclub Championships as the AIG Ladies Cups and Shields to give people a better sense of what it is.”
AIG Ladies Cups and Shields National Finals, Knightsbrook Hotel & Golf Resort
Today — Wednesday
- (11:00) Intermediate Cup Quarter Final, Mullingar v Shandon Park;
- (11:50) Minor Cup Quarter Final, Donaghadee v Co. Tipperary;
- (12:40) Senior Foursomes Quarter Final, Roscommon v Castle.
Tomorrow - Thursday
Intermediate Cup Semi Finals,
- (08:00) Loughrea v Malahide
- (08:45) Mullingar/Shandon Park v Lee Valley.
Minor Cup Semi Finals
- (09:30) The K Club v Mullingar
- (10:15) Donaghadee/Co. Tipperary v Portumna.
Senior Foursomes Semi Finals
- (11:00) Lurgan v Mallow
- (11.30) Roscommon/Castle v Enniscorthy
- Junior Cup Quarter Final — (12:00) Naas v Enniscorthy.
- Challenge Cup Quarter Final — (12:45) East Cork v Co. Sligo.
- Junior Foursomes Quarter Final — (13:30) Powerscourt v Castlecomer.
Junior Foursomes Semi Finals
- (08:00) Lee Valley v Bearna,
- (08:30) Powerscourt/Castlecomer v Malone
Junior Cup Semi Finals
- (09:00 Limerick v Athenry,
- (09:45) Naas/Enniscorthy v Lurgan
Challenge Cup Semi Finals
- (10:30) Mount Juliet v Rossmore
(11:15) East Cork/Co. Sligo v Elm Park
Senior Foursomes Final (12:15)
Minor Cup Final (12:45)
Intermediate Cup Final (13:30)
- (10:00) Junior Foursomes Final
- 10:40 Junior Cup Final
- (11:30) Challenge Cup Final