He might have teamed up with Pádraig Harrington to beat Tiger Woods in the 1995 Walker Cup but winning the All Ireland Father and Son Foursomes gave Jody Fanagan as much pleasure as any of his golfing achievements.
The 51-year old, a former winner of the South and West of Ireland titles, partnered 16-year old son Harry to victory in the final of the CPL Resources sponsored event at Castle to end a 35-year family quest for the 'holy grail'.
Playing out of Milltown, plus one handicapper Jody and 13 handicapper Harry went four up after nine and beat Foxrock’s Peter and Graham O’Connor 4 and 3 to the delight of a watching Joe Fanagan, the patriarch of the clan.
“I’ve been playing in this for 35 years — I played with my dad for years and I played it with my other son Hugo — but today was the day,” a delighted Jody said.
“My father Joe and I, the furthest we got was the semis in 1982, I think. Today we played well, got off to a good start and got four up after nine and just hung on.
“When you are 51, you don’t get to win too many things so it’s great to get over the line in anything because any competition is hard to win.
“But I am delighted for Harry. He’s a very steady player and he was great. It’s a great competition to win and Castle is great club. We are delighted to get it done.”
Championship victories resisted Fanagan until he beat his Leinster and Ireland partner Harrington in the South of Ireland final in 1995 to seal his Walker Cup place.
He won his three matches, partnering Harrington to a famous 2 and 1 win over Woods and John Harris that helped GB&I to a 14-10 victory at Royal Porthcawl that year.
In 1997 he added the West of Ireland title to his list of achievements which include a semi-final appearance in the 1995 British Amateur and runner up finishes in the Irish Amateur Open, the East of Ireland, the North of Ireland and the Lytham Trophy. He also made three successive St Andrews Trophy appearances.
He has been absent from the championships for several years though he did make a run at Lahinch in 2008, when he took a young Shane Lowry to the 17th in the last 32.
“I am too busy with work to play any amateur golf these days,” Fanagan said. “And to be honest, I am probably not good enough. But it was good enough this week anyway.”
Almost 500 golfers representing nearly 100 different golf clubs participated in the Qualifying Rounds of this year’s All Ireland Father and Son.
On the first qualifying weekend, the Butlers of Dunmurry Springs/Naas led the qualifiers with a net score of 68 while Simon and Peter Murray were the leading Castle pair on 71.
The leading gross score of the qualifiers was 74 by the beaten finalists, the O’Connor’s of Foxrock, as 64 pairs qualified for the Matchplay stages of the event.
The tournament is considered the biggest amateur open event on the Irish golfing calendar and full results are available at www.castlegc.ie.
ALL-IRELAND FATHER & SON FINAL 2016
Jody & Harry Fanagan (Milltown) bt Peter & Graham O’Connor (Foxrock) 4 and 3.
- 1961 Dick & Tom Lenehan Castle
- 1962 Victor & Ivor Bailey Rathfarnham
- 1963 Cyril & Peter Myerscough Milltown
- 1964 Davey & Bryan Knott Castle
- 1965 Jack & Mark Bloom Edmondstown
- 1966 Jack & Jim Conheady Castle
- 1967 Joe & Jody Carr Sutton
- 1968 Brian & Mervn Smyth Milltown
- 1969 Kevin & Michael O'Brien Kenny Laytown & Bettystown
- 1970 Fred & Sean McDonnell Donabate
- 1971 Bill & Paddy O’Dowd Castle/Shannon
- 1972 Kevin & Kevin McGrath Donabate / UCD
- 1973 Joe & Alan Walton Laytown & Bettystown / The Island
- 1974 Alex & Eugene Kelly Athy
- 1975 Aidan & Declan Lernihan Castle
- 1976 John & John McKenna Bray
- 1977 Tommy & Graham Campbell Portmarnock / Foxrock
- 1978 Denis & Denis Dorgan Castle
- 1979 Ben & Michael Finlan Baltinglass
- 1980 Brian & Peter Dunne St. Annes
- 1981 Des & Brian Elmes Castle / Wicklow
- 1982 John & John McKenna Bray
- 1983 Joe & Niall King Portmarnock
- 1984 Niall & David Brophy Foxrock
- 1985 Nick & John O’Connor Naas
- 1986 T. & G. Larkin Forrest Little
- 1987 Dermot & Eoin McCormack Stackstown
- 1988 Paddy & Anthony Power Stackstown
- 1989 Frank & Liam Brady Rush / Howth
- 1990 Garry & Stephen Stewart Stackstown
- 1991 Paddy & Anthony Power Stackstown
- 1992 Eamonn & Edward LynchCastle
- 1993 Paddy & Anthony Power Stackstown
- 1994 Paul & James HanbyCastle
- 1995 Tony & Martin Kelly Forrest Little
- 1996 Seamus & Darren Fennelly Hazel Grove
- 1997 Noel & Paul Bradshaw Donabate
- 1998 Michael & Michael Whelan Edmondstown
- 1999 Martin & Michael Wilson Castle
- 2000 Conor & Cillian Agnew Castle
- 2001 David & Kevin McCarthy Grange
- 2002 Joe & Declan Donnelly Slade Valley
- 2003 Christy & Ciaran Leonard Killeen
- 2004 John & Fergal Gallagher Woodbrook
- 2005 Michael & Stephen Finlan Killeen
- 2006 Paul & Neil Mullarkey Carton House
- 2007 John & Scott Williams Castle
- 2008 Michael & Morgan Mullarney Castle
- 2009 James & Marc Dillon South County / Castle
- 2010 Frank & Eoin Gleeson Elm Park
- 2011Michael & Michael Cronin Grange
- 2012 Gerard & Robert Moran Castle
- 2013 Michael & Stephen Finlan Blessington Lakes / Dunmurry Springs
- 2014 Paul & Paul Grimes Killeen Castle / Portmarnock
- 2015 Michael & Stephen Finlan Blessington Lakes / Dunmurry Spring
- 2016 Jody & Harry Fanagan Milltown