Irish Golf Desk

Carton House set to host Irish Open

The Irish Open looks set to be played on the Montgomerie Course at Carton House next year - delaying its return to a links venue.

Conor Mallaghan, the executive director of the 36-hole Maynooth complex, confirmed on Friday: "We are talking to the European Tour but there is nothing agreed and I wouldn’t expect there to be an announcement tomorrow. We are interested. We hosted the event in 2005 and 2006 and we would be well positioned to do it.”


Harrington wins AIB Irish Golf Writers' Award

Pádraig Harrington’s outstanding performances in 2008 where he retained the British Open championship at Royal Birkdale in July before adding the US PGA Championship at Oakland Hills in August has earned him the ‘Professional of the Year’ award from the Irish Golf Writers’ Association.

Harrington and the other winners - Leona and Lisa Maguire, who jointly receive the ‘Women’s Amateur of the Year’ award; Shane Lowry, winner of the ‘Men’s Amateur of the Year’; and Brendan Edwards, recipient of the ‘Distinguished Services’ - will receive their awards at a dinner, sponsored by AIB Bank, which takes place in Dublin on 8th January, 2009.

Stenson grabs wire-to-wire Nedbank win at Sun City

Henrik Stenson added his name to a prestigious honour roll when he became the first Swede to win the Nedbank Golf Challenge at the Gary Player Country Club on Sunday.

Just seven days after lifting the World Cup trophy with compatriot Robert Karlsson in China, the world number 12 lifted the magnificent crystal trophy in a wire-to-wire performance and a nine-shot victory margin .

Stenson’s winning total of 21-under-par 267 is just four shots short of the tournament record set by Ernie Els in 1999.

Doonbeg developers in Caribbean venture

Kiawah Development Partners (KDP), the South Carolina company behind the five star Doonbeg Golf Club in West Clare has embarked on their second major development outside of the US. The project will see the development of a luxury resort at Christophe Harbour on the Caribbean island of St Kitts.

Included in the 2,500 acres development is an 18-hole Tom Fazio designed golf course, a mega-yacht harbour and marina village, residential real estate, restaurants,  shops, boutiques and luxury hotels.  KDP is leading the project for the Christophe Harbour Development Company (CHDC).


Smyth eyeing fresh assault on Europe

Ireland’s Des Smyth is preparing to reignite his European Senior Tour career in 2009 after six years of splitting his schedule with the US Champions Tour. 

Smyth has decided to concentrate on playing in Europe next year and is now looking to build on his two previous Senior Tour victories, which came at the Senior Tour Championship in 2006 and the 2007 Wentworth Senior Masters.

The man from Drogheda earned $4.4million in prize money on the other side of the Atlantic, including two tournament wins in 2005, but will now attempt to succeed Ian Woosnam as the Senior Tour Number One.


Golfing Union of Ireland fixtures 2009


Feb 19 – 22 Portuguese Amateur Open Championship Troia GC
Feb 25 – Mar 1 Spanish Amateur Open Championship Seville GC
Mar 25 - 28 European Nations Championship Sotogrande
April 7 - 8 Ireland v Wales Boys Rosslare
April 7 – 9 Leinster Youths' Amateur Close Championship Headfort
Apr 10 - 14 West of Ireland Amateur Open Championship Co. Sligo

Harrington wins Shot of the Year for Birkdale beauty

Padraig Harrington’s stunning five wood approach to the 17th hole on the final day of The 137th Open Championship at Royal Birkdale has been voted The European Tour Shot of the Year for 2008.

Harrington’s stupendous shot from 249 yards landed just three feet from the pin at the penultimate hole of the Championship and he converted the eagle putt to secure a four shot victory in a brilliant defence of the Claret Jug.

The 37 year old Dubliner, who was two strokes clear of the field at the time, closed the door on his playing partner, Greg Norman of Australia and England’s Ian Poulter, who was already in the clubhouse on 287.


China crisis for Ireland as Swedes take World Cup

Ireland suffered a horrific final round collapse to limp home 17 shots behind champions Sweden in the US$5.5m Omega Mission Hills World Cup.


Paul McGinley and Graeme McDowell were always playing for pride as they trailed overnight leaders Spain and Australia by seven shots with a round to play.

But the Irish duo crashed to a five-over par foursomes 77 - the worst score of the 28 nations - as Swedes Robert Karlsson and Henrik Stenson scorched to a nine-under 63 to win by three shots from Spain on 27-under.


Ireland playing for pride in World Cup

Ireland will be playing for pride on the final day of the World Cup in China after a third round 68 in the fourballs left Graeme McDowell and Paul McGinley seven shots behind joint leaders Australia and Spain.

The Irish duo failed to make the fast start they needed to reduce Spain’s six shot lead and while the finished the day alone in fifth place on 15-under par, they are now seven strokes off the pace on the Olazabal Course at Mission Hills.

“We didn’t play very well today, me especially,” McDowell said. “I didn’t play very well and Paul kept us in there. We kind of salvaged something at the end but we got off to a very slow start and we knew we needed to play well today to get ourselves back in the tournament. We didn’t do that.”


Beauty queen checks out Harrington design

MISS World contestant Miss Ireland, Sinead Noonan, has become one of the first people to see a golf hole designed by her famous golfing compatriot Padraig Harrington.

Harrington is one of 18 of the world’s leading golfers to have designed a hole on the stunning new Signature Course at Legend Golf & Safari Resort in South Africa. It was truly a case of Miss World and a whole World in One Golf course.

Noonan was on hand to inspect the hole designed by Harrington on what is expected to become one of the most talked about new courses in the world.

McGinley ready for Royal Trophy return

Paul McGinley looks set to make his third appearance in the Royal Trophy when Europe’s eight-strong team seeks a hat-trick of victories over Asia at Amata Spring Country Club, Thailand, from January 9 to 11.
The Dubliner, 41, is keen to tee it up in an event that was postponed last year following the death of Her Royal Highness Princess Galyani Vadhana, the elder sister of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej.
Europe’s attempt to win the match-play tournament for a third consecutive time will now take place at the exclusive Bangkok golf course at the start of 2009.

World's most extreme par-three

A galaxy of Miss World contestants has learned to putt on one of the most amazing greens in the world. The contestants have been put through their putting paces on the Extreme 19th by director of golf at the Legend Golf & Safari Resort in South Africa, David Riddle.

It’s all part of their six day stay at the resort in the 22000 hectare Big 5 Entabeni Safari Conservancy in Limpopo Province where they are enjoying an amazing variety of activities.

Rory ready for victory roar

Rory McIlroy produced a stunning finish to remain on track for his maiden European Tour win at the UBS Hong Kong Open. The Holywood idol, 19, birdied his last three holes for a bogey free 66 that leaves him just three strokes adrift of leader Oliver Wilson entering the final round at Fanling. And with five top-10 finishes from his last seven starts, McIlroy believes it is only a matter of time before he enters the winner’s circle.

Heggarty wins European Seniors Tour Q-School

Heggarty fired a superb four under par final round of 67 to match South African Berrtus Smit’s seven under par total of 277 and top the leaderboard courtesy of a card playoff, with Smit posting a level par 71.

The 52 year old, who had a hat-trick of bogeys starting on the 10th hole at last year’s Final to lose the top spot, had a sense of déjà vu when he dropped shots on both 11 and 12 but managed to clear his thoughts to recover with three birdies.

Sports Council congratulates Caldwell and Hoey

The Team Ireland Golf Trust and the Irish Sports Council have sent congratulations to Michael Hoey on achieving his European Tour card for 2009 at the Qualifying School which concluded in Spain this week.  The Team Ireland Golf Trust has been Michael’s main sponsor since he entered the professional ranks and is delighted at his breakthrough to the main tour. 
Hoey will join another player supported by the Trust, Gareth Maybin, who secured his 2009 tour card through the Challenge Tour. 

Hoey and Caldwell earn Tour cards

Michael Hoey regained his European Tour card with a sensational closing 67 in Spain and roared: I’m ready for it this time. Download results and qualified players

The Ulsterman, 29, finished eighth in the six-round marathon at PGA Golf de Catalunya when he hit an eagle, four birdies and just one bogey in the joint best round of the day to finish on 13-under par.

Green speeds too slick for most amateurs

The speed of golf greens came under scrutiny during the Q&A session at the recent Irish Links Initiative Conference at Newcastle in County Down.  It was said that “most golfers are influenced by television to request faster green speeds but few can handle them.” 

Harrington curses his luck in Singapore

Padraig Harrington was left cursing his luck as Jeev Milkha Singh snatched a one-stroke victory in the US$5 million Barclays Singapore Open.

In contrast to his Majors wins at Royal Birkdale and Oakland Hills, the Dubliner made two crucial mistakes coming down the stretch and was forced to settle for second place alongside Ernie Els in his final event of 2008 with Rory McIlroy tied for fourth.

Caldwell continues to shine at Q-School

Clandeboye's Jonny Caldwell continued his impressive start to the European Tour Qualifying School Finals at PGA Golf de Catalunya in Spain. Live scoring

The former Walker Cup star, 24, fired a two-under par 69 on the Red Course at the Girona venue to share eighth place at the half-way stage of the six-round marathon.