David Howard secured more than just the famous Ford Junior Scratch Trophy with his victory at Muskerry on Sunday afternoon. In the process, he landed bragging rights over his dad, John, the man he defeated in the final.
The pair produced a high-quality decider before the 19-year-old teenager claimed victory. The back nine proved decisive with David winning the 13th and 16th to go two up.
On the testing 17th, David found the green with a drive and when John couldn’t make birdie the match was over.
“I’m very happy to win this scratch cup which has such a big name to it, it’s a great feeling,” explained David. “I love matchplay so I was just thinking in the qualifying round if I can just qualify, I will have a chance.”
The younger Howard impressed hugely en route to the final, grinding out wins on the 17th and 18th against four of his six opponents.
The Fota Island four handicapper edged out Doug Hicks, Peter O’Mahony, Jack Boyd, and David Byrnes to make it to Sunday before defeating Cork’s Mark O’Sullivan on the 18th in the semi-final.
On the other side of the draw his dad saw off Ken Manley, Luke Mannerings, Evan O’Connell, and Muskerry captain Diarmuid Linehan.
In the semi-final, he was four up after six holes but Muskerry’s Adrian O’Sullivan took him to the 17th before Howard senior claimed victory. As the Fota Island pair were drawn on opposite sides of the draw, a Howard family final was always a possibility.
And the final was a Howard family affair in more ways with David’s brothers on caddying duties. Jack, who’s an assistant pro in Fota, caddied for David while Michael was on the bag for John.
David continued: “Dad is a a great player with the best short game ever, he broke my heart on a few holes getting up and down when I thought I was going to win the hole. I was feeling pretty good coming into it after coming fourth in Fota Senior Scratch Cup a few weeks back where I had the best score but was beaten on countback. So I was feeling good coming into the first day and my game was solid. I played solid golf for the few days had a few very tough games along the way.”