Killeen course will test amateurs

The outstanding Killeen course, venue for the Irish Open in 2010 and 2011, hosts the revived Killarney Scratch Cup today.

A number of the country’s top amateurs have entered, with bookmakers Paddy Power installing Ian O’Rourke of Cork installed as 7/1 favourite. He is followed by Richard Bridges (Stackstown) 8/1 and Shane McGlynn (Carton House) and Brendan Walton (Malahide, a nephew of Ryder Cup hero Philip), at 14/1. Stephen Walsh and John Greene, winners of the last two South of Ireland Championships, both playing out of Portmarnock nowadays, are at 16/1, along with Castlemartyr plus 2 handicapper Mark Shanahan.

Derek Byrne (a generous 80/1), a member of both Douglas and Killarney, is back to defend the title.

Killarney ran a very successful inter-club Scratch Cup back in the 1970s before it went into abeyance before being revived a couple of years ago, benefiting from the generous sponsorship of the Killarney Plaza Hotel and Spa.

Maurice O’Meara, general manager of Killarney, is excited at the competition’s potential, stating: “We are very keen to raise the profile of the Scratch Cup at a time when the amateur game in Ireland is enjoying considerable success on the international stage.

“We are looking forward to a wonderful day’s golf, playing on Killeen, which offers spectacular lakeside scenery and also challenging golf with water features on nearly every hole as well as very fast greens. ”

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