The Golfing Union of Ireland has announced their selection to compete at the annual Fairhaven Trophy this weekend and not for the first time in the past couple of years, a young golfer from Kinsale GC was on the teamsheet.
John Murphy received his call over the weekend to make up a team of four to mix it with the best young players from across Great Britain in a top-class field of 144 — including 24 girls — gathering at the Lancashire links for this prestigious 72-hole stroke play tournament.
Also on the Ireland team will be Waterford Castle’s Andrew Mulhall, Jordan Logue of Hilton Templepatrick, and Bushfoot’s Owen Crooks, the only one of the quartet returning to Fairhaven having competed last year.
The Irish Ladies Golf Union is sending Killarney’s Mairead Martin, sixth in the event last year, and Annabel Wilson of Lurgan.
For Murphy, it is the second chance to wear the GUI green on international duty after he played on one of the Irish Boys teams in action last month in France.
Following on from Ireland selections for club colleagues Cathal Butler and Gary Ward, it is further confirmation of a junior section in the south Cork club that is in the words of club president Declan Murphy, “absolutely booming”.
“We have three Irish representatives in Cathal Butler, Gary Ward, and John Murphy and we’ve another number of young lads on panels and training squads,” Murphy said. “They’ve won two rounds of the Fred Daly Trophy (to reach the South Munster semi-final) and one round of the Junior Foursomes this season.”
Butler, Ward, and Murphy are very much Kinsale’s dream team. The trio lifted the 2012 Irish Schools Junior Stroke Play title for Kinsale Community School and aside from Ireland teams recognition, both Butler and Ward have taken Paddy Harrington Golf Scholarships at the University of Maynooth.
Murphy has his Leaving Cert to negotiate but he has already passed numerous golfing tests and last year’s honour of being named the GUI Munster Branch’s Junior Golfer of the Year was well deserved after a stellar 2015. He helped Kinsale to reach the Fred Daly Trophy Munster final, won the Kerry Boys at Ballybunion, and showed a high level of consistency in the provincial boys’ championships, finishing runner-up in Ulster, fifth in Connacht and seventh in Leinster.
All of which reflects extremely well on Kinsale’s junior programme guided by juvenile officer Ger Cullinane in conjunction with club professionals Ger Broderick and Ian Stafford, says club president Murphy.
“It’s purely down to hard work, drive, determination and the will to succeed. The club has been very supportive and I’ve seen the development of these guys, Cathal, Gary and John and the time they spend up in the club and the dedication they show.
“It couldn’t have been done without Ger Cullinane, Ger Broderick, and Ian Stafford, as well as the organising committees who’ve supported and funded them but they’re a pleasure to work with.
“We’ve exposed them early as well to Senior Cup and Barton Shield. Moss O’Leary is our team manager and he threw them in early a couple of years ago to give them experience. Hopefully, if not this year then maybe next year we’ll also reap the benefits and there’ll be a pennant on the wall. ”
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