After a brisk start to the morning it heated up nicely at Dundalk Golf Club on Monday for the Michael McCumiskey Pro-Am.
Out early in the day it was Simon Thornton who set the pace with a blistering 5-under par round which was to remain on top of the leaderboard until Thornton was joined by Colm Moriarty who was one of the late afternoon starters and shared the spoils.
“I teed off at 8:10 this morning so it was an early rise but it was worth it. It was bitterly cold and I had the waterproofs and mitts on but it warmed up nicely by the turn. I played some lovely golf, hit fairways, hit greens and I putted nicely,” said Thornton.
“I missed a few putts from about 8-10 feet but you can’t get them all and I’ve been on a decent run of form for the last 6 or 8 weeks since the Championship so I’ve got to be happy.”
The Pro-Am was of course to celebrate the retirement of PGA stalwart Michael McCumiskey and they came from far and wide to reminisce and pay tribute to Michael while a large portion of the funds raised on the day were donated to the PGA Benevolent Fund which helps PGA members who have fallen ill or on hard times.
Great Britain & Ireland CEO Robert Maxfield was one of those tasked with thanking the man who spent 35 years at the head of the PGA in Ireland:
“Michael started with the PGA on the 3rd of March 1986 and was due to retire just as Covid hit and due to the pandemic, agreed to stay on for 12 months,” said Maxfield. “Then as soon as he does retire the first thing he does is goes and organises this Pro-Am!
“It just shows the respect people have for Michael, Dundalk Golf Club and also the Benevolent Fund that they’ve come and supported in such numbers and it’s great to see so many friends of the Michael and also the PGA here today.”
For his part, McCumiskey commented;” I had a fair old innings here and, as anyone who knows me will attest, worked from the front room of my house for the first year so things have changed as lot since those days.
“Retirement is something you have to try to realise if it’s working. I’m enjoying being retired though. I’m spending time with my family and my grandchildren and I’ve taken to playing nine holes of golf with some friends too – it’s great and I’m really loving it.
“Today and this Pro-Am is amazing. John O’Sullivan here at Dundalk has done such an amount of work on this that it needs to be mentioned and I was delighted to see so many friends that I’ve made over the years and people who’ve had a connection with me, Dundalk Golf Club and of course the PGA, not to mention some of the players like Des Smyth, John Kelly, Damien McGrane, Simon Thornton and Colm Moriarty too. I’m really delighted that they all came and took part.”
All of us here at Irish Golfer would like to wish Michael well in his retirement, it’s been a pleasure and a privilege working with him over the years and thanks to all who were involved with the Pro-Am.