Scratch Cup season: Big wins for Knightly, Fleming and Dwyer

Ronan MacNamara

Kate Dwyer of Maynooth University (Photo by Octavio Passos/R&A via Getty Images)

Ronan MacNamara

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It’s that time of the year where some of Ireland’s top amateurs flock around the country to test their winter work under some competitive strain as they warm up for the championship season with some Scratch Cup action.

The Laytown&Bettystown, Royal County Down and Woodbrook Scratch Cups/Salvers all took place in the month of March.

Richard Knightly will head West for Rosses Point full of confidence after he edged former South and West of Ireland winner, Caolan Rafferty in a thrilling three-hole playoff at the Laytown&Bettystown Scratch Cup.

“Played lovely out there, it was a tough morning, battled and chipped and putted well, hit some nice shots. Had a nice start to the afternoon was three-under for my front nine and kept it going, ended up bogeying the last from a tricky spot.

“The playoff was great, Caolan I thought he was going to win, his first birdie putt was in all day and it was a slow lip out then we were both near the green back down the first and I hit a nice chip in and then he left his putt in the jaws and I had a six-footer and I crawled it in.

“Great to get the win, it’s a nice confidence builder going forward.”

Emma Fleming cruises to RCD Scratch Salver

Emma Fleming was in a league of her own as she romped to an eight-shot victory in the Royal County Down Scratch Salver.

The Elm Park golfer, playing off a handicap of plus one shot rounds of 71 and 78 for a three-under total of 149 and she was a convincing winner and the only woman under par at days end.

Fleming’s opening 71 saw her open up a five-shot gap and she maintained that throughout the afternoon.

She has been in fine form in Scratch Cup season, claiming the best gross in the U18 category at the Woodbrook Scratch Cup.

Dwyer warms up for Irish Women’s Am with Woodbrook SC win

Irish Intervarsities champion Kate Dwyer kicked off Scratch Cup season with a thrilling one-shot win over Lahinch’s Aideen Walsh in Woodbrook.

Casting an eye on the course before heading back for the Irish Women&Girls Amateur in May, the Rossmore native found the course to her liking as she battled tough conditions and fading light with rounds of 71 and 74 for a one-under-par total.

“It’s my first win in Woodbrook and I am obviously delighted,” the 22-year-old told Irish Golf Desk.

“This is a good run around as well for the Irish Amateur coming up in May so I’m really happy with the win. The two new holes they have built aren’t open yet but we got a good idea of what they look like.

“I hit the ball really well this morning but the putter wasn’t quite rolling as well as I would have liked. But made a good few birdies, kept it in play and kept the big number off my scorecard, especially with the weather this afternoon.

“We would have been flying if it had been like it was this morning but I am very happy with the result.”

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