Sutton gears up for third annual PGA Nine-Hole Matchplay

Annesley Williams Skoda Matchplay Champion 2022 Tim Rice (Image:

The Sutton Irish PGA 9-Hole Matchplay is set to return to the North Dublin suburb from September 22-24, bringing together the cream of the Irish PGA Professionals in an innovative format to showcase golf at its brilliant

The only Matchplay event on the Irish PGA circuit, it’s sponsored by Skoda dealership Annesley Williams and features the top-32 ranked pros on the Irish Order of Merit who square off in a ‘Champions League’ format, each professional playing three matches, with the eight group winners advancing to the quarterfinals on Sunday.

The event was the brainchild of Sutton Head Professional Paddy Devine, who drew inspiration from the DP World Tour’s GolfSixes and came up with the idea. “I knew that the PGA Pros would like a Matchplay event,” Devine says, “we’ve always talked about it ,and the GolfSixes was going on and we have nine holes here, so I started to draw up a nine-hole knockout Matchplay event on paper and I liked it and shared it with the club and thankfully they liked it as well and got behind it.”


The inaugural staging was in 2019 and was won by Limerick’s Tim Rice and turned out to be a major success. “Annesley Williams came in with great sponsorship,” said Devine, “they had cars and hoarding everywhere and made it all look a really polished and professional event.”

After missing two years due to COVID-19, the event returned in 2022 but modified to the Champions League style format that is retained again this year. “The reason we did that was to make it more exciting and to give the professionals more golf,” Devine explained. “The first year you could be gone at 9:30 in the morning which I was. I happened to be drawn out first, teed off at 07:30 and shook hands with Brian McElhinney at 9:20.”

Again, Tim Rice proved a cut above and made it back-to-back titles, albeit four years apart, but the success of the modified format was evidenced by the fact that Rice lost one of his group stage matches yet still advanced through.

“Skoda really got behind the deal,” said Sutton vice-captain and Annesley Williams Director Cian Bennis, “because their tag line is ‘Skoda, simply clever’ and we thought it was a really clever project to get involved in. We’re a nine-hole club, but we box above our weight, and it was a great event to showcase our club, advertise it and get out what Sutton Golf Club is all about.”

The unique format is preceded by a Pro-Am on Friday and, similar to the event itself that saw large crowds turn out to help officiate and spectate, is extremely popular amongst the Sutton membership. “The members get behind it in many ways,” said Sutton member Ronan O’Driscoll who was club captain in the inaugural year and is one of the main tournament organisers. “There are 32 teams in the Pro-Am and it was sold out in less than an hour. That’s fantastic and there was no hustling of members for teams. All of the teams, excluding sponsors, are members of the club. It’s a very positive vibe within the club and creates a very positive atmosphere.”

So it’s all systems go for the Sutton Matchplay later in September and it’s shaping up to another fantastic spectacle.

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