One of the most anticipated amateur golf tournaments of 2019 teed off at Roganstown on Friday with the Leinster Qualifier for this year’s International King’s Cup.
For the first time, Team Ireland will travel to the United States to take on the USA in the three-day 54-hole amateur matchplay pairs tournament structured like the Ryder Cup.
No strangers to the competition, it was Warrenpoint’s Ryan Gribben and Darren Barron who won the Open Age Championship flight. With 108 competitors taking their chance at Roganstown, the pair, who have played on the team before, returned a superb 66 that saw them become the first qualifiers for the National finals at Malone golf club on April 4th.
First formed in 2016, the King’s Cup is played in honour of golf’s greatest ambassador Mr Arnold Palmer. It’s a pairs event like no other and is unique in that there are four flights of handicap and within each flight two teams will qualify under two age brackets; 18+ and Seniors 55+.
In the other categories, Newbridge’s Pat Courtney partnered Elmgreen’s Liam Nolan to victory in Open Age category A with 64.
In category B, Roganstown’s Andrew Lawless and Paul Johnston combined for a superb 63 to advance to Malone.
While in category C, Roganstown’s Thomas J Smyth and Sword David Rennie romped home with 60.
In the Seniors, Age 55+, the home duo of Andrew King and John Judd combined for a winning 68 in category A while in category B, there was more joy for Warrenpoint as Ian McVerry and Jim Sommerville took top honours with a hard-fought 74. Smurfit’s James McHale and Gerry O’Gorman were the last pairing to book their place at Malone, taking route 66 to April’s national finals.
There was no Senior Championship flight for the over 55s.
The National Qualifier for the International King’s Cup take place on April 4th at Malone Golf Club.
Remaining Provincial finals:
Connaught Qualifier WESTPORT GOLF CLUB Saturday 23rd March
Ulster Qualifier CASTLEROCK GOLF CLUB Wednesday 27th March
Munster Qualifier ENNIS GOLF CLUB Saturday 30th March
Entries must be made directly with each of the Qualifying Venues
Team Ireland’s 16-man flight to Orlando is set for May 19th for the King’s Cup itself.