Kinsale would be our base for the 2017 Greencard Ireland event. This historic port and fishing town is located some 25km south of Cork City on the coast near the Old Head of Kinsale, it sits at the mouth of the River Bandon. We stayed at the Actons Hotel in the centre of the town which is known for its wonderful restaurants and is often referred to as the “Gourmet Capital of Ireland”. The golf programme included four rounds of golf, one on each of Bantry, Cork, Fota Island and Old Head Links.
Round 1: No Surprise as Shearan Leads – but not who you think
The first round was held at Bantry Bay golf club. This is a Christy O’Connor Junior and Eddie Hackett designed USGA standard Championship golf course. Fourteen holes overlook the sea with fantastic views to the Beara Mountains in the distance. A great test of golf in wonderful surroundings. The all important weather forecast was encouraging with some showers predicted over the day but nothing too heavy.
John Shearan has been very successful in recent Greencard events in Ireland, winning three out three since 2014, but this time it was the turn of his sister Paula Shearan to enjoy holding the top spot. Her excellent score of 36 points was the best of the day. Jackie Carter was two back on 34, Christine Isaacs shot 33 and Tim Elliott was the leading man with 32.
Round 2: Good Scoring Gets Cork Popping
The following day we travelled the short distance to Cork Golf Club for the second round. Located at Little Island close to Cork City, this championship golf course is routed through exceptional golfing terrain incorporating old limestone quarries and the inner reaches of Cork Harbour. It really is a superb test of golf. Phil Bermingham had a great round and shot the best score of the day with 35 points. Jayne Roberts and Peter Roe both scored 33 whilst several players ended the day on 32 .
Ladies hold three of top four spots after 36 Holes
At the half way mark Jackie Carter held the lead with 66 points. Jayne Roberts was just one behind with Tim Elliott and Paula Shearan following on 64. John Shearan was still very much in the hunt with 63.
Round 3: Paula Shearan out on her own on the Island
The sun was shining and we enjoyed blue skies for the third round held on the Deerpark golf course. This is the original and signature layout at Fota Island Resort. It has hosted the Irish Open in 2001, 2002 and 2014 and has established a reputation as one of Ireland’s best.
This parkland layout offered a different challenge to the previous rounds and once again Paula Shearan was up to the test. A wonderful back nine of 21 enabled her to card a superb 37 points. Phil Bermingham had another good round with 34, a score matched by Jackie Carter. Judith Wainwright, Sue Evans and Keith Trenter all had 33.
Final Round: Single Point Lead Going into Challenging Last 18 Holes
Going into the final round Paula on 101 had a slim one point lead from Jackie Carter. Tim Elliott was only six back on 95 and Jayne was still in the hunt on 94.
Old Heads Save the Best ‘til Last
Arguably the final course was the jewel in the crown. The spectacular Old Head Golf Links is a must play course for any golfer. The course is laid out over a 220-acre diamond of land, jutting out over two miles into the Atlantic. Every single hole is an absolutely remarkable experience, and has incredible views of the iconic lighthouse and the surrounding Atlantic. The course offers players unforgettable holes throughout and many will argue that the par-3’s are amongst the finest that you’ll experience anywhere in the world.
Spectacular Setting Makes Old Head a Bucket List Course
The weather played its part and we arrived at the club with the sun shining and calm conditions. It was apparent from the moment we got to the clubhouse that this would be both a testing round but a memorable one. The first hole is a relatively straight forward par 4 but once you approach the second tee the amazing views begin. It is truly an unforgettable course.
One thing was certain, defending a lead here would not be an easy task, especially as the wind increased as the round progressed and by the back nine it was tough to judge club selection. David Rothwell enjoyed the challenge his 32 points moved him into a fifth place overall on countback from Judith Wainwright who scored 26.
Leaders Struggle Over Opening Nine
Meanwhile in the final fourball Tim Elliott and Jayne Roberts had had a strong front nine with 17 and 16 points respectively. By contrast both Jackie Carter and Paula Shearan were struggling a little having scored 9 and 14 respectively. Paula was now under pressure going into the final stretch and Jackie after three great rounds was falling too far behind to make a charge for victory.
Images From Greencard Golf Holidays Ireland 2017 – Old Head Links
As the leaders completed their rounds in front of the clubhouse it was not clear who had taken the victory. In the end Paula’s round of 27 and an overall total of 128 was sufficient to take the title by just two points from Jayne Roberts.
An Eye to the Grand Finals
Tim Elliott’s 29 ensured that he claimed third place and qualified for the Grand Finals which will be held in La Manga in October/November. Jackie Carter finished in fourth place and will now look to confirm her qualification to the Grand Finals at Woodhall Spa in a few weeks time.
Greencard Golf Holidays Ireland 2017 Winners Group: L to R: Tim Elliott, Jayne Roberts, Paula Shearan, Jackie Carter
Congratulations to Paula Shearan on a fine win and a huge thank you to everybody for making the event such a success. We cannot wait to return to Ireland for another Greencard Tour event.
You can see how the results from this event change our Tour Points and Order of Merit Tables by clicking below:
Greencard Golf Holidays Ireland 2017 Event:
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