The 12th Laois International Golf Challenge took place from Monday 16th May to Thursday May 19th.
This Golf Challenge continues to steadily grow and this year participants from Wales, England and Northern Ireland joined members of local clubs and the surrounding counties to make the event another success.
This year golfers played at Portarlington, The Heritage Killenard, The Heath and Mountrath Golf Clubs. The opening ceremony took place on Sunday night May 15th at the Market House, Portlaoise where all visitors meet and greet before the Challenge begins. Music and entertainment tock place each evening over the four days.
With very varied but relatively good weather throughout the four days those participating really enjoyed the golf each day and all the courses involved were highly commended by all the golfers for the great condition that each course was in.
At the Awards Ceremony held in the Gandon Inn on Thursday May the 19th, Caithaoirleach of Laois County Council Cllr Catherine Fiztgerald welcomed everyone to the awards and said she was delighted to see so many people returning every year to participate in the Laois Challenge. She complemented all the winners and all the clubs across the county that get involved every year.
She acknowledged the support of Laois County Council and the Laois International Golf Challenge Committee. Sponsors of the event were Daybreak from the Musgrave Group and Promotional Manager Jonathon Conroy said he was delighted to be associated with the Golf Challenge, and he commended all involved and was delighted to see such large numbers participating.
Captain of the Heritage Golf Club Seamus Muldowney, who participated in the event, welcomed everyone and said he was delighted to see another great turnout this year at the Golf Challenge. He said Laois had a lot to offer visitors and that all the Golf Courses in Laois were of a very high standard and a joy to play on.
Golf Committee Chairman Tom Treacy thanked all those who turned up again this year and the clubs, he thanked Downeys Portlaoise for their sponsorship of the Hole in One Car Prize on the final day. He also thanked the main sponors of the event Daybreak and said he looked forward to continuing to work with them.
MC on the night was RTE’s Justin Treacy who announced all the winners over the four-day event. The results are as follows,
Monday - Portarlington GC
1st - Martin Lawlor, Declan Devoy (Abbeyleix GC) 45pts; 2nd - Oliver McNally, Pat McAnemy 43pts (cb); 3rd - Steve Cronly, Evelyn Cronly 43pts (cb).
Longest Drive – Chris Thompson 245m; Nearest to Pin (Male) – John Reade 4.5m; Longest Drive (Female) – Evelyn Cronly.
Tuesday - The Heritage GC Killenard
1st – John McElhinney, Des Henry (Greencastle) 45pts; 2nd – Martin Conroy, Paddy Molloy 42pts; 3rd – Gareth Keogh, Jim Coss (Mountrath GC) 41pts (cb)
Longest Drive (Male) – Seamus Muldowney; Longest Drive (Female) – Eddie Fitzpatrick, Mountrath GC; Nearest to Pin – Evelyn Cronly.
Wednesday - The Heath GC
1st – John Reade, Ambrose Larkin (The Heath) 44pts; 2nd - Kevin Keegan, John Spence (Strabane GC) 43pts (cb); 3rd – Cathal Toland, Conal Drislane (Portsalon GC Donegal) 43pts (cb)
Longest Drive (Male) – Gareth Keogh (Mountrath); Nearest to Pin – Margaret Hynes (Ballybofey/Stranorlar)
Thursday - The Final – The Heritage GC, Killenard
1st - Martin Conroy, Paddy Molloy (Portumna & Kilrush GCs) 43pts (cb); 2nd - Steve Cronly, Evelyn Cronly (Carlow GC) 43pts; 3rd - Gareth Keogh, Jim Coss (Mountrath GC) 40pts.
Thursday – Non Finalist Competition – Mountrath GC
1st - Phil Drury, Dave Carisle (Liverpool) 40pts; 2nd - Dai Potter, John Arkwright (Liverpool) 38pts (cb); 3rd - Les Heffernan, Tony Bennett (Liverpool) 38pts.