13 July 2012 No Comments by The Northern Standard

A day when the cream rose to the top in the inaugural Boys Under-18 Golf Championship. by KEVIN CARNEY …

lease view (right) the winners and runners-up from last Friday’s inaugural Northern Standard Boys U18 Golf Championship.
Neatly cut out and fold the list and put it in the bottom drawer of the chest of drawers in your living room and then let it hibernate for ten years.
You see the chances are that by 2022, the name of at least one of the starlets who showcased their golfing skills last weekend will be tripping off the tongues of golfing enthusiasts nationwide.
The creme de la creme of county Monaghan’s teenage golfers featured among the 30-plus players who teed off last Friday at glorious Rossmore.
Before the competition got underway, shrew pundits fingered Ryan O’Doherty – who plays off a handicap of 3 at Rossmore – as the likely winner. Those pundits had the proverbial hole in one, as things transpired.
St. Macartan’s College student Ryan won’t be 18 ’till next December but last weekend some of his play was Christy O’Connor-esque.
The son of Clontibret residents Eugene and Cathy O’Doherty, young Ryan – a Rossmore club stalwart just like his parents – was an old head on young shoulders. Those who know the O’Doherty clan ain’t so sure about bestowing comparisons between Ryan and biblical Solomon but they quip that “he gets the talent from his mother and the cuteness from his father!”
In fairness to last Friday’s newly crowned best young golfer in Monaghan (2012), he is quick to cast aside the raft of bouquets cast his direction. He’s not only a talented golfer. He’s modest and level-headed into the bargain.
“It’s great to win the competition especially because it’s the inaugural one and my name will be the first one on the trophy.”
Ryan – a particular fan of Irish pro Graeme McDowell – says that while his form in the run into the competition was good, he didn’t enjoy the greatest of starts.
“I made some stupid mistakes early on and was six over par for the first nine holes which wasn’t what I had planned.
“I was hitting the trees instead of hitting the fairways.” Nerves perhaps? “No, I don’t think it was nerves, more like a bad swing.
“Luckily enough, I was able to fix it (swing) pretty quickly and began to hit the fairways with some consistency and I ended up being five over for the 18.”
Was he happy with his overall score then?
“Being one under for the second nine pulled me right back into the mix which was good ’cause it could have been so much worse.
“It was a fairly tough day’s golf ’cause the tees were well back on every box and the pins were in a tricky position.
“It was a windy enough day which probably suited me though. I prefer playing on links’ courses normally anyway.”
To his credit – despite his short odds favourite’s tag – Ryan says he was well prepared for some tough competition last Friday.
“I knew there were a lot of very good players, a lot of good young golfers in the county. I had played with David Eakin before in the Faldo series in Lough Erne so I knew how good he was.” Things, we learn, just got got better and better in the immediate aftermath of Ryan’s fine victory as, the following day, he received an invitation to play in Portrush in the North of Ireland championship.
There, among some 300 other competitors, he recorded rounds of 79 and 69 in a mens amateur tournament which “was a bit of a step up from the under 18s.”
Reflecting on this year’s U18 Northern Standard county competition, Ryan is fulsome in his praise of both the Northern Standard newspaper and the organisers of the competition.
“Everyone involved in sponsoring and organising the competition deserve great credit,” Ryan enthused.
“It was great to play against fellas of my own age and test ourselves out in Rossmore. I’m sure the competition will go from strength-to-strength if this year’s event is anything to go by.”
Patrick Smyth, Sports Editor of competition sponsors, the Northern Standard, is intent on seeing the novel competition gravitate to become an intrinsic part of the local golfing calender.
“I think the whole event was an outstanding success and you’d just have to admire the way everything was organised so well and the way the players responded to the challenge of playing against their peers,” Patrick declared.
“For a first-timer, this was a competition that exceeded all expectations and we’re delighted with the way things went.
“I think everyone involved deserves great thanks and we’re very happy that, as sponsors, we were able to help see the idea come to fruition.
“I’d love to see the competition expand from this starting point and become a real focal point for all young golfers in Monaghan each year.
“Congratulations to Ryan and all the various runners-up and category winners; they did themselves and their clubs proud.”
No less delighted with how proceedings panned out last Friday at a pristine Rossmore was the reputed brains-behind-the-project, Harry Dwyer of Rossmore G.C.
“I think we can safely say that, last Friday, the cream rose to the top,” Harry enthused.

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