Irish eyes smiling

DAMP and miserable it may have been at La Grande Mare on quarter-finals night of the Guernsey Open matchplay, but Irishman Michael Durcan felt quite at home.

Sending it on its way: Garry McFarlane plays a lofted iron into the green on quarter-finals night of the inaugural Guernsey Open Matchplay. (Picture by Tom Tardif, 1332595)
Sending it on its way: Garry McFarlane plays a lofted iron into the green on quarter-finals night of the inaugural Guernsey Open Matchplay. (Picture by Tom Tardif, 1332595)

DAMP and miserable it may have been at La Grande Mare on quarter-finals night of the Guernsey Open matchplay, but Irishman Michael Durcan felt quite at home.

It was good Irish weather, the Royal Guernsey professional chuckled after he defeated twice Guernsey champion Garry McFarlane 4 and 3 to reach the last four and close in on a £500 bonus should he go all the way to win the inaugural competition.

‘I enjoy playing in this weather,’ said the young Irishman with the superb swing, after completing an impressive win over a dangerous and talented opponent.

‘I played solid golf all night really and pretty much played par golf all night,’ he added.

Comments for: "Irish eyes smiling"

Phil

I take my hat off to the sponsors, they've received more press coverage than they could have ever thought possible, very well done.

On the reporting front it's been the usual standard i.e. not up to much. Maybe hardly suprising as trying to talk up a competition that many of the island's best have decided isn't for them (the Eggo brothers, Nigel Vaudin, Aimee Ponte etc) is an unenviable task, and unfortunately the sports editor's enthusiasm does little to make up for the lack of depth in the field.

I know several island golfers (past and present) who can't believe the way this novelty event is being proclaimed as a "major", and everyone is wondering how an over enthusiastic journalist is able to make such a call?

Jon W

Phil, I think your comments are a little unfair, particularly those concerning the lack of depth (and quality I presume) in the field. I understand that Aimee Ponte has county commitments, Bobby and Andy Eggo didnt qualify, Nigel Vaudin qualified but was unavailable to play the later rounds. By all accounts, Vaudin's spot went to a former tour player, who once held a plus figure handicap. Past Island Champion Gary McFarlane made the last 16, as did Jamie Blondel - all regular names in the Island team. Two pros in the field is a novelty but both add real quality to this amateur event. You also have strong players from the home club (LGM). You can hardly blame the Press and Ravenscroft for wanting to publicise this event. It is a new concept, designed to freshen up competitive matchplay in Guernsey. It makes a nice change from simply playing the Island Championships at Lancresse Links each year.

As for your comments about reporting, I consider the Press reporters to be doing a great job. The enthusiasm shown in the golf reports in no different from that shown in the football pages when reporting on GFC - anyone would think we are playing Champions League Football!

I have watched a few matches this week and the standard of golf is very good. This tournament should be embraced, not condemned after one showing.

Phil

Jon W

Your tastes are obviously very similar to Rob Batiste's i.e. GFC and the current novelty golf tournament, which is attracting far more coverage than the actual local "majors" ever do. Those competitions, by the way, are serious events where the island's best golfers compete against each other for far more than the few shekels on offer at this particular event.

Jon W

Phil - you need to seriously get your facts right. The Ravenscroft was heavily sponsored, thousands of pounds invested by all accounts. Makes the other "local majors" (whatever they might be - some dreary Lancresse medal competition no doubt) seem like small-fry. Long may it continue. Well done Ravenscroft and Guernsey Press for showing some initiative.

Watcher

Jon W

Sorry, "thousands of pounds invested?" The prize was £500 so what was the rest spent on? Well done to Dave for showing his mastery of La Grande Mare but major tournament ? Don't think so.

Phil

Jon W

You obviously know the square root of zero about golf. I wonder if we'll soon see a similar tournament in the professional game, I mean who cares about a dreary medal event such as the British Open when we could see women play against men off different tee boxes on a glorified pitch and putt course?

Next event? A one club competition at St Pierre Park played with one eye covered up by a patch of full handicap, with a £1k first prize and several pages of press coverage each day. the sports editor will deem it to be a major due to innovation and prize money, and idiots who know nothing about golf will concur.

PLP

Phil - you could call it the Pirates Open and get Johnny Depp to play.

Jon W

You guys really do not have a clue. Pitch and Putt course! Are you kidding me? I would invite you to read the comments made by the Royal Guernsey Pro, Mike Durcan about LGM course. He said that it doesnt need to be 7600yrd US Open set-up to be a decent test of golf. I am sure you would defer to Mr Durcan's opinion as you probably take lessons from this chap. LGM is a shorter course, there is no doubt. But it requires accuracy and course management, rather than cavalier golf often seen at Lancresse where wild drives and loose iron play often go unpunished. And to WATCHER - yes the prize fund was £1000s of pounds, £500 to the winner, £400 to the runner-up, £300 to the losing semi finalists and so on. No other event offers this sort of prize fund. I am also keen to understand your concept of a Major? The only individual Open majors I can think of in the Guernsey Golfing calendar are the Island Championships, the Lancresse Open and now the Ravenscroft Open Matchplay. Internal club competitions like Club Championships are for sure Club Majors, but not Open majors. By Open I mean open to all of Guernsey.

Watcher

Jon W,

I apologize for thinking there was just a prize of £500 but I saw no mention of any other prizes in the Press so I assumed there weren't any. I remain of the opinion that it was a minor competition in that it only had a handful of competitors but still, it was a thoughtful attempt by Ravenscroft to put something into the sport. Also Jon W. I chose to use the word "major" rather than "Major", indicating the opposite of minor. Doh...

And finally "Phil" - As for your comment "Pitch and putt course!" Go and wash your mouth out ! It takes real skill to play to your handicap at La Grande Mare.