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GUI v MGA - Carey Cup

29th April 2013

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Brian Casey (Photo Pat Cashman and Alan Kelly GUI Communications Department)


Nothing separates the teams going into the final day of the GUI/MGA international friendly match at The European Club, Co. Wicklow, after both the foursomes and four-balls on Sunday were shared.

The four-balls provided the best of the action on Sunday, and the highlight for the GUI team was the performance of the previously untested pairing of Brian Casey and Nicky Grant who ran out 3/2 winners – playing their 16 holes in a score of six-under par better-ball.

Paired with Nicky Grant (Knock), the Headfort clubman enjoyed winning birdies on holes two, three and four to put the GUI duo in control.

MGA's Jim Liu would claw one hole back with a birdie of his own at the fifth, but two three-putts from Liu and his partner Cameron Young on the seventh green saw GUI win the hole with regulation par.

Liu would once again fight back with birdie on the ninth, but Nicky Grant's birdie on the tenth restored the three-hole cushion.

The 17 year old Liu struck again with birdie on the 12th to reduce the deficit to two once more.

Brian Casey's birdie on the 15th was enough to allow the GUI team see out the match with par on 16 for a 3/2 win.

Speaking afterwards Casey said “I played nice and solid. I got off to a nice start which is important in four-ball and we kept it going from there on in. Nicky (Grant) played well, we dove-tailed well and I was happy with the way I played."

Max Buckley & Brian Komline's match against Geoff Lenehan (Portmarnock) and Alex Gleeson (Castle) was a tight encounter until the American's won three holes in a row at seven, eight and nine to take a three hole lead into the back nine.  The MGA pair would go on to win the 13th and eventually the match by a margin of 4/3.

Eddie McCormack's opening birdie at the first hole gave Simon Ward and the Co Cavan member an early lead on Joe Saladino and Mike Miller, but that lead was short lived as Miller chipped into the hole on the second from 40ft to square the match.

Miller and Saladino would go on to win holes seven and eight to give them a two hole lead at the turn.

In a see-saw back nine, McCormack would par the tenth for a win, while Saladino's birdie on the next (11th) restored the two hole lead for the MGA.

Simon Ward's par on the twelfth would see the deficit again reduced to just one hole but the resilient Miller birdied the 13th hole to restore the two hole gap.

McCormack birdied the 15th hole and once more the difference was one hole. With halves recorded on holes 16 and 17, it came down to the final hole – and with Simon Ward holing from six feet for par, the pressure was on Miller to hole from half that distance but the 21 year old from Knollwood Country Club pulled his putt left and handed a valuable half to the GUI pair.

Padraig Hogan, GUI Team Captain said “We put Brian (Casey) at number one because we knew his potential and he delivered today. From our perspective we are very happy with the outcome today, we have it all to play for tomorrow and the experience that Geoff (Lenehan) and Alex (Gleeson) have gained will be invaluable for them in the future.

“Simon (Ward) and Eddie (McCormack) were placed in the final four-ball to provide experience if needed and they did just that, seeing the match through on the final green”.

Jeff Holzschuh, MGA Team Captain said “As the visitors we are happy to be in a position where we can have our guys go out and win it tomorrow. We'd have liked to have made that last putt on 18 for the extra half point but overall it's been a really great experience with some really great golf played today.

“The condition of the course is terrific and although its been cool with some breeze, we haven't had a lot of rain, the conditions have been quite good”.

“Jim (Liu) played really well today, Max Buckley played really well as did Mike Miller. All the guys showed well on both teams so I think it will be a good match all day tomorrow.”

In the opening match of the series, the GUI's pairing of Brian Casey & Eddie McCormack took an early lead against Brian Komline & Joe Saladino, winning the first hole. With the match all square after nine, it was a tight affair on the back nine.

The GUI pair regained the lead on the 16th hole with par, and followed it up with a superb par save on the 17th to take a narrow lead going down the last. But a wayward tee shot from McCormack on 18 put the GUI pair in trouble, while the MGA found the green in regulation, Casey was left to play sideways from a bunker to bring the ball back into play.

McCormack was left with a 170 yard shot to the pin, cut on the left side of the green and when his approach hit the green some 60ft right of the flag, the door was open for Komline & Saladino to make par and steal a half.

Cameron Young & Jim Liu raced into a two-hole lead against the GUI's Alex Gleeson & Nicky Grant and were three up after seven holes, but wins by the GUI pairing at holes eight and nine saw the deficit reduced to one at the turn. The MGA pair however pressed the GUI duo and the end came at the 14th, with the Americans winning 5/4.

Geoff Lenehan & Simon Ward had a similar start to their match against Max Buckley & Mike Miller, taking the first three holes to take control of the match. Lenehan & Ward turned for home with a five hole advantage and a win at hole 12 appeared to make the GUI win inevitable. However wins by

Buckley & Miller at 13 and 14 prolonged the match a little further, but the GUI edged the New York pair out eventually on the 15th.

Sunday 28 April
GUI 3, MGA 3
At The European Club

Foursomes (GUI names first)
B Casey & E McCormack halved with B Komline & J Saladino; A Gleeson & N Grant lost to C Young & J Liu; G Lenehan & S Ward bt M Buckley & M Miller 3/2
Four-balls (GUI names first)
B Casey & N Grant bt J Liu & C Young 3/2; G Lenehan & A Gleeson lost to M Buckley & B Komline 4/3; E McCormack & S Ward halved with J Saladino & M Miller.

Monday 29 April
Singles (GUI names first)
B Casey v J Liu, S Ward v B Komline; N Grant v C Young; G Lenehan v J Saladino; A Gleeson v M Buckley; E McCormack v M Miller


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