• Sport

Rafferty aims to be up to Scratch as he plots third straight Cup win

Dundalk Scratch Cup 2020
Pictured at the launch of the One Finance sponsored Dundalk Scratch Cup were (from left): Martin McDonnell, Managing Director, One Finance; Caolan Rafferty, defending champion and Trevor Giff, Captain, Dundalk Golf Club.

The Dundalk Scratch Cup returns for its 58th edition next month, with some of the country’s top amateur golfers coming to town to try and halt local man Caolan Rafferty from winning his third straight tournament and his fourth in five years.

Only Warrenpoint’s Colm Campbell has halted Rafferty’s dominance of the Dundalk Scratch Cup in recent years, as the young golfer has become only the third man in history to win back-to-back Scratch Cups in 2018 and 2019. He also won the title in 2016, with Campbell’s 2017 win the outlier in recent years.

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Rafferty, who is Europe’s number one amateur golfer, followed JB Carr (1965-66) and Declan Brannigan (1972-73) in winning successive Scratch Cups and a win in two-and-a-half weeks time would see him become the first to win three-in-a-row.

Before lockdown, the Maynooth University student had been named as a Committee Selection on the International team, which were set to face off against the USA from July 3-5 at Lahinch Golf Club. That tournament is now scheduled to take place at Bay Hill in December.

Entries will open tomorrow (Thursday, August 27) for the tournament which is one of the longest running and most prestigious Senior Scratch Cups in the country with a roll of honour that includes three times Major winner Padraig Harrington.

Entries must be made through the Pro Shop Dundalk Golf Club on 042 932 1731. The entry fee is €50 which includes soup and sandwiches after round one and a post tournament meal. The prize-fund is €2,500 with €250 for a course record and €150 for a hole in one. Entries will close on Wednesday, September 9.

Round One of the 36-hole tournament will tee off between 8am and 9.40am from the first and 10th tees with Round Two commencing at 1pm. For the first time, because of government restrictions, no spectators will be permitted at the event with only the players and those involved in running he tournament allowed on the course.

Dundalk Scratch Cup winners

View below to see a list of Dundalk Scratch Cup winners throughout the competition’s history.

“It has been a tough year for all our elite players because the COVID-19 pandemic has greatly affected their schedules, However, we know that many of them would have pencilled Dundalk in September into their diaries at the beginning of the year and we look forward to welcoming them to our course,” Dundalk Golf Club Captain Trevor Giff said. 

Martin McDonnell, Managing Director of sponsors One Finance, said: “One Finance are delighted to be once again sponsoring the Dundalk Scratch Cup. It is a competition that has always attracted the top amateur golfers and it has certainly brought out the best in Caolan Rafferty over the last five years. He will be bidding for history this year which is going to make the event even more special than it usually is.”

In the last decade, the competition has been dominated by local golfers. Since 2011, only two players outside of Louth have won the Scratch Cup in Dundalk, Rory McNamara of Headfort Golf Club and Stephen Healy, from Claremorris.

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