A report from the golf battlefront

Andrew Bourke playing in the sand

Luttrellstown, the venue for Becks’ wedding, graciously hosted the second event of UCD’s MoneyBAGS (the new name for the UCD MBA Golf Society). A 24 strong field (our second largest turnout ever) took to the course fully inspired by Jordan Speith’s unexpected lead in the third round of the Masters. Expectations were high in spite of the low course temperatures and the talk in the clubhouse was all about one person, that’s right, Liam Doyle. Who would have thought the Golf Society would become so big that it would attract one of Ireland’s finest rugby players away from going to Danville for the MBA World Cup!!!

There was also a welcome return for Charlie Weijer after his glorious front nine at the Captain’s Day in Powerscourt last August. He joined the first group on the tee box which also consisted of Pamela Fay (still traumatised after her counselling session with Andrew Bacon), Gerard Murphy (the man renowned for his steely resolve) and James Sammon (our resident Casanova). Charlie, yet again, commenced his round in exemplary fashion, with crisp clean drives and instinctive pitches, which spurred on his competitors. Rumour has it James was a little forlorn considering his usual playing partner had been moved to Group 6… We’ll make sure Jessica plays with you next time James ;0).

Next up was the effervescent Dave Joyce with his executive MBA pilot and skipper compatriot Steve Kelly (the finest Irish diplomat in China, bar maybe Conor Ryan). Disappointed to have missed Druids Glen in March (“ah I just had to stop into Dubai for a few days, you know how it is Bourkey”), Steve was raring to step up to the challenge we had set him to beat the full time MBA class golfers. In this group, the full timers came in the form of Niall “I swear I’ve never played golf before” O’ Muire and Trevor “if I’m having a bad round, I’m ripping up my card again” Whelan. Trevor, who normally shies away from challenges (!!!) was absolutely chomping at the bit to get going, especially since he knew he was up against a 2 handicapper in Mr Joyce. Dave and Trevor continued to exchange knowing glances as first blood went to Team Full Time. In fairness both Niall and Trevor made the course look like pitch and putt, while Dave (first time dad to a four month old) and Steve (still sweating out China’s whiskey reserves) put up a fantastic challenge, only losing the foursome on the 17th hole.  Respectable lads, very respectable.

Following this epic battle was possibly the most handsome foursome this course has ever seen. Paul Gardner, freshly reacquainted with his phone after China, Robbie Renehan, freshly reacquainted with his own bed after China (having slept in God knows how many over there), Cormac Dunne, freshly reacquainted with his latest exercise regime after China (300) and Conor Callinan, freshly reacquainted with the game of golf having avoided China, all took to the first tee with bravado, panache and sophistication in equal measure. This foursome looked all over by the turn as the Full Time crew of Robbie and Paul chest bumped and whooped their way to a five hole lead. Enter Cormac Dunne: Marathon runner, straight A student, Gaelforce powerhouse. With passion and pride for his fellow part timers, Cormac, with Conor’s impressive cheer leading support, resiliently clawed back the lead, levelling the match on the 18th with a 50 foot putt (although I have been told it was closer to 5cm). With conciliatory handshakes, the four headed to the bar to mull over the day’s events.

Fourth up to the green stage was the more reserved and intellectual (in other words, not as good looking) foursome of Andrew Bourke, Dave Flynn, Ken Barry and Conal Campbell. Animosity had been gradually building in college during the week leading up to this headline event, with Conal sending numerous incendiary emails based around the average age of the part time class (estimated at 73!!!). In the background, Andrew had been secretly motivating his peers with the following email:

Lads and ladies, the Full Timers think they are smarter, better looking and believe they will be our bosses someday. Obviously being in college 24-7 makes people deluded. Now let’s show them how it’s really done, and hammer them at golf this Sunday”.

With Conal constantly providing updates on how each team was doing, this foursome became possibly the most evenly matched contest in the match-play side competition. Stunning drives and fine putting were intermingled with trash talk not seen since Muhammad Ali’s infamous rant about George Foreman. One of the most bizarre moments in golfing history happened on the 13th hole when Andrew, while trying to smash a 7 iron out of one of the many fairway bunkers, managed to lodge it firmly into the bunker’s wall. Laughing like a drunk hen do, Ken stepped up and somehow managed to repeat this same feat (Andrew Bacon, what do you reckon the odds of that happening are???) So, with 2 holes left to play, the duo of Andrew and Dave were 2 up. However, momentum was beginning to shift and with a resounding 17th claw back, both Ken and Conal smashed their drives out onto the fairway on the final hole. Mr Flynn had spent much of the previous 5 holes apologising to Andrew as his form had dipped to that of a three legged, 20-year old piebald horse at the Grand National. As Andrew attempted to win the final hole, disaster struck as he delicately chipped his fourth shot straight into the lake, leaving Conal an easy 3 putt to claim a well-deserved draw.

Newcomers aplenty followed this competitive rabble with the beautiful alum from 2009, Elaine Daly, our resident American golf, soccer and lacrosse pro, Kimberley Jones, our entrepreneur extraordinaire, Mark Good, and the consummate gentleman, Mick O Dwyer taking to the teebox. It was within this group that the first official winner for the Full Time versus Part Time MBA matchplay tournament could officially be crowned. Dominating from start to finish, Kimberley and Mark closed out what the cocksure Robbie and Paul failed to do, claiming victory by the 14th hole. Ever professional, Kimberley even managed to hit someone else’s ball without even noticing. Leaving the score 3-1 in favour of the Full Timers meant that the decider (if it was tied) between Jessica Burke and Liam Doyle was not required. And thank God, because Liam, you didn’t stand a chance, fair play Jessica.

This final group including Jessica and Liam also contained the value for money David Larkin and newbie and 6-handicapper Aidan Walsh (we’re really enjoying these near scratch golfers). Jessica, without the constant longing gaze of James Sammon, was in relaxed form and decided to show how the game of golf should be played, racking up a second Ladies’ Prize in a row (sorry Kimberley, she won on the countback). Dave Larkin in the meantime opted to play a few less shots than his previous round, realising that cricket scores are not really something to be proud of. Meanwhile Aidan was revelling in his first MBA experience, keeping Liam entertained who was succumbing to yet another female being victorious over him. As the day drew to a close, the bar began to fill with eager anticipation for the awards ceremony.

In rather unprecedented MBA fashion, Andrew decided to leave all the prizes at home, so IOUs were handed to the following winners:

1st Prize:  Trevor Whelan

2nd Prize: Mick O Dwyer

3rd Prize: Mark Good

Longest Drive: Paul Gardner (the machine)

Closest Pin: Robbie Renehan (although close second was Pamela Fay)

Ladies Prize: Jessica Burke

As the beers flowed (one each) and burgers were munched, all participants, in true MBA fashion decided to REFLECT on the days’ events. Everyone was delighted with the course, the competition and the camaraderie. Because of this we are aiming to make Malahide on the 23rd May one of our biggest events yet. There will be more prizes than ever before up for grabs and the Player of The Year competition will continue in earnest. We really do look forward to seeing you at Malahide, so please do register and prepay for the event at www.ucdsmurfitgolf.ie/Schedule_2014.html.

Thanks again for all your support to date. We truly love how much the club has grown and people are enjoying it. See you all soon.

Andrew Bourke and Cormac Dunne