Bellewstown's Bernard Brannigan (Group 3 Winner) after his victory at the 2019 GUI Gold Medals Grand Final at the KClub yesterday (08/10/2019). Picture by Pat Cashman.
Bernard Brannigan of Bellewstown Golf Club struck gold yesterday at the inaugural all-Ireland finals of the Golfing Union of Ireland Gold Medal Championship at The K Club.
He was the winner of class three which is for players with handicaps of 18 and over at the time of qualifying.
Now playing off 16, the Bellewstown man has only recently returned to the game following a decade long absence due to family commitments.
Brannigan carded an opening 20 points on the front nine but struggled on the back nine as the wind got up.
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“I’m delighted!” he said afterwards. “I thought I threw it away on the back nine, I had a bad back nine and a brilliant front nine.”
“It was very windy but very enjoyable. I only got back into golf this year. I played for about ten years or so and then had three kids, gave it up for ten years and then got back into it.”
A former member at Balbriggan and Turvey, Brannigan qualified in July from his club and progressed to the Leinster final at Naas where he carded 36 points to qualify for the final.
Class one, for handicaps of nine and below, was won by four-handicapper Michael Joyce of Mulranny who carded the best overall score of the day, 35 points around The Palmer Course of the famed Kildare venue.
Another Connacht golfer captured class two which was for handicaps 10-17. Liam Mulveen from Athenry demonstrated his talent to sign for 34 points to take the gold medal.
Playing the 2006 Ryder Cup course, Mulveen was born a few years after Europe’s famous victory. The 15 year old, playing off a handicap of 8, remembers the 2016 Irish Open and Rory McIlroy’s triumph where he hit ‘that’ incredible shot at the 16th.
Mulveen’s own standout memory of his round at The K Club will be the par he secured on 16, the par five index 2.