Mourne Golf Club News

By Paul Gallagher


This week we give special mention to Mourne Golf Club’s Noel Crawford who made his Ireland debut competing at the European Senior Men’s Team Championship in the Czech Republic where the boys in green finished third.

Crawford has been one of Mourne’s best players for years, but in recent times (and after turning 50) he set new goals. Last week he achieved one of those goals by representing Ireland on the European stage.

In an exceptionally strong team, Crawford stood shoulder to shoulder with team-mates that included former Walker Cup player Jody Fanagan, who famously beat Tiger Woods in the 1995 Walker Cup at Royal Porthcawl in Wales.

Crawford and the Ireland team flew out from Dublin to Royal Golf Club Marianské Làzne in the Czech Republic where they had genuine aspirations of winning the prestigious title. They comfortably made it through the strokeplay qualifying stages to be one of eight nations in the Top Flight.

In their quarter final matches, they defeated Spain 3-2 with Crawford narrowly losing by one hole alongside Colin Cunningham in the foursomes. In the semi-final Ireland lost 3-2 to eventual winners England, despite Crawford and Cunningham leading from the front with their 4&3 win in the top match.

It meant Ireland would take on Italy on the final day for the bronze medal. Yet again Crawford and Cunningham were up to the task with another 4&3 win, while Fanagan and Eddie McCormack also won their singles matches to ensure Ireland came home with bronze.

“What can I say, it was a sensational week, both for me personally and for the team,” said a delighted Crawford afterwards. “We knew we had a great team heading out there, and yes, we would love to have won, but to come home with a bronze medal on my Senior Ireland debut is special.

“It’s a great bunch of lads on the team and the camaraderie was brilliant all week. The banter started the week before when we were all rooting for Jody who was competing in the US Senior Amateur final.

“We all know each other so well from travelling the length and breadth of Ireland competing in championships and trying to make the team. It’s a week I’ll never forget, and hopefully there will be more days to come representing Ireland,” added Crawford.

Crawford joins other internationals from Mourne like Hugh B Smyth, who represented Ireland over a long playing career and was also part of the Ireland senior teams that won the European Senior Men’s title three years in a row from 2013-15.

The European Senior Men’s Team Championships were first played in 2006 and Ireland have won six times.

Ireland European Senior Men’s Team 2023: L-R  Eddie McCormack, Noel Crawford, Jody Fanagan, Joe Lyons, Brian Hutchison (Ireland team captain), Colin Cunningham, Alan Condren and Matt Donohue (team manager)