History of Rockwell College Union Annual Golf Tournament

History of Rockwell College Union Annual Golf Tournament

Competition History

The annual tournament is an expression of Rockwell’s continued commitment to the sport of golf, which has been a particular point of pride during our history. We have been fortunate to have possessed, until very recently, an on-campus golf course, which has been the source of a significant sporting spirit in the college, and which has allowed us to turn out a consistently high grade of players. That so many have taken the opportunity to return each year to play with their fellow colleagues is strong testament to this fact.

 

A Brief History of Rockwell Golfing

Golf has long been a part of Rockwell’s legacy, with a great number of our former students going on to excel at the highest levels in the sport. That Rockwell can claim to be the only school in Ireland that has produced not one, but two members of the Walker Cup team, is something we take immense pride in.

In 1963 Dr. David Sheahan (Class of 1958) was chosen to represent Britain and Ireland against the US in the biennial contest played between the best amateurs in the world. Sheahan incredibly won a professional European Tour event - the 1961 Jeyes Open. Only three others have emulated that feat - Pablo Martin, Danny Lee and Shane Lowry - and none of them were medical students at the time of their victory!

Just twenty years later in 1983 another Rockwellian, Arthur Pierse (1971), would go on to compete in the Walker Cup. We are very fortunate today to retain a memento of this great occasion, as Arthur’s Walker Cup Jacket is currently displayed prominently in the common room.

Of course, Rockwell’s golfing excellence extended beyond the Walker Cup. Indeed, in the same year as Arthur Pierse’s great achievement, a team composed of current Doonbeg clb pro Brian Shaw (1983), Declan McInerney (1984) and Tony McCarthy (1983), under the expert guidance of Fr. J.C Ryan, would carry the college to victory in the Aer Lingus Irish Schools Golf Championship.

The Annual Tournament 

In light of the above, it should be no surprise that the Union would find its own expression of Rockwellian golfing passion. In 1950 a trophy was presented to us by Willie O’Neill (Class of 1935, Union President 1960-62) for the purposes of an annual golf tournament. The first event, held that year and won by Willie himself, would serve as the template for a competition that has endured for 55 years.

It would be remiss to neglect to mention the Union staff that have so ably managed this crucial event over the years, and to whom both the Union and the Rockwell Community owe a great debt. While Willie would ensure the smooth running of the event for its debut years, it would later be managed by a number of esteemed former members, with special credit to Jim Peters, Kevin Prendergast (1957), and more recently Domhnall Blair (1961). It was the students of this period, the 1950s and 60s, that were instrumental in the early years of the tournament, and in the resurgence of the tournament in 2014.

For in the early 2000s, the trophy itself would go missing, and would not be contested again until the 2014 competition, where it re-established itself as a prominent entry in the Rockwell calendar. The trophy's inscription serves as a record of many stalwarts and characters from the College and Union's history - Willie O’Neill, Jim Peters (1945), Gay Mangan (1959), Matt O’Mahony (1961), the Hill brothers, Landy (1965) and Charlie (1963), Vinnie Daly (1956) and the aforementioned Fr J.C. Ryan.  


Roll of Honour


  • 1950 - W.J. O’Neill
  • 1951 - D. Stapleton
  • 1952 - E.C Powell
  • 1953 - W.N. Fitzgerald
  • 1954 - L.F. Kiely
  • 1955 - N. McNamara
  • 1956 - L.F. Kiely
  • 1957 - Not played
  • 1958 - E.J. Dillon
  • 1959 - M. O’Sullivan 
  • 1960 - R. Foley
  • 1961 - F. Blair
  • 1962 - J.G. Lyons
  • 1963 - Rev J.O’Mahony
  • 1964 - W.J. O’Neill
  • 1965 - P. Horgan
  • 1966 - Rev J.O’Donoghue
  • 1967 - Rev J. O’Mahony
  • 1968 - Michael Burke
  • 1969 - Richard Ryan
  • 1970 - Eddie O'Neill
  • 1971 - Rev J.C. Ryan
  • 1972 - Oliver Synott
  • 1973 - A.Pierse
  • 1974 - M. O'Mahony
  • 1975 - A. O'Dwyer
  • 1976 - P. O’Dwyer
  • 1977 - F. Blair
  • 1978 - M O’Sullivan
  • 1979 - M.B. Foley
  • 1980 - A.J. Taylor
  • 1981 - J. King

  • 1982 - E.J. Butler
  • 1983 - P.D. Gately
  • 1984 - J.V. Daly
  • 1985 - Austin O'Brien
  • 1986 - J.M. Peters
  • 1987 - J.M. Peters
  • 1988 - M. O'Mahony
  • 1989 - Rev Mi. Smyth
  • 1990 - Not played
  • 1991 - P.T. Hourihan
  • 1992 - Landy Hill
  • 1993 - Gay Mangan
  • 1994 - Charlie Hill
  • 1995 - Landy Hill
  • 1996 - J.M. Peters
  • 1997 - E.J. Teehan
  • 1998 - Billy Irwin
  • 1999 - Morgan Lyons
  • 2000 - Gerry O'Brien
  • 2001 - John Irwin
  • 2002 - Frank O'Leary
  • 2003 - Frank O’Leary
  • 2004-2013 Not played
  • 2014 - Billy Lee
  • 2015 - Peter Clerkin
  • 2016 - Brian MacGoey
  • 2017 - Brian MacGoey
  • 2018 - Pakie Bolster 




Multiple Winners

  • Three times (1 winner) - J.M. Peters (1986, 1987 and 1996)
  • Twice - (8 winners) W.J O’Neill (1950, 1964), L.F Kiely (1954, 1956), F. Blair (1961, 1977) Rev J. O’Mahony (1963, 1967), M. O’Mahony (1974, 1988). Landy Hill (1992, 1995), Frank O’Leary (2002, 2003) and Brian MacGoey (2016, 2017)