Loughlinstown Pitch and Putt bring home the Ryder Cup

by James Hendicott

Loughlinstown Pitch and Putt’s John-Ross Crangle was a key player in the European team that brought back the pitch and putt Ryder Cup for Europe late last month, playing alongside a number of other Irish players in a team that ultimately swatted aside their South American opposition in Chile.

Crangle, the Irish number one, was amongst five Irishmen who travelled to Puerto Velero, La Serena, Chile, with the Irish by far the dominant nationality in a team of eleven Europeans otherwise made up of players from Catalonia and Slovenia.

The first ever Ryder-Cup style contest – which saw the players don the blue with yellow stars that traditionally feature in the European side’s uniform – featured alongside the Chilean Open title contest.

John-Ross Crangle from the Loughlinstown Club starred alongside Mark Millar (from Louth), current Irish number two, Alan Hanlon (from Westmeath, and currently the most successful international open player from the island), Irish world cup captain Eamon Gibney and European Champion Ian Farrelly (from Meath).

The Ryder Cup was all square after the early doubles format, but that did not last long, with Europe kicking on over the last three sessions to ultimately take a dominant 24.5pts – 9.5pts win over the course of the long weekend.

Crangle, Millar and Gibney each pulled off a clean sweep alongside Catalonian Manuel Amor, the quartet being the only players to take wins in all four of their matches at the tournament, chipping in a total of sixteen points between them, incorporating the doubles.

The success for the weekend wasn’t over, either, as Mark Millar spearheaded an astonishing Irish sweep of the medal places as he took the Chilean Open crown with two shots to spare over Eamon Gibney, with Loughlinstown’s John-Ross Crangle taking third spot.

Pitch and putt is still a growing sport compared to the riches of the pro golfing circuit, with its focus very much on the short form of the game.

There’s a great deal of crossover, naturally, but pitch and putt tends to have a great deal of appeal for those more interested in the finer details of golf, rather than finding the fairways.

This comfortable victory for Europe over the course of a superb weekend for the Irish players marks them out as potential future stars.

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