This summer Peter Kerr was invited to the Boyd Quaich Tournament. This tournament is the oldest and one of the most prestigious, invitational golf tournaments in the world for student golfers. It was set up in 1946 to commemorate the 2 Boyd brothers who were both students at St Andrews and were killed in the Second World War. 120 of the top university golfers from around the world compete each year over 72 holes played off the championship tees on the Old and New courses. There were players from Australia, South Africa, US, Canada and from across Europe. Peter was the only school boy playing and was invited because he is due to start St Andrews in September. It was a real honour for Peter to be invited on to the tee as “Peter Kerr, The Royal Belfast Academical Institution.” He eventually finished in 24th position after a closing level par round on the Old Course.
At Inst a number of Golf teams compete at different ages. Years 8 and 9 challenge for the McDowell Cup with pupils in Years 10 and 11 competing in two Ulster juniors competitions. The senior team enters the Ulster Scratch, Ulster Matchplay and Winter League. The teams are always competitive and challenge for the highest honours.
On Tuesday 21st April the Senior Golf Team of Peter Kerr, JJ Logue, Ben Connolly, David Keery and Rory Sloan travelled to Farnham Estate in Cavan to contest the All-Ireland Matchplay Championship. The semi-final could not have been closer. Captain Peter Kerr duly won his match; however JJ Logue and Ben Connolly came up against two red hot putters and lost. David Keery was also 3 down but managed a remarkable comeback winning 4 holes in a row and finished off winning 2 &1. Rory Sloan was the last on the course and managed to win the 18th to halve the match and send the semi-final to a sudden death playoff. Rory, who is only 14, had to carry the hopes of R.B.A.I. on his shoulders and he showed incredible courage to hold his nerve recording a par 4 on the first extra hole which was enough to put us into the final.
The final proved even more dramatic. At one stage we were down in 4 of the 5 matches with JJ Logue taking an early lead in his match by birdying the first three holes. He never relinquished this lead and he secured a point for his team. Peter Kerr having been 1 down rallied to ensure another point for R.B.A.I. with a birdy on the 16th hole. Ben, who is 15 and plays off 5, came up against a 2 handicapper 3 years his senior and unfortunately lost having played some fantastic shots. Rory, who looked to have used up all his energy in his titanic morning battle, also lost. With the scores locked at 2 all and David Keery 1 down with 4 to play it looked as if we would come up just short. However the Inst spirit rose to the surface once more and David was still 1 down with 1 to play. After a stunning drive David hit the shot of the day with his second into the par 5 18th hole and thus squaring the match at 21/2 each. Extra holes were required again and David, only 15, played two tremendous shots to the middle of the green. With his much older counterpart only able to make bogey David then clinched the title with a 3 foot putt.
Each member of the team played superbly with everyone contributing to this momentous victory and so R.B.A.I. were crowned All-Ireland Matchplay Champions. This is the second time the school have won this event with the previous victory coming in 1972.
Jordan received his 3rd Ireland cap and took part in the 4 Nations Development Match between Scotland, Wales, The Netherlands and Ireland. Jordan was the leading points scorer for Ireland with 5 wins out of 6, with the Ireland teaming finishing second to Scotland. Immediately on his return Jordan won the Ulster U16 Boys Close at Portstewart Golf Club.
Yesterday the RBAI team of Captain Peter Kerr, JJ Logue, Ben Connolly, David Keery and Rory Sloan travelled to Royal Belfast Golf Club to contest the Irish Schools’ Matchplay, Ulster Section. In the morning semi-final the team won 4 points to 1 against Campbell College. The final was then played out against Rathmore Grammar School in the afternoon. The RBAI team played superbly winning the contest by 41/2 points to ½ a point. The standout performance in the final came from Rory Sloan who won his match 9&7.
This is the first time since 2007 RBAI have won this event and they now progress to the All-Ireland finals as the representatives from Ulster, which will be played at the Farnham Estate Golf Resort in Cavan.
Ben Connolly putting to win the 14th hole
JJ Logue nearly chips in on the 18th green
The RBAI Ulster Schools Matchplay winning team 2015 with GUI representative David Heaney
Congratulations to Peter Kerr and JJ Logue who have been selected for the Irish panel in their respective age groups. Further congratulations to the Senior Golf Team who qualified for the semi-finals of the Ulster Matchplay at Royal Belfast Golf Club.
JJ Logue (Y11) and Peter Kerr (Y12)