1907 Royal Portrush Golf Club

On the 20th May 1907 the inaugural Irish Professional Golf Championship took place in Royal Portrush. The competition was made up of an eighteen-hole qualifier with the top eight moving to the matchplay stages. Even at this stage Michael Moran, then only 21 years of age, took third place with a 78 behind Hamill (Ormeau) and Edmundson (Portrush) with 76s in relatively good playing conditions. It would appear that twenty-two professionals took part in the qualifying competition with the scores as follows:

Hamill, Ormeau 76
Edmundson, Portrush 76
Moran, Dundalk 78
Snowball, Portmarnock 78
McNamara, Lahinch 79
Pope, Fortwilliam 81
Hood, Royal Dublin 81
McNeill, Portrush 81
Kidd, Malone 82
Robertson, Newcastle 82
Cahill, Portrush 83
Elder, Foxrock 84
Brown, Cork 86
Bonner, North West 87
McNamara, Co. Cork 87
Shannon, Greenore 87
Magee, Bundoran 88
Larkin, Bray 89
Barett, Portrush 90
McKenna, Malahide 92
Bacon, Portrush 93
McKenna, Carrickmines NR

There was a three-way tie for the eight places and the final slot was decided over nine holes in the afternoon with McNeill (37), Kidd (38) and Robertson retiring.

Later in the day the matchplay event got underway with the following results:

Pope beat Hood 3 & 2; Edmundson beat Hamill 5 & 4, Moran beat McNeill 3 & 2,and Snowball beat McNamara by two holes. The following day the semi-finals saw Edmundson face Pope and Moran against Snowball would make up the other semi-final match. Edmundson took a commanding lead in the first match and was four up by the turn closing the match out on the thirteenth after a win, lose, win, win, sequence for the inward holes. The second semi was more exciting with the match taken all the way to the last. By the turn Snowball who was playing the better golf was 4up but in a remarkable turnaround Moran had brought the match back to level terms by the thirteenth but on the seventeenth he was laid a dead stymie and this ultimately proved to the match winner.

1908 Portmarnock Golf Club

There is no record of Michael Moran having played in the 1908 Championship or at least if he did he didn’t qualify for the matchplay stages.

1909 Royal County Down GC, Newcastle

On the 14th May 1909 the IPC thirty-six-hole final was played over the Newcastle links with Michael Moran comprehensively beating Harry Kidd the Malone professional by 9 & 7. Accounts of the match recall Kidd securing an early three hole lead with Moran bringing the match all square by the turn. Moran proceeded to win four of the next five holes but lost the next two leaving the match with a two up lead at the half way stage. The final eighteen saw Moran playing great golf as he was out in thirty nine despite high winds leaving him seven up and followed it by winning the first two holes on the inward journey to secure the match and his first victory in the championship. This year was the last year for the matchplay format and the eighth qualifiers for the matchplay stages were:

First Round

Moran (Royal Dublin) beat F. Bacon (Royal Portrush) 3 & 2

F Smith (Hermitage) beat H. Hamill (Ormeau) 3 & 2

Kidd (Malone) beat H. Ms Neill (Royal Portrush) 2 & 1

W. Pope (Fortwilliam) beat James Edmundson (Bangor) 2 & 1

Semi-finals

Moran beat Smith 5 & 4

Kidd beat Pope 5 & 4

Final

Moran beat Kidd 9 & 7

 

1910 Royal Dublin Golf Club (9-10 June)

In the 1910 IPC, Michael Moran took the Championship with a comfortable seven stroke (the first year as a strokeplay competition) cushion from M Cahill (Skerries) and in the process registered a new course record of 72 on the first day, which he reduced by a further two strokes (70) the next day on the Dollymount course. It was a further twenty-one years before that aggregate score of 296 was bettered in the same event.

1911 Royal Portrush Golf Club

The venue for the 1911 Irish Professional Championship [IPC] was Royal Portrush and it saw Michael Moran take his third successive title. After four rounds of golf he was six shots ahead of his nearest challenger, James Edmundson from Portrush, but listed as unattached. Although level after the third round Michael had a final round of 73 (310) compared to Edmundson’s 79 (316) and in doing so he set a new course record which had been set by Edmundson and McNeill in their morning rounds of 75. Even Hughie McNeill the Portrush professional was a further three shots further back on his home course when the scores were tallied. Michael Moran had first met Edmundson in a challenge match in early 1909 at Dollymount and managed to secure a half over thirty-six holes and it was probably at this point that the country began to take notice of the young professional who had matched the reigning Irish Champion.

1912 Castlerock Golf Club

The 1912 a professional meeting was held at Portmarnock on the 18 September with Michael Moran taking his the title with an 85/75 for a two round total of 160. H Hamill the Ormeau professional was one shot further back. The sponsor of this event was the Irish region of the professional golfers association.

Earlier in the year on the 9/10 May he won the fourth of his five IPC titles at Castlerock with rounds of 77,78, 75 and 75 for a four round total of 305, six strokes ahead of his nearest challenger P. Doyle who shot an amazing 72 in his second round and went into the second day three shots in front.

1913 Portmarnock

In 1913 the IPC was held at Portmarnock on the 31st July/1 August but P O’Hare the Foxrock professional had a six stroke lead going into the final round but a final round of 75 ensured Michael Moran, the “mercurial Irishman”, took his last title in this event.