Sun, celebrities and a stunning winner! Seapoint celebrates a successful Irish Legends week
What a week!
It was an exceptional few days at Seapoint as the 2023 Irish Legends came to a close on Sunday afternoon with a wide-margin pillar to post victory for England’s former Ryder Cup star Peter Baker.
It was a case of four seasons in one week, from Thursday’s baking sun, sunscreen shortages and celebrities everywhere you looked, to the business end of the championship itself on Sunday, which started out with a stiff breeze and heavy rain in the morning but ended in glorious sunshine and calm and good scoring conditions for the leaders.
Pros, caddies, celebrities and amateurs alike praised both the course setup and conditions, and the welcome they received by locals and staff in one of the standout weeks in the history of Seapoint Golf Links.
Highlights of the week included champion Peter Baker’s course record 63 on Saturday and a hole-in-one for Australian pro Peter Fowler at the 15th hole on Friday.
Baker’s phenomenal second round, which included ten birdies, had extended his overnight lead from one stroke to 11 going into Sunday’s final round, and effectively put the Irish Legends title in safekeeping before the last 18 were played.
In the end, Baker — who was the top European point scorer at the 1993 Ryder Cup at the Belfry where he won three of his four matches — coasted to victory by a margin of seven strokes.
His third round of three-under-par 69 kept him a wide margin clear of runner-up Ricardo Gonzalez of Argentina, whose best of the day final round 65 saw him in turn finish four ahead of New Zealand’s Michael Long in third.
Outside the tournament, there was plenty of enjoyment for members and fans alike over the course of the week.
In Thursday’s Wapp Travel Celebrity Series, it was a case of famous faces everywhere you looked.
Former Ireland international rugby star Keith Wood, soccer legends Jason McAteer and Ronnie Whelan, GAA icons Jim Gavin, Kieran Donaghy and Anthony Nash, former snooker world champion Ken Doherty, Wales and Scotland rugby superstars Scott Quinnell and Gavin Hastings and England cricket legends Sir Andrew Strauss, Allan Lamb and Steve Harmison were joined by stars from the entertainment world, including actor James Nesbit and singers Keith Duffy, Brian McFadden and Daniel O’Donnell.
In the end, the winner of the Celebrity Pro-Am was Liam Botham, the former cricketer and rugby player and also the son of England cricket legend Ian, with 41 points.
Well done to all involved, including members, staff, volunteers and visitors to the club, for a hugely successful week.
Peter Baker, the 2023 Irish Legends champion!
Congratulated by runner-up Ricardo Gonzalez afterthe winning putt!
Champion Peter Baker with his wife (and caddie!) Helen
Celebrating a win in Ireland the Irish way!
The champion is congratulated by Thomas Byrne, Minister of State at the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media
The champion pictured with Des Smyth, co-host of the Irish Legends event
Chief Marshal Jim Cullen (left) and Assistant Chief Marshall Tony Hayes pictured with 2023 Irish Legends champion Peter Baker
With the Seapoint Golf Links greenkeeping team, from left, Iain Ritchie, Garry Kelly, Neil Duff, Lester Winters and Noel Mooney. (Also in the team but not pictured are Jason O’Brien & Francis Woods.)
With the Seapoint Golf Links Golf Operations team, from left, David Winters, Rebecca Halpin, David Carroll and Ed Martin
Peter Baker pictured with (from left) Ed Pettit, Alex Saul and Stephen Lyons of Carr Golf
Champion Peter Baker with Roddy Carr (left), co-host of the tournament, and Marty Carr of Carr Golf
Woosie by the sea … revellers bathe on the beach alongside Seapoint Golf Links while Ian Woosnam keeps a close eye on his drive
A view of the spectacular 17th hole from the tee
French pro Christian Cevaer tees off at 17 in the Celebrity Pro-Am, watched by playing partner Daniel O’Donnell
The 17th was a gorgeous setting all week
Ian Woosnam chips at the 17th, watched by playing partner Scott Quinnell, his fellow Welshman and rugby legend
Teddy Sheringham in action
Almost an ace … Sheringham came within inches of a hole-in-one at the 17th on Thursday
Former Premier League star Ryan Taylor tees off
Scott Quinnell tees off
Swimming legend and TV commentator Mark Foster walks through the dunes
Liam Botham, the former cricketer and rugby player, was the winner of the Celebrity Pro-Am with 41 points
Paul Lawrie, the 1999 Open champion, watches his tee-shot at the 17th
Ireland rugby legend Keith Wood with a bunker shot
Singer and entertainer Keith Duffy posing for photographs
Actor James Nesbitt enjoys a joke with Keith Duffy
The driving range was busy all week
Michael Campbell, the 2005 US Open champion, watches the drives down at the driving range
Club pro David Carroll with a tee shot on the 17th
Daniel O’Donnell showing off his short game skills
We had four seasons in one week for the Irish Legends event
Brian McFadden and Keith Duffy warm up at the driving range
Liam Botham sinks another putt
Peter Baker, the eventual 2023 Irish Legends champion, tees off at 17th, with behind him former Manchester United, Tottenham and England star Teddy Sheringham getting the fan’s eye view
Peter Baker won by seven strokes after rounds of 66, 63 and 69
Teddy and Peter share a joke during the Celebrity Pro-Am
Champion Peter Baker is congratulated by runner-up, Argentina’s Ricardo Gonzalez, after the final putt on the 18th green on Sunday