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Irish Sports Desk Mount Juliet gear up for Tiger’s return

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Sean Creedon

Tiger Woods is expected to make a return to Ireland for the American Express World Golf Championship, which will be played at the Mount Juliet course in County Kilkenny in September 2002.

The event will be shown on TV in 110 countries and ABC will, for the first time, screen a tournament held in Ireland live. For golf’s elite players, the World Golf Championships are the richest in sport, with the winner receiving $1 million, 20 percent of the prize money. By 2002, the amount will be increased as a review of the prize funds will take place before the Mount Juliet event.

"We have already been in contact with Jack Nicklaus to seek his views and recommendations to ensure the Mount Juliet reputation remains of world class standard," said Tim O’Mahony, chairman of Mount Juliet. "The first step in this process is a complete redevelopment of all 18 greens. We will commence next month and should be completed by next May."

The first WGC championship was played in Valderamma, Spain, last year when the winner was Tiger Woods, and it will be played there again next month. Bellerive Country Club in St. Louis hosts the event in 2001.

Lane outpolls Murphy

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Noel Lane is the new manager of the Galway senior hurlers. The former full forward beat outgoing manager Mattie Murphy by 33 votes to 21 at last week’s Galway Hurling Board meeting.

Murphy’s first spell as Galway boss was terminated in 1996 after this team had won the National League. This year under Murphy, Galway won the League again and had their first championship win outside of Connacht since 1993, but obviously it wasn’t enough for the County Board.

Lane has assembled a strong team with Michael McNamara, a key member of the Clare backroom team, coming on board as trainer and selector. Lane’s other selection will be former Galway star John Connolly.

Dempsey for Wexford

In Wexford, former football manager Tony Dempsey is the new hurling boss. Dempsey, a school principal in Enniscorthy, has a long involvement with the GAA in the county and is a former County chairman. He takes over from Joachim Kelly, who didn’t have much success in his short spell in charge. Dempsey trained the Wexford junior hurling team to All-Ireland success in 1992 and was in charge of the county under 21 side, which won the Leinster title in 1979.

Donnellan hurt

Galway football star Michael Donnellan is likely to miss the start of the National Football League campaign on Oct. 29. Donnellan fractured a bone in his foot in the All-Ireland football final replay against Kerry and could be out until Christmas. Galway United had hoped to entice Donnellan back to play soccer and it’s also a disappointment for them.

Nice save for Kilkenny

Former Boston Bulldogs goalkeeper Matthew Nelson joined Eircom League club Kilkenny City last week, via Mountjoy jail.

When Nelson arrived in Dublin Airport last Thursday he was detained by immigration officials as his papers didn’t appear to be in order. For a while it look like the keeper would be deported, but with the help of a local T.D., Kilkenny officials convinced immigration to release the 20-year-old.

After that traumatic entry it was not surprising that Kilkenny didn’t rush Nelson and he didn’t make his expected debut for The Cats against Longford Town on Saturday night.

‘Limestone’ to leap

Limestone Lad, who won eight of his 12 races over hurdles last season, will make his debut over fences at Tipperary on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Sinndar, the first horse to win the Budweiser Irish Derby, English Derby and the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, is being retired to stud. The colt will stand at the Aga Khan’s Gilltown stud for the 20001 covering season and his fee will be £30,000. The son of Grand Lodge was only defeated once in eight races.

O Sé safe

Following Kerry’s All-Ireland football final victory, Paidi is certain to stay on as manager of the Kerry senior footballers for another year. And selector Eddie "Tatler" O’Sullivan says that O’Sé’s backroom team will also give it another year.

"We are all going to stay on, there is no problem there."

But the situation with John O’Mahony, manager of beaten finalists Galway, is not as certain. O’Mahony, who has led Galway, Mayo and Leitrim to success in Connacht and Galway to All-Ireland success, is at the end of his three year contract. Galway Football Board chairman John Power says they want O’Mahony to stay on.

Harte, staff quit

St. Francis, who play in the Eircom League first division, have lost manager Jimmy Harte and his entire backroom staff. They quit last week when the St. Francis management committee criticized the players.

And Finn Harps, struggling this season in the premier division, may have to sell some of their players to pay their bills. Harps are the latest in a long line of Eircom League clubs to get into financial difficulties.

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