Bruce triumphs on a better back nine

LURGAN golfers competed in the annual Royal British Legion charity tournament last Saturday.

There was a splendid entry for this event and whilst the weather was overcast it remained dry throughout the duration of the competition.

Slick greens and difficult pin positions provided testing playing conditions for the two hundred plus entry. Only thirteen golfers achieved under par returns in the competition.

There were two mighty fine efforts of net 65 and it required the back nine to ascertain the principal net prize winner.

It transpired that the five under par effort of Bruce Turkington won the day. Playing off a twelve handicap Bruce displayed a timely degree of consistency over both nines as he was under par for each of them.

His day began with a birdie on the opening hole but double bogeys on holes five and seven didn’t help his cause. More importantly he made pars on the other six holes. A sextet of pars on the back nine was a reminder of his deft play. Pars came his way on holes ten, eleven, twelve, thirteen, fifteen and eighteen. This strong play on the homeward nine directed him into the main net prize.

Sean Scullion’s equally fine effort of net 65 thus secured him second place on the day. This thirteen handicapper also performed admirably on both nines.

His round too started with a birdie at the opening hole. He was quickly into his stride with useful pars at holes three, four, five, six and eight. A trio of pars provided a brisk start to the inward nine. A birdie at the thirteenth and a par at the eighteenth were his other keynote scores.

There were three returns of net 66 and they all earned some reward for their efforts.

However the third net award went to Sean Wilson with his return of net 66. This fourteen handicapper managed net scores of 34 and 32 for the respective nines. Pars at holes two, seven and nine were his noteworthy early returns. A birdie at the twelfth and pars at holes ten, eleven, thirteen and fourteen formed the backbone of his back nine tally. A strong back nine was just what the doctor ordered.

The weekly gross prize went to Gary Clarke. This one handicapper posted a 71 to get the plaudits. A par got his round underway. However back to back bogeys followed. He birdied the fourth and registered pars on the rest of the outward nine holes. A birdie at the tenth took care of a bogey on the eleventh. After that it was then par figures all the way home.

Young Gareth Hanna captured the low section award with his total of net 66. This seven handicapper recorded birdies on holes four and nine but a double bogey on the eighth negated these gains. Pars were secured on the other six holes. Another birdie came his way at the fifteenth. Pars at holes eleven, twelve, thirteen and seventeen sufficed to land him the divisional award.

The middle section went to Robbie McVeigh with the last of the net 66 returns. This eighteen handicapper had a wonderful front nine but faltered slightly on the inward nine. Over the round pars at holes one, four, five, seven, eight, nine ten and eighteen were the highlights of his winning effort. Alas three double bogeys and four bogeys prevented him attaining a higher placing.

Finally Colin Darling was the recipient of the high section award. Playing off a twenty-three handicap Colin took the honours with a spirited net 70. Whilst he made vital pars at holes four and eight it was his string of net pars that made inroads on his winning return.