THE concluding week of the second half of the current Winter League ended on Saturday.
Things operated smoothly as the day was dry and pleasantly mild. The competition was run over the regulation fourteen holes. With a lot of issues to be resolved in the golfing front it was not surprising that good scoring was the order of the day. There was a range of good scores in all three handicap sections. Around forty nine per cent of the entry managed returns under the par.
With a return of 37 points Derek Johnston claimed the overall weekly prize. This nineteen handicapper was well in the thick of things after seven holes with a quintet of pars at holes one, two, four, eight and nine. He birdied the eleventh and this started the ball rolling on the back seven. Further pars came his way on holes fifteen, seventeen and eighteen. A non-return at the sixteenth was his only flaw in a quite outstanding round. Not surprisingly this nine under par effort secured the top weekly prize.
In the low handicap category a magnificent thirty eight competitors registered under par returns.
With 36 point John McCaffrey topped the category. Playing off an eleven handicap John was well in contention through seven holes with five pars and two bogeys on his card. He carded bogeys on the opening two holes.
On the inward run he incurred his only other bogey at the eleventh. The other six holes contained two birdies and four pars. Holes fifteen and eighteen yielded the birdies. John’s strength off the tee certainly paid dividends during the week.
A tally of 33 points gave Richard Budd second place. This nine handicapper had a range of scores from birdies to a double bogey on the fifth. Vital birdies were pencilled in at holes four, nine, ten, fifteen and eighteen. A trio of pars at holes eight, eleven and sixteen provided the necessary back up to this winning effort.
Another total of 33 points gave John Harnett the third net prize. This eleven handicapper recorded birdies on holes two, nine, ten, seventeen and a brace of pars at holes three and eighteen. On the remaining holes he attained bogeys. This was a successful mix and secured him a place on the podium. The other quality scores were achieved by the following:
32 pts: Diarmuid Mitchell, Sean Toman.
31 pts: Gary McMahon, Mal McConville, Colin Thompson, Billy Bateman, Bryan Turkington.
30 pts: Raymond McCrory, Kevin McKavanagh, Gerard Henderson, Jim McKee, Paul Dickson, Joe Dowey, Tony Henderson, Shane Magee, James Toland, Garfield Harrison, Kevin Leathem.
29 pts: Brian Clarke, Dan McCool, Denis McInerney, Paul McCabrey, Michael McSherry, Michael Purdy, Damian Murphy, Martin McAvoy, Paul Best, Lawrence McGrady, Chris Creaney, Gary McNally.
The weekly gross award went to one handicapper Gary Clarke. He took the honours with 30 gross points. Gary landed birdies on holes three, four, ten and fifteen. Bogeys on holes eight and sixteen reduced those gains. However pars on the other eight holes assured him the weekly gross award.
In the middle handicap section an useful twenty three golfers produced under par returns.
With an exciting total of 36 points John McEvoy scooped the main net prize. This fourteen handicapper had a steady opening seven that included a birdie at the fourth and pars at holes five and eight. A run of birdie, par, birdie got the back sector off to a flier. Further pars came his way on holes fifteen and seventeen. Net pars at holes sixteen and eighteen pushed his points score along.
An eight under par effort certainly deserved the top award. Raymond McCann was runner-up with a very fine tally of 35 points. This seventeen handicapper managed just pars or bogeys on his card. A quintet of pars at holes one, two, four, eight and nine provided the early promise. He rounded of his winning day with pars at holes twelve, fifteen and seventeen.
Terence King wrapped up the third prize with his total of 33 points. This seventeen handicapper had a mixed bag of scores from a pair of birdies to three double bogeys. He posted birdies on holes four and ten but double bogeys on holes nine, eleven and seventeen took their toll. Par figures at holes five, eight, twelve, fifteen and eighteen were his other pivotal returns.
Other players well in contention were as follows:
32 pts: Henry McAreavey, Ian Montgomery, Jim Kennedy.
31 pts: Andrew Carville, Sean McCool, Ian Hamilton, Walter Stephen, Kieran Patterson, Michael Bingham.
30 pts: Gary McCollum, Marty Rea, Gavin Smyth, Jim Hanratty Jnr, Paul Lavery.
29 pts: Dan Moore, Andrew Best, Michael McMahon, Ian Harrison, Chris Donald, Nevan Lavery.
In the high handicap grouping twenty golfers registered under par returns.
In a tight finish Philip Ward topped the division with his five under par effort of 33 points. Off an eighteen handicap Philip had a modest opening seven where pars at holes three and eight kept him in the hunt. A well fashioned back seven enabled him to capture the main award. A birdie at the fifteenth and pars at holes ten, twelve, seventeen and eighteen guided him to sectional honours,
Francie McKenna was second with a similar haul of 33 points. On the day this twenty handicapper was best served by par figures on holes eight, ten, eleven and twelve. A string of net pars provided the necessary support. A double bogey at the second possibly deprived him of the top honours.
The third and final net prize was taken by Michael McHugh. Off his twenty five handicap Michael took the spoils with a well worked score of 32 points. Over the round pars at holes one, four, eight, nine and seventeen proved his focal scores. On the debit side he had five double bogeys and they certainly cost him dearly in terms of a higher placing in the division.
The other quality scores were achieved by the following golfers:
31 pts: Jim McCann Snr, Hugh McCloskey, Patrick McCorry, Brian Bradford.
30 pts: Dee O’Neill, Nigel Girvan, Barry Mulholland, Michael Fleville, Oliver Morton, Colin Darling, Eugene Greene.
29 pts: John McComb, James Flood, Paul Molloy, Tom Lamb, Terry Eagers, Martin Cavanagh.