WEEK one of the resumed Winter League was completed without any hiccups last Saturday.
Pleasant, dry weather was a fitting climax for the conclusion of the opening week of this competition. There was a superb entry of around of about 180 and the scoring in all three handicap groupings was exceptional.
It was a fourteen holes competition and holes six, seven, thirteen and sixteen were out of commission.
The overall winner of week one was Michael Lavery. This fifteen handicapper had a marvellous 36 points for the fourteen regulation holes.
He played solid golf on both sides of the course. A birdie two at the second and pars at holes one, four, eight and nine got him off to a flying start. In spite of a no return at the tenth he was soon into his stride. He acquired useful pars at holes eleven, twelve and fifteen. A birdie two at the seventeenth rounded off his exciting day on the golf course. In the end he found himself a point clear off the pursuing field.
In the low section, catering for golfers with handicaps up to twelve, there was a plethora of good scoring.
On the day twenty golfers in this bracket produced under par returns. With a total of 35 points Neale McKinstry took the primary honours.
This ten handicapper had a good mix of birdies, pars and a few bogeys on his card. He dropped strokes on holes three, five, ten and fourteen. On the other side of the coin he compensated with birdies at holes one, two and seventeen. Pars on the rest of the holes eased him into top spot.
Young Christopher Creaney was runner-up with a very fine effort of 34 points.
Also playing of a ten handicap Christopher had eight pars on his winning card. He birdied the eleventh and ran up bogeys on holes three, nine and fifteen.
Eleven handicapper Michael Purdy was third with his haul of 33 points. Michael ominously began his day with a no return at the first. After that he produced useful birdies at holes four and nine. His other eleven holes comprised four bogeys and seven pars. Holes two, five, eleven and fourteen were the bogey holes. This bout of scoring ensured him the final net prize in the section.
Newcomer Michael Molloy took the gross award on the day. This two handicapper did the business with his 28 gross points.
He was through the fourteen holes in level par figures thanks to three birdies, three bogeys and eight pars. On the credit side birdies came his way at holes four, nine and fifteen. On the debit side he fell foul of bogeys at holes three, twelve and fourteen.
The first ‘also ran prize’ went to six handicapper Mal McConville with his card of 28 points.
Mal had ten pars on his card and three bogeys. A six at the fourteenth was the hurting hole. He was the first recipient of this new award.
The other worthy scoring in the section was achieved by the following:
32 pts: Billy Hughes, Canice McGivern.
31 pts: Garfield Harrison, Collie Nash, John McCaffrey, Joe Dowey, Dwaine Hanna.
30 pts: James Toland, Diarmuid Mitchell, Tony Gallery, Barrai McConville, Colin Thompson.
29 pts: Gerard Henderson, Denis McInerney, Lawrence McGrady, Brian Clarke.
The middle section caters for golfers in the thirteen to seventeen bracket. Whilst under par scores were not as prevalent in this sector nevertheless nine players managed returns in red figures.
A hefty return of 35 points provided Michael McMahon with the principal net prize.
This fourteen handicapper had glorious opening seven holes. It comprised six pars and a sole bogey at the third. Over the inward seven he managed four pars and three bogeys. Holes eleven, twelve and fifteen were the elusive bogey holes. This strong play gave him the leading return status.
Runner-up in the grouping was Paul Tallon with 34 points. This seventeen handicapper had noteworthy pars at holes five, eight and nine on the outward seven. He birdied the eleventh and backed it up with crucial pars at holes fourteen and seventeen. A string of net pars was the other necessary ingredient.
Third in the division went to Marty Rea. This fourteen handicap golfer managed a commendable 33 points on the day. Pars on the opening two holes and a birdie at the fourth were his tasty early scores. Further pars came his way at holes eight and nine. He rounded off his day with a trio of pars at holes ten, eleven and seventeen. He was the essence of consistency except for a six at the third.
The other hot scoring in the section came from the following:
32 pts: Gary McCollum.
31 pts: Willie Grogan.
29 pts: Gregory Hogan, Daniel Wright, Ian Montgomery.
In the high section eleven golfers registered under par returns. Topping the list was Barry Mulholland with another quality score of 34 points. Indeed such was the scoring that this twenty handicapper needed a better back nine to get the nod.
Over the round Barry was best served by a quintet of pars at holes two, five, ten, fourteen and eighteen. He also stepped up to the mark with net par figures on the rest of the holes.
In second place with an equally encouraging tally of 34 points was Francie McKenna. Playing off a similar twenty handicap Francie had noteworthy pars on holes one, four, ten and eleven. A string of net pars during the round helped him in accumulating this creditable scoring.
Finally the last net prize in the division went to veteran Derek Johnston with his five under par effort of 33 points. This nineteen handicapper has had a good run of success over the past few months. On the day a birdie at the ninth and pars at holes four, eleven and twelve were his trademark plays. He also obtained useful net par returns to bolster his tidy return.
Other golfers under par in the section were the following:
32 pts: Ivan Lavery.
31 pts: Conor McEvoy, Terry Murphy, Liam Sutton.
30 pts: Hugh McCloskey, Desmond Walsh.
29 pts: Terry Eagers, John McComb.