Back nine brings reward

THE penultimate Saturday competition of September at Lurgan saw the gents batting for the September Medal.

While overhead conditions were dry the course was playing its full length. Still a wonderful 29 golfers achieved scores under their handicaps. About fourteen per cent of the field were under par for the day.

Two golfers fired an impressive five under par return of net 65. By virtue of a better last six score Jim Kennedy won this stroke play medal competition. The 15 handicapper had a satisfactory opening nine where a birdie at the first and pars at holes three, five and nine stood out. He kept up his challenge on the inward nine with vital pars at holes ten, twelve and fifteen. Back to back pars on the final two holes of play proved very influential. After his Wednesday success Gary McMahon just failed to duplicate this earlier success. Off his eleven handicap Gary was in sparkling form with a level par front nine. Birdies at holes four and seven squared up bogeys on holes three and six. Pars were his lot on the other five holes. The magic of the front nine was lacking on the back nine. Still pars at holes ten, twelve and fourteen kept him on track for this net 65. The third net winner was Iain Muholland with a net 66. A stronger back nine pushed this 12 handicapper just ahead in a close battle. A birdie at the first and pars at holes three, four and five provided him with a degree of hope. A birdie at the tenth got his back nine off to a flier. He built on this with a good run of pars at holes eleven, twelve, sixteen and seventeen.

Brian Scullion shot a gross 71 to land the gross award. This four handicapper shot vital birdies on holes one, seven, twelve and eighteen. On the other side of the coin he fell foul of bogeys on holes three, five, fifteen and a double bogey on the thirteenth. Pars on the remaining holes sufficed to edge him ahead of his pursuers.

In the Low section Jason McCann took the honours with a net 66. This was some compensation for missing out on the third prize. This nine handicapper was very competitive on the outward nine with seven pars and two bogeys on his card. Holes two and seven were the obstinate holes. He birdied the tenth and confirmed his intent with useful pars at holes twelve, sixteen, seventeen and eighteen.

In the Middle section a net 67 ensured success for Ian Hamilton. This sixteen handicapper had respectable pars at holes two and five and a birdie on the eighth. Just pars and bogeys constituted his homeward nine. Solid pars at holes twelve, thirteen, sixteen and seventeen guided him into this winning position. But for three double bogeys on his card he was looking at a higher placing.

Finally in the High section Paul O’Shea took the spoils with a net 67. Playing off a twenty three handicap opened his account with a birdie on the first. Four double bogeys did not do him any favours but he hung in with useful pars on holes four, nine, ten and eighteen. Considering he had a nine at the third he did well to feature in the prizes.

The other rewarding scores were achieved by the following golfers:

Net 68: Jim Gartland, Martin Corey, Eamon Lynch, Winston Hutchison, John Horan, Jim McKee, Niall Hoy, Mark McCormick, Jim McCann Snr, Gerard Wilson, Craig Turkington, Ben McKnight, Jim Hanratty Jnr.

Net 69: Rory Cullen, Conor Wilson, David Moore, Stephen Loughran, Paul Mulgrew, Gary Moore, Kieran Magee, Edwin Spence, Philip Shaw.