THE penultimate summer competition of the year took place last Saturday at Lurgan Golf Club.
The gents were participating in the October Medal competition. It was the usual strokeplay format and that was a little more difficult for the handicap player. The weather was dry with the odd glimpse of sunshine peeping through from time to time. A good 209 players entered the competition and alarmingly 51 had a no-score return. On the other hand some 27 golfers had under par returns. This represented about 13 per cent of the field.
In spite of the long playing course there were some exceptional scores on the day. The winner of this monthly medal was Brian Robinson. This eleven handicapper recorded a wonderful net 63 to snatch victory. A birdie at the fifth and pars at holes one, three, four and nine were his most promising returns over the opening nine. On the homeward nine he birdied holes thirteen and seventeen. However a bogey on the fourteenth and a double bogey on the sixteenth upstaged these birdies. Nevertheless he managed par figures on the other five holes and this sufficed to earn his the principal net prize.
Another quality net 63 provided Conor McConville with the runners-up award. Playing off a seventeen handicap Conor featured well on the front nine with pars at holes one, three, four, seven and eight. On the back nine he kept pace with vital pars at holes ten, twelve, thirteen and seventeen. A double bogey at the fifteenth was his only off key hole. Despite his good return he had to settle for second spot.
A tally of net 64 provided Malachy McConville with the last major net prize. This six handicapper shot a gross seventy to secure this award. On the day he landed a quintet of birdies at holes one, four, six, fifteen and eighteen. They countered bogeys at holes twelve, thirteen, sixteen and a double bogey at the seventh. With pars on the rest of the holes he duly accomplished this feat.
Scratch golfer Gary Clarke was again the recipient of the gross prize. Gary took the spoils with a well-fashioned two under par gross 68. His opening nine comprised seven pars to accompany birdies on holes two and four. He was level par on the back nine thanks to seven more pars, a birdie on the eleventh and a bogey on the thirteenth. This gave him a cushion of two shots over the field.
In the low section Bruce Turkington came to the fore with a four under par net 66. This ten handicapper had a solid six pars under his belt through nine holes. He had the bogeys at holes three, five and six. His inward nine began with a trio of pars. A run of four bogeys and a birdie at the fifteenth followed on the next five holes. A par at the final hole brought him the eventual win.
Big-hitting David Herron captured the middle section with a similar good score of net 66. Playing off a fourteen handicap David had a good run of pars at holes two, three, five, eight and nine. On the other side of the course pars at holes eleven, thirteen, seventeen and eighteen ticked the appropriate boxes. On reflection double bogeys at holes one, seven and fifteen prevented him achieving an even higher placing.
Finally in the high section Gareth McConville emerged as victor with hard fought total of net 69. This nineteen handicapper had five double bogeys spread over his card on the day. However par figures at holes five, nine, ten, eleven and eighteen were his keynote scores on his way to success.
The other influential scoring in the event came from the following:
Net 66: Paul Rippon, Colin Robb.
Net 67: Robert McVeigh, Alan Woods, Stephen Loughran, Paul Lyness, Kevin Leathem.
Net 68: Kevin McKavanagh, Denis McInerney, William McMillan, Alex Denver.
Net 69: Olcan Kearney, Jim McKee, Martin McCooe, Laurence McGrady, Winston Hutchison, Colin Thompson, Laurence Mitchell, Conor McDonald, John McCaffrey.