Early pars steer Gareth in right direction

James Hanratty.
James Hanratty.

IN the early part of last week the weather was extremely wet but at the weekend it relented and allowed week six of Lurgan’s winter league to be completed.

The overall weekly winner in the competition was Gareth Smyth. This seventeen handicapper registered a very impressive total of 36 points. A trio of pars at holes two, three and eight put him in a challenging position through seven holes. A double bogey at the sixth was his only feeble return. He played the back seven in impressive fashion. He birdied the tenth and eighteenth holes. In between he dropped shots at holes fifteen and seventeen. Pars on the other three holes enabled him to complete the back half of the course in a striking level par performance.

Peter Devlin

Peter Devlin

In the Low section 15 golfers managed under par returns. Leading the way was Paul McCabrey with his tally of 32 points. This three handicapper had a mixture of scores over the opening seven from birdies on holes six and nine to bogeys on holes one and eight. Pars were sandwiched in between. His homeward seven comprised three birdies and four pars. Holes fourteen, fifteen and eighteen yielded the birdies.

Another three handicapper Gary McNally had a similar haul of 32 points to lift second spot. Gary fell foul of bogeys on holes six and eleven. He redeemed matters with vital birdies on holes one, ten, fourteen and eighteen. Pars were recorded on the rest of the holes. Six handicapper Peter Devlin took third place with another effort of 32 points.

The backbone of his effort was his eleven pars. He dropped strokes on holes two and fifteen and completed his round with a routine birdie on the closing hole.

The weekly gross award was claimed by Francie Tallon. The two handicapper took the honours with 29 gross points. He fell foul of bogeys on holes twelve and fourteen but countered with birdies on holes three, ten and eighteen. Needless to say pars were claimed on the remaining holes.

Tom Creaney.

Tom Creaney.

The following players also produced under par returns:

33 pts: John Hartnett; 32: Olcan Kearney; 31: Lawrence McGrady, Jason McCann, Canice McGivern, Andrew Gates; 30: William McMillan, Greg Crawford; 29: John O’Neill, Shane Magee, Conal Patterson.

In an extremely competitive Middle section a staggering 45 golfers had under par returns. An effort of 35 points secured Tony Gallery the principal net prize. The eleven handicapper was very sharp on both sides of the course. A run of pars at holes two, five, eight and nine set the tone on the outward seven. Back to back pars on holes eleven and ten continued this vein of good play. An eagle three at the eighteenth was the defining highlight of his winning effort.

Tom Creaney was runner-up with his tidy tally of 34 points. The thirteen handicapper was similarly impressive on each side of the course. His round started with a trio of pars and a further par on the sixth helped matters along. Pars at holes eleven and twelve kept the juices flowing. He concluded his day with a birdie, par, birdie sequence to claim his reward.

Terry Eagers was third with his reduced daily score of 35 points. He had a disappointing front start with a bogey and three double bogeys on his card. However he played stunning golf after that hiatus. This sixteen handicapper covered the last nine holes in eight pars and a birdie two at the eighth.

The other interesting scores were attained by the following: 34: Dwaine Hanna. 33: Neale McKinstry, Michael McMahon, Lawrence Mitchell, Stephen Allen, James Doran. 32: Brendan Courtney, Ian Harrison, Seamus Cushley. 31: Paul Rippon, John Healy, Louis Moore, Eamon McCarron, Paul McConaghy, Gerard Henderson, Billy Bateman, Martin McNeice, Iain Mulholland. 30: Keith Davenport, Robert McVeigh, Brian Clarke, Tommy Maher, David Heron, James Toland, Aidan Thornbury, Willy Russell, Bryan Turkington, Paddy Meehan. 29: Arty McGlone, Tony McCallion, Winston Hutchison, Rodger McIlwaine, Kenny Hanna, Gary McCollum, David Johnston, Barrai McConville, Seamus Baxter, Gavin bSmyth, Sean Scullion.

Finally in the High section some 31 golfers managed scores of twenty nine points or better. James Hanratty Jnr took the spoils with a competitive 35 points. After a weak opening he closed off the front seven with a quartet of pars. The surge of form continued with pars on the first three holes of the back seven. He made a vital par on the last to secure the main prize.

Young Conor McConville took second place with a fighting effort of 34 points. Off his 20 handicap he played soundly over the fourteen holes. A sextet of pars at holes five, eight, ten, twelve, fifteen and eighteen formed the backbone of his steady play. The last net prize went to Walter Simpson. This twenty four handicapper took a spot on the rostrum with 34 points. In spite of three double bogeys on his card he was very competitive on the rest of the holes. Pars at holes one, nine, ten, twelve and seventeen were his critical scores. The following golfers were also in good form with these scores: 35 pts: Hugh O’Reilly, David O’Neill, Graham McNeill. 34: Sean McEvoy. 33: Andy Cunningham, Jim McCann Snr, Neal Carson, Stephen Cordner. 32: Stephen Lennon, Jim McCallion, Eric Allen, Chris Godfrey. 31: Barry Creaney, Francie McKenna, Paul Magee, Maurice Turnbull, Ron Bruce, James Farrell. 30: Gerard Marner, Derek Johnston, Colin Darling, Hugh McCloskey, Peter Murray, Jim Gartland, Michael Fleville, Peter Kelly. 29: Terence King, Martin McCooe.