Francie leads way in Seniors Open

THE opening competition of the week at Lurgan Golf Club was the end of month Seniors Open stableford.

While the ground was soft, the senior golfing brigade at least enjoyed dry weather overhead. Between ladies and gents there were close to 60 entries.

In the gents competition scoring was keen and some 16 golfers posted returns of 37 points or better during the day. Local player Francie McKenna took outright control with a well fashioned tally of 44 points. Playing off a 21 handicap Francie had nothing worse than a net par on his winning card. More importantly he registered crucial pars at holes three, four, eight, twelve and seventeen. In spite of five double bogeys and no-returns on holes nine and sixteen he still topped the leader board.

Norman Sands was the runner-up with a very healthy effort of 43 points. Off his eighteen handicap Norman had a satisfactory opening nine with a trio of pars at holes two, seven and nine. On the back nine he had outstanding par figures at holes eleven, twelve and thirteen. He rounded off his successful day with pars on the closing two holes of play. His only blip was a double bogey at the fifth. On many another outing this score would have won the competition.

The third and final net prize went to visiting Portadown golfer Stanley Jelly. This 14 handicapper took the honours with 41 points. A birdie on the fourth and pars at holes one, seven and nine provided a solid base on the outward nine. A quintet of pars at holes eleven, twelve, fifteen, seventeen and eighteen on the closing nine helped Stanley to this winning position.

On the day Laurence McGrady took the gross category with 35 gross points.

The five handicapper began with a trio of pars and followed it with a brace of birdies. A par on the seventh and a birdie on the ninth complemented his early play. On the inward nine a run of pars from the eleventh to fourteenth provided the backbone on this part of the course. On the final two holes he managed a par and a birdie. This ensured him the gross award.

The other successful scoring was achieved by the following:

40 pts: Sean Mulvenna, Michael McHugh, Derek Johnston.

39 pts: D. Browne, Patrick Burns, John O’Neill, Gopal Santokhi.

38 pts: Mark O’Neill, Hugh O’Reilly, Bryan Turkington.

37 pts: David Dunlop, Brian Curran.

In the ladies event Dee Farrell took the honours with a level par effort of 36 points. Just finishing a point behind was Olwyn Forrester.