Golfers welcome long dry spell

THE long running dry spell has certainly helped Lurgan golf course.

The week began with the end of month Seniors’ stableford competition between ladies and gents there were around 42 entries.

Veteran golfer and a former past Captain Sean McClean triumphed in this February Seniors’ Open with a five under par effort of 33 points for the regulation fourteen holes. This seventeen handicapper was quickly off the blocks with a pair of pars. He had a purple patch in the middle of the round where he reeled off five consecutive pars starting on the eighth. A par at the last was the final piece of the jigsaw. Like a school report it could have been better as he had three double bogeys to boot as well.

Course ranger Francie McKenna travels around the course on a regular basis and he duly took advantage to shoot another total of 33 points. This put him in second place.

He racked up vital pars at holes two, eight, nine, twelve and seventeen. However no-returns on holes fourteen and eighteen proved rather costly and he had to settle for the lesser award.

Roy Bratchie scored 32 points earning him the last net prize on offer. The twenty one handicapper was best served by critical pars at holes five, six, nine and eleven. His strong back nine just held off the surge of wily campaigner Aidan Thornbury with a similar haul of points.

The other under par scores were attained by the following: 31 pts: John Forrester. 29: Tom Lamb, Brian Bassett, Brian Curran and Hugh O’Reilly.

There was a pleasant turn out of lady members. A score of 34 points brought the major award to Kathy Matchett. This 22 handicapper was well in form with birdies on holes eight and eleven and pars at holes ten, twelve and seventeen. With a tally of 30 points Dee Farrell was second. This eighteen handicapper succeeded with useful par figures on holes five, eleven, twelve and seventeen. Sadly no visitors entered the competition.

This Wednesday Sweep was also blessed with dry but crisp playing conditions. A very interesting seventy eight golfers participated in the fourteen holes competition. An exact fifty per cent of the playing field submitted under par returns.

Making the headlines once again was Derek Johnston. This 20 handicapper came up trumps with a 37 points score. The margin was reduced by one but this genial competitor still prevailed with a score of 36 points. Derek had nothing worse than a net par on his card. He was through the opening seven with pars at holes two and eight. He went into overdrive on the back seven with a quintet of pars at holes ten, twelve, fourteen, fifteen and seventeen. This array of points gained him the main prize.

Runner up was Harry Hoy with his seven under par total of 35 points. This 14 handicapper was steady through the front seven with pars on holes three, five and nine. He surged ahead on the inward seven with birdies on holes twelve and eighteen. In between pars at holes ten, fifteen and seventeen were his other bonus figures.

Andy Wilson was third with another quality effort of 34 points. This eight handicap player was quickly off the mark with three pars and a birdie on the opening four holes. An inspirational back seven of six pars and a birdie on the eighteenth earned him his timely reward. James Doran nipped into fourth place with 33 points. With useful pars at holes one, six and eight, this ten handicapper was in a challenging position after seven holes. A trio of pars kicked off the back seven. He closed his round with a par and a birdie.

Francie Tallon claimed the gross award with a level par round of 28 points. This two handicapper dropped shots on holes six and eleven but made amends with birdies on holes nine and twelve. Pars were his lot on the rest of the holes.

The other rewarding scores were achieved by the following: 33 pts: Billy Bateman, Seamus McKavanagh, Dwaine Hanna; 32: Kieran Kearney, Gregory Hogan, Terry McCrory, Stephen McCabrey, Bryan Turkington; 31: Ian Hamilton, Wilf Elliott, Noel Stewart, Brian Clarke, Jim McCann Snr, Aidan Thornbury, Marty Rea, David O’Neill, Denis McInerney; 30: Terry Eagers, Sean McClean, Ed Richardson, Brian Curran, Lawrence Mitchell, Hugh McCloskey, Jim Stevenson, Trevor Field, John Forrester; 29: Ian Harrison, Joe Dowey, John Horan, Walter Simpson, George Kidd, Michael Purdy, Michael O’Neill, Hugh O’Reilly.