Jason takes honours in close finish

IN pleasant spring conditions 242 golfers strode the fairways in search of a win in the April Medal at Lurgan last Saturday.

Stroke play is always a stern test of golf and these results are a verification of that premise. Only 17 golfers were under par on the day and this equates to seven per cent of the field. Indeed eighteen per cent of the field had a

no-return in the competition.

With an excellent net 64 Jason McCann captured the April Medal. This seven handicapper had a good mix of birdies, pars and bogeys on his way to success. Birdies came at holes four, twelve, thirteen and eighteen. They more or less countered bogeys at holes three, five, seven, eleven and sixteen. With pars on the remaining holes he duly shot an impressive gross 71. It was a close call and he was just one shot clear of the next challenger. A round of net 65 provided Andrew Campbell with second place. This 15 handicapper enjoyed success on both sides of the course. His scores ranged from a birdie on the tenth to a double bogey on the eighteenth. Par figures at holes one, six, eight and nine provided the solid early base. Meanwhile on the back nine pars at holes eleven, twelve and sixteen were his feature scores. Third net on the day went to the in-form Kevin McKavanagh. This eight handicapper took the honours with a net 67. He had a strange set of figures on the front side. Birdies on holes eight and nine went side by side with double bogeys on holes one and seven.

Interestingly pars came at holes two, three and six. On the inward nine he had a greater degree of consistency. It comprised eight pars to go alongside a bogey on the twelfth. A better back nine just edged him into third place.

Four handicapper Robert Emerson fired a gross 70 to nab the gross award. Robert dropped strokes on holes seven and sixteen but birdies on holes thirteen and seventeen

squared matters. Needless to say pars were pencilled in on the rest of the holes.

In the Low section seven handicapper Peter Devlin triumphed with a tidy effort of net 68. On a long-playing course his length of the tee was a huge factor. A quintet of pars at holes two, four, five, seven and nine were his noteworthy figures on the opening nine. On the homeward leg birdies at holes ten and fifteen were crucial. Ably backed by pars at holes eleven, twelve, sixteen and eighteen he duly took the spoils in the division. An effort of net 67 enabled Barry Creaney to top the Middle section.

This sixteen handicapper coped adequately on the outward nine with pars at holes two, six and eight. He took the initiative on the back nine with pars at holes ten and eleven. A birdie at the fourteenth was another favourable score. A pair of pars at holes sixteen and seventeen solidified this winning score.

In the High section Paul P Magee came up trumps with a winning total of net 68. This nineteen handicapper began with a par and a triple bogey. However he turned matters around the turn with pars at holes nine, eleven and twelve. He secured the win with further pars at holes fifteen and eighteen.

A few double bogeys on his card deprived him of a higher placing. The other quality scores came from the following golfers:

Net 67: Conor McEvoy; Net 68: Gavin Little, Caolan McCann, Martin McKinstry, Barry Mulholland, Philip Ward; Net 69: Patrick Currie, Nicky Paul, Ronan McCrory, Jonathan Swift.