Despite winter bombarding us with its worst features for most of the week, over 100 golfers took to the fairways at Lurgan on Saturday in the Winter League.
With just two weeks to go competitors were eager to make a late charge for prizes and places in the Big Day Shootout.
Tiago Souko has been threatening to shoot a winning score for some time now and he eventually came good with 34pts, off 16, to take the week’s top prize. He dropped no shots to his handicap and picked up nett birdies at the two hardest holes, the 6th and 11th, for a welcome and convincing victory.
The low section went to Conall Coleman with 32pts off 4. Having reached the 9th tee just 1 over par he threw away his advantageous position by running up his only double bogey of the day leaving him feeling rather despondent at the turn.
That despondency was soon dispelled when he began his return journey with a pair of birdies and a pair of closing birdies completed his redemption.
Dwaine Hanna came second with 31pts off 6 picking up a single birdie, at the 12th, but making no major slip ups on his round.
Ciaran Seeley came third also with 31pts, off 3, but missing out on the back 9, the damage being done by a double bogey at the 14th. Aidan Thornbury also had 31pts but will regret dropping two shots over the last three holes.
Two players returned 32pts each to contest top prize in the middle section with Paul McKernan, off 12, winning out over Terence Eagers. A steady opening stretch yielded 17pts and but for a double bogey at the 14th he would have been knocking on the door for the day’s overall prize. Terence opened each half of his round with birdies and will be regretting his double bogeys at the short 12th and long 15th.
Conor McEvoy took third place in the section with 31pts off 11. His was the best 31pts of a quartet on a similar score and he can thank his birdie at the 14th, the only such score at that hole on the day, for his prize. Ian Cousins, Conor McConville and Gavin Smith were the unlucky players to miss out.
The difficult conditions ensured that better players would come to the fore and it was little surprise therefore that Sean McClean took the high section with 31pts. No fewer than 6 nett birdies over the last seven holes made up for a couple of slips elsewhere.
After a lengthy spell away from the fairways Wilf Elliott showed that he had lost none of his skill by coming second in the section with 30pts.
Although he will be pleased with his score, he must still be reflecting upon what might have been had he not failed to score at both the 14th and 15th holes.
Jim McCann Snr took his first prize when his 29pts, off 14, put him into 3rd place. A double bogey in each half of his round, the 6th and 14th, denied him greater reward.
No prizes for guessing who won the gross as Gary Clarke once more romped home with the prize thanks to birdies at the 10th and 12th and pars everywhere else.