THE first Wednesday Sweep of December at Lurgan Golf Club had a healthy 50 competitors.
The competition was over fourteen holes and holes four, seven, thirteen and sixteen were omitted. A significant 14 golfers returned an under par score of 29 points or better.
The winner on the day was Paul McKernan with his seven under par tally of 35 points. This fourteen handicapper birdied the opening hole and after that he had only pars or bogeys on his card. Alongside that birdie he complemented it with pars at holes three, five and nine. On the homeward side of the course he had five pars and two bogeys on his winning card. Holes twelve and eighteen were the bogeys holes. With excellent play on both sevens he duly took the first prize.
Jim Kennedy was runner-up with another quality score of 33 points. Jim also played solidly on both halves of the course. A birdie on the twelfth and a double bogey at the fifth were his two extreme scores. A quartet of pars at holes two, three, eight and nine set him up nicely on the outward seven. On the inward seven a run of pars at holes ten, eleven, seventeen and eighteen brought him his due rewards.
An encouraging seven players managed a total of 30 points and they contended for the last net award in the competition. In the end it was Aidan Thornbury who emerged victorious. The veteran twelve handicapper had a poor opening seven where a double bogey on the second and a no-return on the eighth stood out. He was quick off the mark on the back seven with a birdie, par, birdie sequence. Thence followed a pair of bogeys. However back to back birdies on the closing two holes were his saving grace. This strong finish ensured him third spot.
Scratch golfer Gary Clarke took the gross with 28 points. A level par round did the trick. He birdied holes three and eighteen and they offset bogeys on holes ten and eleven. Pars figures on the rest of the holes guided him safely home.
To the delight of his fourball Matt Connolly had the shot of the day on the par three seventeenth. This hole-in-one obviously reduced the twos pot but Matt was well delighted with this bonus.
The other interesting scores came from the following:
30 pts: Derek Johnston, Tiago Souto, Brian Clarke, David O’Neill, John O’Neill, John Healy.
29 pts: Matt Connolly, Walter Simpson, Tom Lamb, Jim McCann Snr, Kevin Brennan.