LAST Saturday saw the final event of the winter league campaign at Lurgan and it was the traditional ‘Big Day Out’ finale.
The overall winner was John Menary with his reduced total of 34 points. This 23 handicapper actually bagged 37 points for the stipulated fourteen holes. Surprisingly he had a triple bogey, a double bogey and a no-return all on his winning card. Par figures at holes three, five and eight provided a solid opening platform. On the back seven a trio of pars on holes eleven, twelve and fourteen continued this fine pattern of good play. Back to back birdies on the closing two holes were the defining moments of his great round.
On a trying day only seven golfers returned an under par score in the Low section. The leading score was achieved by Francie Tallon. This two handicapper prevailed with 29 points. He dropped strokes on holes two, three and six. However birdies on holes five, ten, seventeen and eighteen took care of these bogeys. Pars on the rest of the holes ensured him the main net prize.
A similar score of 29 points secured William McMillan second place. This eight handicapper had a golden patch starting on the eighth. He knocked in a birdie and followed it with four pars. He rounded off his day with a par and a birdie on the closing two holes of play. Another solid effort of 29 points gave Joe Dowey the last net prize. This five handicapper was well to the fore with birdies on holes three, nine ten, and eighteen. He consolidated these scores with tidy pars at holes one, five, eleven, fourteen and seventeen.
Gary Clarke nipped in to land the gross award. This scratch golfer took the spoils with 29 gross points. His well crafted round comprised birdies on holes five, eighteen, a bogey on the fifteenth and pars the rest of the way round.
The other useful scoring was achieved by the following: 30 pts: Kevin McKavanagh, John Horan; 29: John Hartnett.
The most competitive division was the Middle one where 21 golfers attained under par scores. A total of 34 points was recorded by Tony McCallion and he duly captured the first net prize. This fourteen handicapper had a good mix of pars and net pars nestling alongside a birdie on the eighteenth. A run of pars at holes two, three and eight provided an early focus. Meanwhile on the homeward seven he created useful pars at holes ten, eleven, fifteen and seventeen. Billy Bateman was runner-up with his effort of 32 points. This eleven handicapper played consistently over both sides of the course. Par figures at holes one, three, five and nine were his noteworthy returns. His inward seven comprised five pars, a bogey on the twelfth and a birdie at the last. A similar haul of 32 points helped Gerard Henderson to the last net prize. Playing off his eleven handicap Gerard birdied the first and eighteenth holes. In between a quintet of pars at holes five, nine, eleven, fourteen and seventeen enabled him to post this four under par return.
The other quality scoring was achieved by the following:
33 pts: Lawrence Mitchell; 32: John Richardson; 31: Dwaine Hanna, Aidan Thornbury, Barrai McConville, Ian Harrison; 30: John Healy, Kevin Creery, Brendan Courtney, Andrew Carville, Paddy Meehan, Brian Clarke, Seamus Baxter, Diarmuid Mitchell, Colm Nash; 29: Terry Eagers, Anthony Gallery, Coner McConville.
Some twelve golfers registered under par totals in the High section. The principal prize was taken by Gareth Murphy with a score of 31 points. The 21 handicapper overcame a few wayward holes on the front side. A selection of pars at holes ten, eleven, seventeen and eighteen proved very significant on the inward seven. A stream of net pars also helped to boost his points tally.
Rory Brady was second in line with a similar haul of 31 points. The 18 handicapper also made big strides on the homeward seven. Pars at holes eleven, twelve, fifteen, seventeen and eighteen were his critical scores. He just lost out on first spot with an inferior back six total.
The final net prize went to John McCallion. The 22 handicapper reaped the rewards with his reduced tally of 31 points. He was through the opening seven with a steady seven net pars. He found a niche of form on the back side with a quartet of pars at holes ten, twelve, fifteen and eighteen.
The other challenging scores were produced by the following:
34 pts: John McCallion, Walter Simpson; 32: Neal Carson, Francie McKenna, Ronan McCrory, Barry Creaney; 30: Des Walsh; 29: Chris Godfrey, Jim Gartland.