WEEK Three of the current Winter League was successfully completed at Lurgan.
Once again conditions were generally favourable for most of the players. It was frosty early in the day and then it turned out to be quite pleasant later. Again players in late afternoon had to deal with the odd spit of rain.
Golfers carded some interesting scores over the regulation fourteen holes. This was evident in all three handicap sections. There were around 160 entries and some 44 golfers had returns under par. This represents approximately 28 per cent of the field.
With a monstrous score of 40 points Paul O’Shea was the overall winner by a country mile.
This twenty two handicapper has a great enthusiasm for the game and this marks one of his best ever competitive scores.
He opened his round with a brace of pars. A six followed at the third but he quickly made amends with a birdie at the fourth. He closed the front sector with further pars on holes five and eight.
On the inward half of the course he kept the momentum going. Noteworthy par figures were recorded at holes ten, twelve, fifteen and eighteen. With nothing worse than a net par on his card he found himself with this sizeable haul of points.
Scoring was pretty impressive in the low section with eighteen golfers posting returns better than the par. As it transpired it was Morris Lyness who came up trumps with a total of 34 points.
On the opening seven this eleven handicapper made pars at holes one and nine and in between had a birdie on the fourth. This spate of scoring did not rule him out of contention. He played exquisitely on the homeward seven thanks to birdies on holes ten, twelve and fifteen. Par figures at holes fourteen and eighteen further enhanced his chances and also consolidated his status in the section.
With a very satisfying tally of 33 points Gerard Magee was runner-up on the day.
Also off an eleven handicap Gerard had a similar good scoring pattern. He birdied the eighth and backed it up with pars on holes one, two and nine. Another birdie came his way on the fifteenth. A quartet of pars at holes ten, twelve, seventeen and eighteen was his final piece of the winning jigsaw. His better back nine tally just nudged him ahead.
In third place was Joe Dowey with the same haul of 33 points. This five handicapper made few errors on his way around the course. He incurred bogeys on holes three and eight. However birdies on holes one, four and ten more than compensated for these lapses. Pars on the rest of the holes ensured him the third net award.
Congratulations go to Sean Toman as he was drawn out for the weekly ‘also ran’ prize. Incidentally there were thirteen twos recorded on the day.
The other worthy returns in the section were achieved by the following:
32 pts: Billy Hughes.
31 pts: Martin McAvoy, Sean Toman, Dwaine Hanna.
30 pts: William McMillan, Gary McMahon, Michael Molloy, John Hartnett, Denis McInerney, Diarmuid Mitchell
29 pts: Caolan McCann, Willy Russell, Seamus Cushley, Shane Magee.
Gary Clarke was the recipient of the weekly gross prize. This one handicapper took the honours with 29 gross points. Over the round he birdied holes four, ten, fifteen and eighteen. However a trio of bogeys at holes two, eleven and seventeen minimised these gains. Pars were his lot on the other seven holes. This strong play on the back nine stood him in good stead.
There was some nifty scoring in the middle section as some thirteen golfers produced returns better than par.
With a very respectable effort of 35 points Andrew Best creamed the main net prize. This fifteen handicapper had an abundance of pars to keep his nose ahead. He ran up a double bogey at the par three eighth and incurred bogeys on holes three, eleven and fourteen. On the rest of the holes he shot impressive pars to accumulate this good tally of points.
John Richardson won the Wednesday Sweep with a score of 33 points and this tally brought him further joy as it placed him second in this middle section.
The reliable Ian Harrison was third with a similar score of 33 points. This thirteen handicapper had an inauspicious start with a six at the first. He responded quickly with a quintet of pars at holes two, three, four, eight and nine. Bogeys at holes ten and eleven looked ominous but again he covered the rest of the course in par figures to feature as a winner.
The other creditable performances belonged to the following:
31 pts: Paul Magee.
30 pts: Ian Hamilton, Matt Cummins, Paul Rippon, John McCambridge.
29 pts: Trevor Turnbull, Dan Moore, Bobby Creaney, Bill Leslie, Louis Moore.
In the high section veteran Brian Bassett triumphed with a well-fashioned score of 34 points.
Off his eighteen handicap Brian had a steady front side with a par at the fourth being his most prominent score. He played exceedingly well on the back seven with five pars and a birdie on his card. He birdied the fifteenth and the eleventh was the only hole where he missed out on a par. This exciting play helped him to the top prize.
A return of 33 points secured Tom Lamb second spot. Playing off a twenty-four handicap Tom was best served by pars at holes two, four, eight and twelve. A string of net pars merited mention as well.
The third and final net prize went to Kieran McCorry. This twenty-one handicapper staked his claim with his four under par effort of 32 points. A run of pars at holes two, four, ten, twelve and eighteen formed the backbone of his winning return.
The other golfers under par in this category were:
32 pts: Sean McEvoy, Graham McNeill.
31 pts: Richard Dawson, Brian Bradford, Andrew McKinless.
30 pts: Nigel Girvan, Desmond Walsh.
29 pts: Ivan Lavery.