WEEK two of the new Winter League was completed last Saturday on schedule.
On the previous day the course was closed but it was playable for the last day of the weekly competition.
On Saturday competitors endured some periodic showers and as a consequence the scoring did not match the standard of the opening week.
Around one hundred and seventy participated over the week and approximately sixteen percent of the field managed an under par return.
With a score of 33 points William McMillan was the overall winner of week two of the competition.
This eleven handicapper had a satisfactory opening seven where a birdie at the second and pars at holes one, four and nine were his most proficient returns. On the inward seven he came to grips with the conditions and recorded six pars and a bogey on this sector of the course. The fourteenth was the bogey hole. This inspired scoring on the inward sector of the course guided him to the main award.
In the low section scoring was pretty impressive with thirteen individuals obtaining a score under par for the fourteen holes.
Another eleven handicapper, Michael Purdy, took the principal net prize in the division. He secured the prize with a total of 31 points.
A strong front seven put him in with a fighting chance. It comprised six pars to accompany a five at the third. He played solidly through the back seven ably supported by vital pars at holes ten, eleven, twelve and seventeen. A nil return at the fifteenth was his only wayward hole. With this degree of consistency he topped the grouping.
Brian Clarke was runner-up with his tally of 30 points. This ten handicap golfer recorded four pars on each side of the course.
On the opening seven pars came his way at holes one, three, four and nine. On homeward run he did his cause no harm with further pars at holes eleven, twelve, fifteen and eighteen. With nothing worse than a bogey on the rest of the holes he duly slotted into second spot.
Malachy McConville was third with a similar haul of 30 points.
This six handicapper was well to the fore with birdies on holes one, ten and twelve. However bogeys on holes three, eleven, fifteen and eighteen diminished these gains. A five at the eight was his only major disruption. Par figures on the rest of the holes brought him this podium finish.
The innovative ‘Consolation Prize of the week’ went to Rodger McIlwaine and seventeen golfers signed up for a ‘two’.
Newcomer Michael Molloy captured the weekly gross prize. This two handicapper triumphed with 27 gross points.
He was through the opening seven with six pars and a bogey at the fourth. He incurred further bogeys on holes ten and twelve. He redressed the balance with back to back birdies on holes fourteen and fifteen. Pars on the remaining holes secured him the category prize.
The other leading returns in the grouping were achieved by the following:
29 pts: Neale McKinstry, Garfield Harrison, Seamus Cushley, Rodger McIlwaine, Raymond McCrory, Kevin McKavanagh, Gerard Henderson.
In the middle section some eleven golfers posted under par returns on the day.
Robert McVeigh emerged victorious with a quality return of 32 points.
This fifteen handicap golfer started ominously with a nil return at the first. Just as quickly pars at holes three, four, five and eight rectified matters. On the back seven a trio of pars at holes twelve, fifteen and eighteen were his most conspicuous returns. A string of net pars ensured him the premium section prize.
With a tally of 31 points Raymond McCann claimed the second net award. This seventeen handicapper began his day with an opening birdie and followed it with pars at holes three and nine. Over the incoming seven par figures at holes ten, twelve and fifteen consolidated his position. With net pars on six other holes he accumulated the necessary points to secure the runners-up slot.
Third net in the section went to Bobby Creaney with his respectable total of 31 points. Back to back pars at holes three and four were his early highlights.
He finished strongly with five pars on the inward seven. It began with a bogey on the tenth but a double bogey on the seventeenth cost him second place.
Other players with noteworthy scores in the section were as follows:
31 pts: David Johnston, Ian Harrison.
30 pts: Paul McKernan, Michael McMahon.
29 pts: Marty Rea, Paul Rippon, Ian Montgomery, Gregory Hogan.
Finally players the High section bracket found scoring a trifle more difficult. Only three players in this section managed a score better than par and they obviously creamed off the three net prizes on offer.
The top accolade went to Francie McKenna with a fighting effort of 31 points.
This twenty handicapper had a good mix of pars and bogeys on his successful run. Pars at holes four, eight, nine, twelve and eighteen were the mainstay of his winning round. However a six at the tenth, a seven at the fourteenth and a five at seventeen prevented him from mustering an even higher points tally.
Patrick McCorry was placed second with his two under par effort of 30 points.
This other twenty handicapper acquired useful pars at holes two, four ten and twelve along the way. A string of net par returns were also of considerable benefit. However double bogeys on the first and last holes and a zero score at the eighth prevented him from accumulating a higher points tally.
The last net prize of the competition went to John McComb. This eighteen handicapper took the plaudits with his tidy return of 29 points. Johnny was fast out of the blocks with par figures on the opening five holes. After that he found the going a trifle more difficult.
His last par came at the eighteenth and it proved timely. In between he incurred a trio of double bogeys on holes eight, twelve and fourteen. An eight at the fifteenth didn’t help his cause either. Still he did enough on the day to hold onto the last net prize in the grouping.