At this time of the year every golfer will be hoping for that ‘dream round’ to come during the season, preferably in one of the majors.
Eamonn McCarron’s round came much earlier than anticipated and he has already set himself a very high target if he is seeking to improve as the year progresses.
A faultless round saw 11 pars and 3 birdies for 42 points, off 11, to come out on top in the first club competition of the year.
This is like the champagne of 14 holes, a sort of ‘147’ or ‘9 dart finish’, and while Eamonn is no doubt justifiably proud of this achievement he will also be aware of the likely direction of future scores.
Conal McAshea finished the year in fine form and opened this year’s account with his best ever score of 40 points, off 20, to take the runners-up spot.
Anyone scoring 40pts over 14 holes would reasonably expect to be in with a great chance of victory but on the day it came up just short. Conal will have every reason to feel optimistic for the future as a pair of double bogeys on the front half suggest he still has ample room for improvement.
After a bogey at 3 and birdie at 4, Colin Darling found himself level par after 9 holes and will be a little disappointed with his closing run of 5 bogeys. This resulted in 40 points off 17 and was good enough for 3rd place, with those homeward bogeys costing him a higher finish due to his back 9.
Martin Rea has been repeatedly returning good scores with little to show for his efforts except for a couple of minor placings and a string of 2s. He probably thought he might never shoot a level par round but he did just that to score 37 points, off 9, and take 4th place.
Although Tom Lamb had 38 points, off 22, this was reduced by one due to the winter handicapping scheme and he had to settle for 5th place. The score which was responsible for the reduction came early in the winter and it has seen Tom knocked out of the prizes on quite a few occasions. A double bogey at the treacherous and unpredictable 12th was to prove costly for him.
The last nett prize went to Andrew Best with 37 points, off 12, with 5 bogeys and 2 birdies. No doubt Andrew and sons will continue to feature in the prizes throughout the year in an ever increasing manner.
Four players came close with 36 points. Paul Lyness shot his 5th sub-par round in his last 6 outings and shared a round of 67 with another sub-par regular, Joe Dowey Jnr. Martin McKinstry played super golf for all but the 9th hole where a combination of bad shots and bad luck resulted in an NR, and Roger McIlwaine showed no signs of slipping up until a late double bogey popped up at the 15th.
Dwaine Hanna managed to get some mediocre golf out of his system to shoot 4 under par and take the gross with 32 gross pts. Birdies at 1, 4, 6, 15 and 18, and a bogey at 17, meant his best round in quite a while and the perfect start to a new year.