Andrew Carville just can’t stop winning and his victory in the April Medal, with a nett 64 off 11, was his third prize in a very young season at Lurgan. His handicap graph would remind you of one of those steep downhill ski slides as he plunges towards his first single figure allowance. Birdies at the 5th and 16th were the highlights of a very impressive round which had begun in a chilly dawn mist and finished in warm spring sunshine.
Young Michael McSherry has returned nett sub-par scores in 5 of his last 6 outings but his nett 66, off 3, on Saturday was the first which brought him into the prizes when he took second place. Birdies at the 1st, 5th, 7th and 13th, and bogeys at the 2nd, 11th and 18th helped reduce his handicap to 2 and provided yet further evidence of his outstanding ability.
For quite a while now Arty McGlone has been returning impressive scores but just missing out on the prizes, but his nett 66 on Saturday gave him third place which was his third podium finish in 10 days. A double bogey at the 14th will have disappointed him but ultimately did him no great damage.
Prizes would have been the last thing on Jim Farrell’s mind after 9 holes as he was 10 over at that point. A homeward run which saw included 6 nett birdies transformed his fortunes and he took fourth place with a nett 67 off 18, the best of a septet of players on a similar score.
Yet another gross prize went to Gary Clarke who toured the course in 71 shots. 1 under after 14 holes, a trio of unwelcome bogeys almost spoiled things but a closing birdie was just the finish he wanted.
The low section went to Garfield Harrison with a nett 67 off 7. This was his best score in some time and will have boosted his confidence for the incoming season. Also on nett 67 were Brian Clarke, Paul McConaghy and Neale McKinstry. Neale will be particularly disappointed as an impressive run of 11 straight pars was brought to a shuddering halt with a very ugly 9 at the 15th.
Raymond McCann’s recent scores have been very good, but I suppose anyone lucky enough to play regularly with Canice McGivern in his current inexplicably brilliant form would be bound to improve. Raymond took the middle section with a nett 67 off 17, despite a double bogey on each 9.
Richard Dawson took his second prize of the season when he lifted the high section with a nett 67 off 19. He almost contrived to throw it all away with a pair of 7s in the closing holes but eventually steadied the ship.
Denis McInerney had 3 twos just a couple of weeks ago, but he surpassed this on Saturday with a hole-in-one at the 8th for what is sure to be a bumper pay day.