Best ever round gives Eric victory

Eric Allen.
Eric Allen.

In a house already full of significant golfing trophies there will be only one talking point this week as Eric Allen recalls and describes every shot of one of his best ever rounds at Lurgan.

A total of 38 points would be a good score in any competition, but when the event is over only 14 holes it is certainly one to remember when those at home are very accomplished golfers themselves. Playing off 14 Eric birdied the 1st and toured the course in just 4 over par to claim victory and establish himself as a serious contender for the overall league prize.

There may have been some who felt David O’Neill’s runners-up position in section 3 last week might be the pinnacle of his winter campaign, but he went even better this week to take 2nd overall with 36pts off 17.

Section 1 went to Gerald Hoy with 32pts off 8. He is another player to have enjoyed considerable recent success and although he failed to score at the 6th he covered the other 13 holes in just 1 over par thanks to back to back birdies at 11 and 12.

The runners-up spot went to Laurence McGrady with 32pts off 5 helped by birdies at 1, 8 and 14. Just squeezed out of the prizes on the back 9 were Gary McNally and Francis Tallon, each of whom had 32pts, while George Harkness was right behind with 31pts off 7.

Paul McKernan is on a hot streak at the moment and he took section 2 with 35pts off 11. Birdies at 7 and 9 helped bring him to the turn in 1 under par for 20 outward pts, but he was unable to maintain that form over a homeward stretch which exuded consistency but lacked the front half’s champagne sparkle.

Patrick O’Neill doesn’t really do ordinary. If it’s not a spectacular hole-in-one then it’s a round like Saturday’s when he took the runners-up spot with 33pts off 11. A quadruple bogey at the 2nd would have spelt the end for many others but having dropped 4 shots at that one hole he dropped just 4 shots over the other 13. Patrick’s 18pts on the back 9 were just sufficient to hold off the challenge of Michael McMahon, 9, Alan Woods, 11, and Graeme Ewart, 10.

Ed Richardson managed to replicate the type of form which had resulted in a good mid week score when he took section 3 with 34pts off 12. He will be delighted with his return to form and even more delighted, and no doubt a little surprised, with 2 good scores in a row. It was no surprise to see Kieran McCorry take the runners-up spot as he has been lifting prizes consistently all year. A double bogey at 15 was the only such score on his card and it was to cost him dear as he only missed out on the section’s top spot on the back 9.

The day’s gross prize went to Paul McCabrey with 30 gross pts. Having reached the turn in 1 over par he needed something special coming home and birdies at 10, 15 and 18 proved to be just the ticket.