Birdie, birdie finish lands Ronan top spot

Lurgan fourball
Lurgan fourball
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Two weeks ago Ronan McGivern lifted the C. W. Neill Cup at Lurgan with his first ever level par round and great things were predicted for his future success.

He backed that up on Saturday when he lifted the July Medal with a nett 64, off 5, thereby returning his first ever sub-par round.

Having been 1 over after 16 holes he finished with a pair of birdies for a brilliant 69 and the future is bright for this very talented young golfer.

The vastly more experienced Laurence Mitchell took second place with a nett 65, off 13. His only birdie came at the 2nd and only double bogey at the 15th. The 15th hole presented problems for lots of players as many potentially good scores came to grief there.

John Hartnett recorded his third top three finish in as many weeks when he took third with nett 65 off 9. John’s form has been so good of late that his handicap has tumbled to a lifetime low of 6.5 so he is certainly enjoying his golf at the moment

Fourth place went to John Menary with a nett 66 off 23. He played a strong candidate for shot of the day at the 5th hole. Having sliced a drive towards the trees on the right of the fairway he found himself in the rough and facing a long blind shot over trees to the green. Undaunted by the obvious dangers confronting him he scorned any ideas of a safe chip to the side and bravely played a rescue club to 3ft from the pin for a birdie. Having recently taken a lesson he has been working on some aspects of his swing and his efforts are beginning to pay dividends.

The gross prize went to the ebullient Francis Tallon with a level par round of 70 which contained four birdies and four bogeys.

The low section went to Barry Creaney with a nett 67 off 12. He has been returning some very impressive scores of late and will have been particularly pleased with a hole in one at the 8th on Wednesday. For 13 of the holes yesterday he was just 1 over par but double bogeys at the 3rd, 6th, 13th and 16th proved very costly.

Colin Robb, Denis McInerney, Gavin Little and Gary McNally each returned 68 to miss out by a single shot. Gary was level par after 17 holes and will be very disappointed with his uncharacteristic double bogey at the last.

Peter Gordon took the middle section with a nett 67 off 13. He began with a birdie but went on to miss very reasonable birdie opportunities on about 5 other holes. A homeward run of 39 shots was to prove decisive as he beat 4 other players on a similar score. A few weeks ago we highlighted the preparatory routine adopted by his fourball prior to their round on a Saturday and said we would report on its success or otherwise. It can only be assessed as a great success as each member of the fourball has found a spot in the prizes in the previous few weeks and their handicaps are all moving downwards.

The four players Peter edged out of the prizes were Gregory Hogan, James Hanratty Jnr, Paul Lavery and Nigel McKerr.

The high section went to Chris Godfrey, a regular winner, with a nett 66 off 24.

He had played great golf and was very much in a winning position after 16 holes but a double bogey and triple bogey at the last two holes was not the finish he would have wished for.