Consistent scoring wins it for Paul

LAST weekend saw the completion of week four of Lurgan’s Winter League and scoring was once again quite robust with 69 golfers attaining a return of 29 points or better for the regulation 14 holes.

There were a few exceptional scores and they claimed the main net prizes.

The overall winner in this weekly competition was Paul Rippon. The 15 handicap golfer took the honours with his seven under par effort of 35 points. A good degree of consistency on both the sevens paved the way for this win. A birdie at the ninth and pars at holes one, six and eight were his key scores on the outward seven. A double bogey at the fifth was his only blip on the day. He got the back seven off the mark with a pair of pars. He closed his round with a birdie and a par. In between there were net par figures and this tidy golf was duly rewarded.

In the Low section at least 19 golfers posted under par returns. A total of 33 points enabled Colin Thompson to the chief net prize. This six handicapper had a modest opening seven where four pars kept him in the hunt. His play on the concluding seven holes was very impressive. It comprised four more pars to accompany birdies on holes ten, fifteen and eighteen. Gary McNally was second with his tally of 32 points. Like Colin he had three bogeys on the front seven. A birdie at the second and pars at the rest of the holes provided breathing space. This three handicapper blistered the back seven with four birdies and three pars. Birdies came his way at holes ten, eleven, fifteen and eighteen. Big hitting Gareth Moore was third with his haul of 32 points. This two handicapper birdied the first and then had bogeys on holes three and nine. Again a super back seven put him among the winners. It included three birdies and four pars. Holes twelve, fifteen and eighteen yielded the vital birdies. The other useful scores were registered by the following:

32 pts: Timmy Cummins, Sean Toman; 31 pts: Jason McCann, Lawrence McGrady, Paul Dickson, Tony Henderson; 30 pts: Gary Clarke, Joe Dowey, Olcan Kearney, Paul Lyness, Greg Crawford; 29 pts: Pat Burke, Nathan McCann, John Hartnett, Shane Magee.

The weekly gross award went to plus two handicapper David Sutton. This star player played the 14 holes without a blemish. He registered birdies at holes one, five and fifteen and had a par figures on the rest of the holes.

The Middle section is ultra competitive and during the week 28 golfers managed scores in red figures. Top of the pile in this category was Brian Clarke with a steady 32 points. This 10 handicapper had a tame opening seven where pars at holes one and nine were his most productive scores. However his game improved radically over the back seven. While he incurred bogeys on holes fourteen and fifteen he atoned with birdies on holes ten, seventeen and eighteen.

Pars on the rest of the holes advanced him into top spot. Gavin Smyth was runner up with a similar haul of 32 points. This 15 handicapper was through seven holes with a useful trio of pars at holes one, two and nine. His play was much more disciplined on the homeward seven. Pars at holes ten, twelve, fifteen and a birdie on the eighteenth were the pick of his scores.

Alan Woods secured third net also with a total of 32 points. The 14 handicapper had only pars or bogeys on his winning card. Pars at holes one, three, five and six were his most striking scores on the opening seven holes. Meanwhile on the concluding seven a trio of pars at holes ten, eleven and eighteen formed the backbone of his scoring threat.

The other players with good scores were as follows: 31 pts: Ian Hamilton, John Forrester, Kevin Brennan, John McCaffrey, Dwaine Hanna, David Johnston; 30 pts: John Healy, Michael McMahon, James Toland; 29 pts: Peter Gordon, George Kidd, Gerard Henderson, Rodger McIlwaine, David Herron, Anthony Gallery, Mark O’Neill, Martin McNeice, Billy Bateman, Michael Lavery, Gavin Little, Bryan Turkington.

In the High category an encouraging 22 golfers posted under par returns over the course of the week. Leading the charge for a second successive week was Derek Johnston who took the spoils with his reduced total of 34 points. He had a quiet opening seven but surged ahead on the final seven holes to post this winning score. On the day pars at holes three, six, ten, twelve, seventeen and eighteen formed the core of his quality scoring. A birdie on the fifteenth was the icing on the cake.

Second in the division was juvenile Ronan McCrory with a more than useful tally of 33 points. Off his nineteen handicap Ronan featured just pars or bogeys on his card. A quartet of pars at holes nine, eleven, seventeen and eighteen provided the main thrust of his scoring. He made the maximum use of his handicap and attained this winning score. The last net prize in the competition went to Sean McEvoy with the same offering of 33 points. Over the round this 24 handicapper notched valuable pars at holes three, eight, nine and seventeen. In spite of a triple bogey on the sixth and a pair of double bogeys he held on to accumulate this five under par tally of points. The other golfers in the division who managed under par scores were as follows: 33 pts: Francie McKenna; 32 pts: Nigel Girvan, Gareth Murphy; 31 pts: Peter Kelly, Eric Allen, Jim McCann Snr, John Menary, Terry King, Hugh McCloskey, Michael Wells; 30 pts: Ian Montgomery, Neal Carson, Mervyn Elwood, Martin Cavanagh, Dan Moore, Jonathan Lawless; 29 pts: Sean McClean, Colin Darling, Hugh O’Reilly.

After four weeks of play in this winter league competition the Fed-ex top fifteen positions in all three divisions are taking shape. Here are the current standings:

Low - 125: Lawrence McGrady; 124: Timmy Cummins; 122: Paul Dickson; 121: Colin Thompson; 120: Niall Hoy, Nathan McCann, Sean Toman; 119: Garfield Harrison, Caolan McCann; 117: John Hartnett, Olcan Kearney, Jim McKee; 115: Gary Clarke, Stephen Loughran, Canice McGivern.

Middle - 125: David Herron, James Toland; 122: Ian Harrison; 121: Gavin Smyth; 120: Gerard Henderson, Winston Hutchison; 119: Des Gregg; 118: Kevin Brennan, David Moore; 117: Tom Creaney, John McCaffrey, Martin McNeice, Colin Robb; 114: Brian Clarke, John Forrester, Gavin Little, Rodger McIlwaine.

High - 138: Derek Johnston; 134: Francie McKenna, Gareth Murphy; 129: Dan Moore; 128: Sean McClean, Ronan McCrory; 125: Paul Magee; 124: Colin Darling, Terence King; 122: Sean McEvoy; 121: John Menary; 120: Neal Carson, John McComb; 119: Jonathan Lawless; 116: James Hanratty.