Saturday was yet another occasion at Lurgan Golf Club when the CSS rose to 71 reflecting the difficulty of the course in a very damp summer with the run of the ball limited.
Daire Hogan followed the example of his father Greg from a few weeks ago by coming out tops with a nett 66 off 17.
An 8 at the 4th left him 6 over par at that point, but a birdie and 6 nett birdies followed to compile his winning score, a nett 31.5 on the back 9 claiming victory.
Kevin McKavanagh came second with a nett 66, off 8. Each half of his round had twobirdies, two bogeys and a double bogey, with a nett 33 on the second half leaving him just short of lifting his second trophy of the season.
Third place went to Damian Murphy with a nett 68, off 5, and although his opportunities for golf this year may have been limited, they remain high quality. A level par homeward run meant a nett 32.5 to claim the last podium place.
Andrew Graham was certainly ‘in the zone’ for the month of June during which his handicap fell from 13 to 10. That handicap has since risen relentlessly but the good times almost returned in dramatic fashion on Saturday.
Just one over par after 12 holes he somehow managed to drop 9 shots over the last 6, helped by a pretty disastrous triple bogey 8 at the last, a hole which has caused him some problems recently. Those late slips meant he had to settle for fourth place with a nett 68 off 12.
The gross prize went to Robert Emerson on 73 with four birdies and two double bogeys on his card, a level par back 9 giving him the prize over two other players on a similar total.
Martin McAvoy’s homeward 38, with a double bogey at 14, left him empty handed. Eamon Lynch was in a position to grab all the headlines after 12 holes as five birdies had helped him move to 4 under par, but shots then rained like confetti with two double bogeys and three bogeys inexplicably finding their way on to his card. Dairmuid Mitchell’s four outward double bogeys had apparently spoiled any chance he might have had of a prize, but a level par back 9 meant a nett 69, off 10, and the low section award. His strong back 9 was enough to fend off the challenges of Alan Hamilton, 7, and Keith Percy, 6, respectively.
Eric Allen has embarked upon a two pronged improvement plan by receiving top class professional advice on technique from daughter Zoe, and by reading an impressive range of motivational literature. It was little surprise therefore to see him lift the middle section with a nett 69 off 18. His ball striking was impressive throughout and he comfortably dealt with the extra pressure put upon him by a triple bogey at 5. Tom Creaney, off 15, was just one shot behind.
The high section went to Joe McGlone with a nett 71 off 21. Joe has been consistently returning good scores throughout the season and a little spell of four consecutive nett birdies in the middle of his round was just what he wanted, a nett 33.5 back 9 proving decisive. Douglas Houston, 26, was just beaten with a nett 35 back 9, but there is no doubt when this big hitting player gets an opportunity to play more golf his handicap will come down.