Denis steals the limelight

Lurgan's Barton Shield team.
Lurgan's Barton Shield team.

Saturday’s competition at Lurgan was for the prizes put up by club professional Peter Hanna and the beautiful conditions attracted 223 entries.

With girls’ and boys’ inter-club team matches following in the evening, the course certainly was a hive of activity from dawn to dusk.

While the girls and boys brought the day to a close, it was one of the club’s more senior members who stole the limelight earlier by lifting the top prize of the day with 42pts off 10.

Denis McInerney already has a couple of ‘majors’ under his belt and he seems to have been winning at least one competition each year for a very long time indeed.

His birdie at the last secured victory and even more satisfying for him was the fact that his round had returned him to a long lost single figure handicap, a feat he was not slow to point out to the other members of his fourball who relinquished that status many moons ago.

At one time Denis felt that he had a better gross than arch-rival Francis Tallon, but later learned that they had each returned 74. Drawing with Francis was indeed a great achievement for Denis, but beating him is likely to remain an unrealisable dream.

Johnny McEvoy added to his impressive collection of prizes this year when his 41pts, off 14, saw him lift second prize. His round was consistency itself with 9 pars and 9 bogeys, but having had just 6 bogeys over the first 15 holes he will be disappointed that a he closed his round with three more.

Third place went to the very much in-form John O’Neill who just cannot stay out of the headlines these days. A round of 73 off his 8 handicap meant 41pts and a reduction in handicap to 6.5. Having last year watched with alarm as his handicap steadily rose, he will be delighted he has reversed the trend and must be keenly anticipating an imminent return to category 1.

Christopher Quinn is another player whose form has been catching the eye of late and it was no surprise to see him lift fourth prize with 41pts off 14. A triple bogey at the 15th almost derailed his challenge, but a closing birdie was went some way to repair the damage.

Caolan McCann lifted the gross prize with a round of 69, representing 37 gross pts. He had no fewer than 6 birdies but will probably better recall the double bogey at the 14th which almost spoiled his party.

The low section went to Michael Bingham with 40pts off 12. His fourball, which also includes Peter Gordon, Willie McMillan and John Menary, have adopted a very methodical approach to their preparations for their Saturday game. Two buckets of balls between four means 15 shots each in the academy, followed by 15 putts each on the putting green, by which time they hope to have all aspects of their game tuned up for the round. Michael’s win on Saturday was the first tangible evidence that the regime may be working, but if any of them ever take 15 at a hole we’ll let you know.

Jimmy Toland took the middle section with 39pts off 13, just beating Peter Kennedy with 39 and Eamonn McCarron and veteran Ed Richardson with 39 each.

Junior Cowdy Cup Captain Graham McNeill scored 39pts off 21 to lift the high section beating Hugh O’Reilly on the back 9. Tony Gordon and Jim McCann were a single point further back.