Gareth’s short game magic helps seal the Fred McKinley Memorial trophy

Lurgan golfers Terry Murphy, Barry Mulholland, Hammy Baxter and Shaun McCool. INLM2016-410
Lurgan golfers Terry Murphy, Barry Mulholland, Hammy Baxter and Shaun McCool. INLM2016-410

Gareth Hanna’s reporting duties preclude him from Saturday golf for most of the football season, but he didn’t wait long until it was over to make his mark on the fairways as he lifted Saturday’s Fred McKinley Memorial Trophy with 40pts off 7.

Fifteen pars and three bogeys spelt consistency itself and although on a couple of occasions he looked likely to drop a shot, the noted Hanna short game magic came to the rescue.

Breathing down the winner’s neck was Alan Hamilton who also had 40pts, off 7, but narrowly missed out on the back 9. Birdies at 4 and 9 had brought him to the turn with 21pts but his homeward 19pts were 1pt less than Gareth’s.

Six players had 38pts to leave the handicap committee some work to do in sorting out the remaining prizes. In the end Graham Douglas took 3rd place, off 6, his birdies at 10, 16 and 18 helping him to a decisive 22 homeward pts. Just one week ago Graham was playing off 8 but after a couple of great scores he now finds himself on 5.9 and on the verge of category 1.

Paddy Meehan followed his 3rd place finish in Wednesday’s Veterans Trophy with 38pts, off 12, and 4th place yesterday. He will be slightly disappointed to have ended his round with a costly double bogey, but hopeful his upturn in form will help him in his determined bid to return to single figures.

The day’s gross prize went to Francis Tallon whose round of 73 translated to 33 gross pts. 4 over at the turn, it didn’t appear a gross prize was in the offing, but he came home in 1 under thanks to a birdie at 12.

Birdies at 2 and 4 had set Liam McKeown, 7, on the way to a great score but a little blip saw him drop 4 shots in 3 holes at the end of his front 9 and he had to settle for winning the low section prize. His 38pts gave him the edge over both William McMillan, 8, and Paul Lyness, 6, on the last 6 holes. On 37pts came 8 players who will each have a tale to tell of what almost came to pass.

The middle section went to regular prize winner Martin McKinstry with 36pts, off 13, despite an NR at 6. Aaron Callaghan, 14, and Terence Eagers, 17, were both beaten on the back 9 and will look back at respective NRs at 12 and 15.

Martin King, 19, continued with his impressive start to the season by taking the high section with 38pts despite having NRs at 3, 7 and 15. Now that must be a man with a tale to tell! Just out of contention were Roy Bratchie, 20, and Hugh O’Reilly, 20, with 37pts each.

Wednesday Sweep

With the over 55s competing in the annual Veterans’ Trophy, this week’s Wednesday Sweep was left to the ‘youngsters’ of the club and the ‘youngster’ who took most advantage of the reduced field was Jim McCann Jnr, who lifted first prize with 38pts off 10. Equal halves of 39 shots resulted in a steady and competent round of golf as he represented the middle of three generations of the same family which is regularly featuring among the prizes at the moment.

Three players on 36pts were in contention for the 2 remaining podium places with Aidan Thornbury, 13, claiming the higher of those places with a strong back 9 of 20pts. Nine dropped shots on the way out were largely due to a trio of double bogeys over that stretch, but 20 homeward pts proved too strong for his closest rivals.

Damian Murphy, 5, lifted the first of what is likely to be many prizes this season when he took 3rd place. It was Damien’s strong par-birdie finish which proved to be decisive as he only nudged the unfortunate Terry Eagers, 17, out of the prizes over the last two holes.

The gross prize went to Michael McSherry with 35 gross pts. He claimed the prize despite a double bogey at 14, but rescued the situation by covering the other 17 holes in 1 under par.

Wednesday Sweep

With the over 55s competing in the annual Veterans’ Trophy, this week’s Wednesday Sweep was left to the ‘youngsters’ of the club and the ‘youngster’ who took most advantage of the reduced field was Jim McCann Jnr, who lifted first prize with 38pts off 10. Equal halves of 39 shots resulted in a steady and competent round of golf as he represented the middle of three generations of the same family which is regularly featuring among the prizes at the moment.

Three players on 36pts were in contention for the 2 remaining podium places with Aidan Thornbury, 13, claiming the higher of those places with a strong back 9 of 20pts. Nine dropped shots on the way out were largely due to a trio of double bogeys over that stretch, but 20 homeward pts proved too strong for his closest rivals.

Damian Murphy, 5, lifted the first of what is likely to be many prizes this season when he took 3rd place. It was Damien’s strong par-birdie finish which proved to be decisive as he only nudged the unfortunate Terry Eagers, 17, out of the prizes over the last two holes.

The gross prize went to Michael McSherry with 35 gross pts. He claimed the prize despite a double bogey at 14, but rescued the situation by covering the other 17 holes in 1 under par.

REPRESENTATIVE HONOURS

Congratulations to Annabel Wilson and Niamh McSherry who have been selected to represent Ireland at the European Girls Team Championships which will take place in Oslo from the 5th -9th July. Along with Valerie Clancy from Killarney Annabel has also been selected to play in the European Young Masters which will take place in Switzerland from 21- 23 July.

Niamh Ward has also been demonstrating her golf prowess at College in the states and it hasn’t gone unnoticed as she has been selected as a non-travelling reserve for the Irish team travelling to the World University Championships in France on 23-26 June. Congratulations to all the girls and we will watch their progress with interest as they have a very busy summer ahead.

Ladies Results

The PGA Tankard qualifying took place on Tuesday along with a competition for prizes donated by our club professional Peter Hanna. The winner was Diana McClelland with 38 pts. Diana had an uneventful front nine but she toured the back nine in just five over par including the only two of the day which she recorded at the twelfth.

The runner up prize went to Viona McConville with 35 pts. Viona just held off challenges from Claire Erwin and Betty McKavanagh on the count back. Viona is a previous winner of the PGA qualifying, and Peter’s prize, so it is clearly a competition she enjoys and which brings out the best in her golf. It is great to see Cara Murphy back on the fairways after her year out from college and she celebrated her return by lifting the gross prize with 23 gross pts. Cara is showing all the signs of finding her form soon as she had some lovely runs of pars on her card with just a few blips here and there.

Section one went to Dee Farrell with 32 pts just beating lady president Ray Gregg on the count back. Dee’s card was showing a lot of promise before it went off the rails slightly at the seventh the but she rallied well and all the indicators are that there is a really good score coming from Dee in the not too distant future. Section two went to Betty McKavanagh and section three went to Claire Erwin both with 35 pts.

The nine hole winner was Josie McAnarney with 19 pts.