Highest winning score of season gives Brian edge

The annual Charity competition was held at Lurgan Golf Club on Saturday and the top four places were taken by the only players out of the 200 entrants to top 40 points.

Brian Matthews, 19, took first place with 44 points, the highest winning score of the season so far. He began each 9 with a birdie and managed to avoid any of the NRs which have plagued his rounds to date.

In second place came Chris Godfrey, 22, with 43 points. This big hitter has long been a tip for big things and the last few weeks have seen him begin to fulfil that potential. After 21 outward points, a 3-3-3 start to the back 9 was unfortunately followed by a ball out of bounds at 13 and a consequent NR.

The other two players to top 40 points were Alan Woods, 16, and John Wells, 12, each of whom had 39. Alan birdied the two shortest holes on the course, 8 and 12, and it was his 22 points on the back 9 which gave him the edge by a point over John. Although John birdied 10 and 12 to set him on the path to victory, his failure to score at 14 did him no favours.

Five players returned 39 points to contest the low section award with Olcan Kearney’s, 4, early morning 21 homeward points resisting all challenges throughout the long day. The players who played just one shot too many on their rounds were Andrew Cummins, 5, Ciaran Seeley, 4, Mark Headley, 7 and Billy Hughes, 11.

In the middle section it was Tom Parker’s very distinguishable swing which claimed the day with 39 points, off 17. It was a very close run thing however as he only took the prize by having a point more than Aaron Callaghan, 14, over the last six holes.

Tony Gordon took his second high section prize of the season with 39 points off 23. Triple bogeys at 6 and 15 appeared to have knocked him out of contention but a birdie at 17 put him right back into the reckoning.

It was yet another gross prize for Peter Cummins after he went round in 1 under par for 37 gross points. He had birdies at 3, 4, 15 and 18, but an unfortunate double bogey at 11 slightly took the shine off things. This reduces his handicap to 0.8 and tantalisingly close to scratch.

The Wednesday Sweep was taken by Stephen Cordner with 41 points off 15. Stephen frequently produces his best golf during the winter months, but he confirmed his adaptability by taking top prize in prime summer conditions helped by birdies at 1 and 12.

Second place went to Jason McCann with 40 points off 5 after a round of 71. He was playing close to his handicap for most of the round, but birdies at 15 and 18 provided the necessary late surge to enable him to claim his prize.

Roy Hanna’s 3rd place finish will mean little to him compared to his elation at returning to a category 1 handicap. His score of 39 points was achieved despite an NR at 3, and the way he is playing at the moment it seems very likely that his new 5.4 handicap will reduce still further in the coming weeks.

Andrew Irwin and Martin Scullion, both 12, also had 39pts with Andrew’s 20 homeward pts giving him the edge.

The gross prize went to Shane Magee with 35 gross having birdies at 5, 15 and 18.

The Sunday Sweep was won with what will be one of the best rounds of the year when Nathan McCann returned 42 points off 3. He had birdies at 4, 6, 10, 11, 12 and 15 on his way to a great round of 67.

Ryan Harbinson’s handicap continued on its inexorable downward way when he took the runners-up spot with 39 points off 9.

Third place went to Morris Lyness with 38 points off 9.