This year’s McKeown Golfer of the year is long time favourite Keith Percy.
Having begun the season in the prizes almost every week he built up such a lead that he could afford the luxury of a mid-season dip in form and still take the title with an impressive 10 point margin. His best score of the season was 73 and he has seen his handicap tumble from 9 to 6 leaving him knocking on the door of Category 1 status.
John Hartnett had some memorable highlights during the year, the most noticeable of which was a season low of 74 to lift Captain’s Day, and will be pleased the consistency he showed throughout the rest of the year was sufficient to move him into second place.
Third place went to Paul McCabrey. Playing off a handicap off just 2, he equalled or bettered nett par in more than half of his qualifying competitions, a very commendable achievement.
John McComb began the year in such hot form it seemed that he and Keith Percy would be involved in a season long ding-dong battle for the title. Circumstances restricted his playing opportunities to just 14 appearances and he had to settle for fourth place.
Joe Dowey Jnr appears to have been figuring in the player of the year lists for an eternity and up he popped again to claim fifth spot. His season best score was a level par 70 during July and a little spurt of four sub nett par scores out of five cards in late August pushed him right into the mix yet again.
This has been a golfing year Alex Denver will never forget as he has displayed the very impressive form which has been threatening to appear for the last few years. Having deservedly taken his place among the club’s Category 1 players, he must already be relishing the thought of next spring and another new season to try to improve upon this year’s sixth place finish.
Raymond McCrory was never far away from contention and he shared sixth place with Alex. While outright victory eluded him in the season’s competitions, he recorded enough places among the prizes to claim his place in the Golfer of the Year top ten.
Young Nathan McCann came eighth and his performances strongly suggest future success. A season best score of 71 and other scores not far behind will have left him looking to the future with considerable and justified optimism.
Neal Carson and Dwaine Hanna came 9th and 10th respectively to round off the year’s top ten.
Francis Tallon might be disappointed that his 11th place finish left him tantalisingly close to the top ten, but he will be pleased that his rival, Denis McInerney, was left trailing far behind. Mark O’Neill too will be smiling at the thought that his 22nd place finish compared very favourably to twin brother John’s lowly 70th.
It appeared during the year that most of the overall prizes went to lower handicap golfers and this observation was confirmed when you look at the Golfer of the Year placings. Out of the top 22, 15 were single figure handicap golfers, about 70%. Also out of the top 22, 9 were category 1 golfers, about 40%.