Spring has finally sprung and almost 200 golfers teed off at Lurgan in pursuit of the Baird Cup and a successful opening to the season.
The winner was no stranger to the prizes as Kevin McKavanagh added the trophy to a long list of previous trophies with 44 points off 8.
Kevin frequently grabs the headlines in spectacular fashion but on this occasion he had two birdies and two bogeys for what for him would be another run of the mill level par round and victory.
Early season form can fluctuate but few will have experienced as dramatic a fluctuation as big hitting Eddie Girvan in the space of just a week. After a meagre 22 points last Saturday he must have gone home wondering if it was really worthwhile persevering with such a frustrating game, but it was a very different Eddie who couldn’t wait to get tell everyone about just what a great game golf is. 43 points, off 14, meant he had almost doubled the previous week’s total and gave him the runners up spot. In contrast to the previous week’s liberal sprinkling of double and triple bogeys and NRs this week included 11 pars and a birdie.
Nevan Lavery continued to hit top form and his 41 points, off 15, gave him third place.
This year he has had two outright victories, one runners up spot and now a third place finish, a full house of podium finishes before the season has properly warmed up.
Fourth place went to winter absentee Michael Lavery with 40 points off 16. Straight out of hibernation into the prizes would suggest that Michael has a great golfing season to look forward to.
The gross prize was closely fought out by two of its most regular winners with Ciaran Seeley and Paul McCabrey each returning 35 gross points. In the end Ciaran took the award with 18 points against 16 points on the back 9.
Early morning specialist Michael McMahon scored 40 points, off 11, as he sought to emulate the recent successes of his impressive playing partner Martin McNeice. Although Michael had five birdies in his round, a double bogey at 16 meant he had to be content with the low section award.
Raymond McCrory’s failure to score at the opening hole presented him with something of a mountain to climb but he battled back bravely to take the middle section with 38 points off 13.
The high section went to Brian Mallon who must be frustrated these days at playing himself into winning positions only for a few unwelcome disasters to undo his good work. He took the high section with 40 points, off 19, and will look to a trio of double bogeys at 13, 14 and 15 for doing this week’s damage. Sean McEvoy was the only player on the day to score 39 points and the 14 shots he took to play holes 15 and 16 were to ultimately keep him out of the prizes. On 38points came Olcan Kearney, Gregory Crawford, Gavin Smyth, Dermot Lavery, Timmy Cummins, Paul Lyness and Jim McCann Snr.