Lessons pay off for Ruairi on President’s Day

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Lurgan Golf Club president Des Gregg hosted another of the club’s ‘majors’ last weekend and he was on the tee early on Friday to see off the first competitors in this two day event.

Ruairi McKerr lifted the top prize with 43 points off a handicap of 20. Double bogeys were the only blots on his card as he covered the other 16 holes in a very impressive 10 under handicap.

Ruairi has been taking a series of lessons from club pro Peter Hanna recently and there has been an almost immediate improvement in his game.

When you consider the amount of expense people go to in order to start the game and join a club, a few lessons are a modest investment indeed.

Ciaran Seeley took second place with 41 points off 7. Two under after four holes, he dropped four shots from the 6th to the 9th and reached the turn in 37 shots. A birdie at the 13th and bogey at the 16th saw him home in a very satisfying level par for a round of 72.

Kevin Creery failed to score at the first hole but quickly recovered to record 41 points and claim third place. Kevin scored 21 points on the front 9, thanks mainly to a run of 5 pars from the 4th to the 8th holes. A double bogey at the 14th threatened to derail the recovery, but he showed all of his noted resolve over the run-in and a pair of closing pars sealed his deserved place on the podium. Young Caolan McCann took the gross prize with the round of the season so far, a quite brilliant 65. A 4-3-5 start saw him 1 over on the 4th tee but he then coupled birdies at the 4th, 6th, 9th, 12th, 16th and 18th with pars at every other hole for the round of his life so far. This was Caolan’s fourth level par or better round of the month, and with his handicap now at 0.7 it seems inevitable that he will be the club’s next scratch golfer.

The low section went to Damien Murphy with 40 points off 5. Henry McAreavey took the middle section with 40 points off 15.

This total also claimed the high section when Tommy Hughes had a welcome return to his best form.

The student prize went to young Adam McCleary with 39 points off 17, thereby ensuring that the McCleary torch has been carried into yet another generation of noted family golfers. He overcame the considerable drawback of double bogeys at the 3rd and 4th holes and an impressive homeward run was capped by going level par over the last four holes.

Conor McDonald is improving fast and he has had his handicap reduced in 4 of his last 7 outings.

A score of 41 points on Thursday was followed by 39 on Saturday and certainly marks him down as one for the future.

Oliver Morton failed to score at the 7th and 8th holes and just missed out on the prizes with 38 points.

For the second week in a row Eric Allen just missed out, this time with 37 points.