LAST Saturday the big competition for Lurgan golfers was the Norman Quail trophy.
As an extra bonus, the Lombard qualifying, was combined with it. The day was dry and sunny especially in the morning but unfortunately rain was a factor in the afternoon. A big turn out of two hundred and 24 golfers competed for the various prizes in the challenging conditions. Only nine golfers had returns above 36 points and the CSS of 71 tells its own story.
The winner of the trophy was Oliver Morton with an excellent score of 41 points.
Like most of the field this 21 handicapper had to endure some degree of unease on the course. A triple bogey at the sixth was such a case and four double bogeys as well. However par figures at holes one, three, four, eight and nine proved the bedrock of his winning round. A birdie at the twelfth and a par on the finishing hole were his notable scores on the back nine. Numerous net pars kept the mood positive. In the end he had two points to spare over his closest challengers. Later in the season he will join club professional Peter Hanna in an Irish regional qualifier at the Island GC near Donabate in this Lombard tournament.
Thanks to a better score on the last three holes Mark Carpenter was runner-up on the day. This 12 handicapper succeeded with a total of 39 points. He managed well over both nines. Six pars and three bogeys comprised his front nine assault. Holes three, four and six were the bogey holes. A run of pars at holes eleven, twelve and thirteen provided a tidy platform on the back nine. He rounded off his day with a trio of pars. Perhaps a no-return at the tenth cost him overall victory.
The strong-hitting Olcan Kearney shot another tally of 39 points to capture third place. This eight handicapper swept through the opening nine with seven pars aboard.
He ran up bogeys on holes two and five. He began for home with a birdie, double bogey, bogey sequence. A birdie at the fifteenth and pars at holes thirteen, fourteen and eighteen were the elite scores from the rest of his round.
Shane Magee’s vein of early season form continued on from Wednesday as he took another gross award. This three handicapper took the honours with 34 gross points.
He dropped strokes at holes six, seven, eleven and thirteen. Birdies on holes five and eighteen reduced some of the deficit. Pars were registered on the rest of the holes.
In the Low section Barrai McConville stormed to victory with a tally of 37 points.
This ten handicapper kept errors to a minimum and had only three double bogeys on his winning card. His day began with a birdie on the first. Pars followed at holes two, four, five and seven. On the other nine he started with a brace of pars. In the middle of the round he negotiated pars at holes fourteen and fifteen. He rounded off his day with pars on the final two holes of play. This steady play throughout the round brought him his reward. Other golfers in the division with 37 points were Garfield Harrison and Conor Wilson.
In the Middle section Eamon McCarron came to the fore with a hard fought winning total of 37 points. The 14 handicapper also coped well with two double bogeys and a triple bogey at the sixth. A birdie at the fourth and pars at holes eight and nine were his feature holes on the front side. He played competently on the back side and pars at holes eleven and twelve set the tone. A trio of pars on the closing three holes did the business for this former Fintona golfer. Indeed he was the only golfer in the division to exceed 36 points.
Finally in the High section Christopher Best claimed the honours with a well fashioned round of 38 points. While this 21 golfer also experienced three double bogeys he still held his game together to garner this success. Numerous net pars kept his point tally ascending. On the day pars at holes fourteen and eighteen were his stand out scores. Remarkably he was also the only golfer in this section to shoot an under par return.