Presented by the Ladies’ Branch to the club on the occasion of the club’s centenary in 1993, the Perpetual Claret Jug is a beautiful and much sought after trophy.
This year’s winner was Michael McSherry who toured the course in just 68 shots for 41 points, off 3. A double bogey at 2 was hardly an early sign of what was to come, but birdies at 4, 8, 10, 14, 15 and 16, and 22pts on the back 9, gave him victory.
Bryan Turkington has been winning prizes at the club for more than twice as many years as Michael’s age and he is showing no signs of easing up. He also had 41 points, off 15, but with 20 back 9 points he had to settle for the runners up spot. A double bogey at the relatively easy 4th left him somewhat frustrated.
Henry Jordan can’t seem to put a foot wrong these days and his handicap has been tumbling accordingly. His 40 points off 21 gave him third and earned his third handicap reduction of the month. A double bogey at 16 threatened to spoil his day, but a 2-5 finish provided a late and vital injection of 7 points to secure his place on the podium.
Young Peter Kennedy has certainly enjoyed his golf this year and enjoyed considerable success along the way. He looks like finishing the year in the same manner with 39 points, off 8, earning him fourth place. A birdie at the last helped him to 21 homeward pts which was the best back 9 of three players on the same total.
For the second week running the low section went to the inspirational John O’Neill with 39 points off 6. Level par after 14 holes he stood confidently on the 15th tee and might even have begun to entertain thoughts of victory. That confidence would have been perfectly justified as he had played the hole in level par over his previous 10 visits, but on this occasion an ugly 8 jumped up and bit him.
No-one was going better than George Kidd after 11 holes. Just 3 over par and with 28 points in the bag as he stood on the 12th tee, a disastrous closing run saw him drop 11 shots and score a very disappointing 15 points on the back 9. He had the consolation of taking the middle section with 39pts, off 16.
Veteran David O’Neill took the high section with 37 points off 23, and he and George will have similar tales to tell. David was also in a strong challenging position but a triple bogey at 15 was followed by 3 double bogeys to bring a once promising round to a very disappointing conclusion.
Absolutely no prizes for guessing the winner of the gross award - Peter Cummins had 36 gross points to take the honours, but that score doesn’t begin to tell the story of his round. An NR at 3 was quickly followed by eagles at the easy 4th and at the very difficult 6th, where he holed out with a 7 iron.
Eagles were also scored by Olcan Kearney with a 2 at 10, and by young Ronan McCrory who holed out for 2 with a 3 wood at 14. Ronan has been hitting the high spots throughout the season, but while he was modestly pleased and proud with yesterday’s eagle, an even more pleased and proud dad, Raymond, was quickly on hand to capture the scene for the family album.
Just out of the prizes on 38 points were Nicholas Campbell, 7, Niall Hoy, 9, Winston Hutchison, 17, and Eddie Girvan, 16. Eddie will be hoping that at some point a round of golf is reduced to 17 holes as the 18th has proved to be his downfall on so many recent occasions. Having driven the ball beautifully all day, he over corrected his tendency to hit his tee shot out of bounds on the left, by hitting his ball out of bounds on the right to finish with his only NR of the day.