THE competition on offer at Lurgan last Saturday was the Perpetual Claret Jug.
With the summer season petering out the numbers participating are in the decline. Still a good 186 golfers were engaged and a hefty 32 golfers shot scores under their handicaps in the soft conditions and they also had to contend with a blustery wind.
On the day it was a triumph for Michael McHugh with his seven under par effort of 43 points. This 25 handicapper had his best return of the year and was well satisfied with this particular outcome. In spite of four double bogeys and a triple bogey on the eighth Michael was still very competitive. A birdie at the fourth and a par on the seventh were his stand out scores on the opening nine. On the back nine pars at holes ten, twelve and thirteen were his marquee returns. Needless to say a string of net par returns also paid huge dividends on his way to victory.
A formidable total of 42 points earned Tony Henderson the runners-up position. In spite of a double bogey on the third he was quick to respond with a string of birdies on holes five, seven, eight and nine. This onslaught continued on the back nine with more birdies on holes ten, twelve and fifteen. He rounded off his winning ways with a trio of pars on the closing holes.
Third net on the day went to John McEvoy with the best return of 41 points. Indeed this 13 handicapper required a better last six score to nudge ahead of a few candidates. Pars at holes one, six, eight and nine were his key returns on the outward nine. On the way home he was quickly off the mark with pars at holes ten, thirteen and fourteen.
A sequence of par, birdie, par on the closing three holes clinched him the final major net prize of the day.
Once again Gary Clarke was the recipient of the gross prize. The one handicapper succeeded with a worthy 38 gross points. The only blips on his card were a double bogey on the second and a bogey at the seventh. On the other hand birdies at holes three, five, ten, fifteen and sixteen quickly turned matters around. With pars on the rest of the holes he shot a gross sixty eight to wrap up this category award.
In the Low handicap category eighteen golfers managed an under par score over the eighteen holes. Leading the way in this grouping was young Eamon Lynch with his impressive 41 points. The four handicapper has found a good vein of form in the latter part of the season. On the day he incurred double bogeys on holes two and sixteen and a bogey on the third. Outside of these three holes it was birdies and pars the rest of the way. Birdies were attained at holes one, seven, ten, twelve and seventeen. This tidy play earned him the divisional prize.
In the Middle handicap category nine golfers produced under par scores in the competition. Craig Turkington topped the list with his five under par score of 41 points. This 17 handicapper kept mistakes to a minimum and a double bogey at the sixteenth was his only wayward hole. It was pars or bogeys the rest of the way.
Pars at holes one, two, four and eight were his opening nine successes. On the inward nine a trio of pars at holes ten, fourteen and eighteen served him well.
Finally in the High section five golfers achieved under par figures on the day. Trevor Field led this contingent with a tidy score of 39 points. The 25 handicapper had four double bogeys, a triple bogey at the sixteenth and a no-return on the fifteenth. In spite of these blips he still managed an useful outcome. Par figures at holes two, four and ten were his poignant returns on the day. Ably backed up by a string of net pars he attained this winning under par score.
The other hot scoring was achieved by the following players:
40 pts: Shane Magee, Daniel Wright, Conal Coleman.
39 pts: Gregory Crawford, John O’Neill, Francie Tallon, Mark Carpenter, James Hanratty Jnr, John McCambridge.
38 pts: Peter Gordon, Conor Wilson, David Lennon, Paul Lavery, John McComb, Terry McCrory, Paul P Magee.
37 pts: Alan Harrison, Kieran Ward, Kevin McKavanagh, Paul Lyness, Kevin Hamill, Eamon McCarron, John Healy, Colin Robb, Mervyn Elwood.