Saturday saw the end of the penultimate week of the Winter League at Silverwood Golf Club.
Paul Best is definitely ready for the new summer season as he played his way into the prizes on Saturday.
He finished this week at the top of the leader board with 33 points off 9. Birdies either side of the turn rescued him from mediocrity and left him looking forward to the traditional season opener, the March Medal.
George Kidd must have felt in danger of becoming known as ‘King of the NRs’ with no fewer than 10 in his last four outings, but this big hitting player dispelled any danger of that with his best round in a while to come 2nd with 32pts off 14.
Nobody has got off to as good a start to the year as Michael McSherry who has played 3 rounds and been under par on each occasion. On the first two occasions he came in 1 under, but went one better yesterday to take the gross with 30 gross pts, birdies at 3, 15 and 18 providing the highlights.
Timmy Cummins looks forward to each new season with the enthusiasm of a novice and he continues to enjoy the high level of success which he has been enjoying for many years. This year will be no different as he made yet another visit to the prizes by taking the low section with 31pts off 3, a pair each of birdies and bogeys taking him round in level par. Second place went to another regular winner, Gary McNally, with 30pts off 3, his second such score in a week.
Martin McKinstry took what will undoubtedly be the first of many prizes this year when he took the middle section with 32pts off 9 closely followed by Paul Rippon with 31pts off 12. Paul can hardly have been thinking of the prizes after the first 7 holes as he was 8 over at that point, but a 1 over par return journey provided a very pleasant contrast. Gerard Henderson had 32pts but was handicapped out of contention, while John Wells was edged out on the back 7.
The high section went to Bernard McQuillan with 32pts off 13, a prize which will no doubt spur him on to equal the notable successes of his regular playing partners, successes which were accomplished quite some time ago. Second place went to Conor Thompson who continued in his rich vein of form with 31pts off 13. Walter Simpson once more found himself handicapped out of the prizes and just 1pts away from glory came Chris Godfrey, 16, John McComb, 14, Billy Leslie, 14, and Michael McHugh, 20.
The Sunday Sweep was won by Graeme Ewart with 33 points off 12. Second place went to Timmy CumminsTimmy Cummins with 31 points off 3. Michael McMahon just cannot be shaken out of the prizes these days. His 34 points off 9 was the best score of the day, but a string of previous victories handicapped that down to 31pts and 3rd place. Even when a double bogey at 14 threatened to squeeze him out of the reckoning his 2 birdies over the last 3 holes undid the damage.
Conor Thompson took 4th place with 31pts off 13, while Raymond McCrory, 9, and Gavin Smyth, 9, took 5th and 6th places respectively with 30pts each. Martin McKinstry, 10, also had 30pts but an NR at 14 meant he finished with no reward.
Michael McSherryMichael McSherry shot the only sub-par round of the day to take the gross prize with 29 gross pts, birdies at 9 and 10 helping him to finish 1 under.