After beginning the season with an ever upwardly mobile handicap, Peter McCusker has very much reversed the process and his 41 points, off 12 at Lurgan on Saturday, gave him victory and reduced that handicap to 12.8 to mark a return to his glory days.
A disappointing start left him with just five points after four holes, but birdies at 8 and 12 were the highlights of some golfing gold thereafter and he claimed his victory with 14 points over the last six holes.
Louis Moore, 18, played his best golf of the year to come second, also with 41 points but only 11 of which came over the last six holes. The individual fluid swing of this noted veteran served up birdies at 1 and 12 and returned him to the podium with which he was once so well acquainted.
And talking of veterans, three of the club’s most long standing stalwarts returned 40 points apiece to battle it out for the remaining overall prizes.
Four double bogeys in the first eight holes suggested that Artie McGlone, off 14, might have found prizes hard to come by, but birdies at 9 and 12 helped him cover the last 10 holes in just 2 over par. This resulted in 22 points on the back 9, and it was 15 of these over the last six holes which secured third place for him.
Martin Rea, 12, came fourth with 14 points over the last six holes. He covered the last 12 holes in 2 over par helped by a brace of birdies, these coming at 8 and 12.
This will explain two spells of ‘whooping and hollering’ separated by about half an hour and heard over most of North Lurgan late on Saturday morning.
The third player on 40 points was Canice McGivern, off 9, and with 19 back nine points he had to settle for the low section. Canice is one of the club’s most consistent players (he has only had 5 NRs all season) and occasionally produces exceptional rounds which are exceptionally well reported and discussed. His round of 75 saw him return to 7.8, just 0.2 above his season’s starting point.
The gross prize went to Shane Magee with a level par round balancing four birdies with four bogeys.
Long known as one of the club’s greatest ‘never say die’ battlers, Shane has come very close on innumerable recent occasions so it was very little surprise to see him lift this award.
The middle section went to Colin Atkinson, 18, with 38 points, 20 of which came on the back 9. Birdies at 8 and 12 helped him hold off the challenge of fellow 38 pointer Bryan Turkington, who missed out on the prizes with 19 homeward points.
Douglas Houston won the high section for the second time in a few weeks with 39 points off 25.
It was unfortunate for this very long hitting player that he was unable to score at the longest hole, 18, as even a bogey would have given him outright victory.
Shane Magee had his name pulled out of the hat for this week’s Joker Draw but unfortunately the Joker Card was not turned.
Remember tickets can be bought from bar staff or in the Pro Shop throughout the week. £1 each or 4 for £3.
Prize money this week £750.