Stephen celebrates a double win on the day

Stephen Loughran, winner of the JR McMahon Trophy with 40points.
Stephen Loughran, winner of the JR McMahon Trophy with 40points.

The winner of the J R McMahon competition at Lurgan on Saturday had a nice bonus in that he would also represent the club, along with club pro Peter Hanna, in the PGA Ulster Branch final later in the year.

The happy double winner was Stephen Loughran with 40 points off 10 and having waited such a long time for a win, isn’t it funny two come along at once.

Stephen hasn’t played a round without a double bogey or worse since Easter and he continued in the same way with 3 in his round, but on this occasion he countered these with 3 birdies to begin his long awaited celebrations.

The smooth swinging Pat Burke came second with 39 points off 7, a pair of back 9 birdies helping him to 19 points coming home to take his prize on that stretch. His daughter accompanied him on his round and if she is to follow the example of her father, she will become a very good golfer indeed.

Third place went to Andrew Heasley who was also on 39 points, off 26, with 18 points on the back 9. Andrew’s game has really been on song lately and it is only a matter of time before he hits all the right notes to produce a very good score.

Fourth and fifth places were filled by two players on 38 points, Dairmuid Mitchell, 11, and Steven Mulvenna, 9. Dairmuid had equal halves of 19 points, while Steven dropped 6 shots in 7 holes on the back 9 to follow an impressive outward total of 22 points with a disappointing 16 points coming home. Both of these players’ handicaps are very much on a downward slope so we can expect to hear a lot more of them shortly.

There was only one subpar round on the day and this was returned by Gary Clarke who took the gross prize with a 68 for 38 gross points.

Although he had a double bogey at 6, he had 6 birdies throughout the rest of his round to show a clean pair of heels to the rest of the field.

Paddy Meehan has been playing great golf lately and he took the low section with 38 points off 11. After 13 holes he was 4 under his handicap, but a triple bogey at 14 halted the march to victory and left him to successfully limit the damage.

Having dominated the high section so frequently for the past while, Kieran McCorry looks like he might do the same to the middle section as he took this award with 36 points off 16. His back 9 of 20 points gave him his prize on that stretch from David Johnston, 13. The high section went to Christopher Whyte with 37 points off 20, his 21 points on the back 9 edging him in front of Joe McGlone, 21, with 19.

The only other players to play below their handicaps were Andrew Carville, 8, Brian Clarke, 12, and John Horan, 8, whose good form left them with 37 points each and tales to tell anyone prepared to listen of ‘the ones that got away’.

In the ladies section it was all change this week with some new names appearing on the prize list when the ladies played for Mrs Sadie O’Neill’s prize.

Kathy Matchett took first place with 38 points. Kathy has been playing well, but just failing to get her score over the line, but this week she had a lovely card, the highlight being a birdie at the 11th, so congratulations to Kathy it’s great to see her back in the prizes.

Niamh Ward continues to add to her tally of vouchers and this week she won the gross with 31 gross points. Section one went to Lynne Hanna with 34 points just beating Cara Murphy on the better back nine. Lynne had a quiet start to her round but finished strongly to hold off the challenge from Cara.

Georgie Hogan has been enjoying a welcome return to form and just missed out on the prizes in the ladies open on Monday but managed to win section two on this outing with 36 points. Georgie had a nice tidy card with a par, par finish to make sure she finished in the prizes this time round.

Section three went to Ursula Dummigan with 35 points. Last week Ursula had to make do with second place in her section as sister Eithne just edged her out so it’s great to see her go one better this week to win the section.

One happy lady at the end of the day will be Eadaoin Ward who recorded the only two of the day.