After having knocked on the door on a number of occasions over the winter, Roy Hanna Jnr made the long expected breakthrough when his 35 points, off 5, gave him outright victory at Lurgan on Saturday.
This ‘escapologist extraordinaire’ performed his usual tricks of getting up and down from everywhere, except at the second hole where having chipped close for an apparent tap-in, he inexplicably missed for his only dropped shot of the day.
Birdies at 1, 5 and 18 helped him to a round of 2 under for his first sub-par round in many moons.
Close behind came John Healy with 34 points off 11. Anyone unfamiliar with John’s game would assume that his set up and stance would result in something entirely unpredictable, but the normal outcome is a shot down the middle exemplifying the scope for individuality within the game. A birdie at 2 and double bogey at 3 were followed by steady, assured golf for his first visit to the podium in a while.
Francis Tallon took yet another gross prize with a 2 under round helped by birdies at 8, 11, 14 and 18.
The low section went to Mark Headley with 31 points off 5, a 1 under par back 7 giving him the edge over two other players on 31 points. Michael McSherry, off 2, took second place while John Hartnett’s failure to find any birdies edged him out of the prizes.
Tony McCallion, 12, had 32 points for the second time in a row, but while he could not find a place among the prizes last time out, he was to take the middle section on this occasion.
Raymond McCrory, 9, began his round with 5 straight bogeys, but a birdie at the last helped him secure second place with 31pts to beat off the challenges of Paul Rippon, 12, Tony Gallery, 9, and Colm Nash, 10, on the back 7.
Eric Allen gave something of a master class to take the high section with 33 points off 17. Having found an unlucky out of bounds at the third, he proceeded to hit long straight drives and often left his playing partners open-mouthed with iron shots which consistently landed beyond the pin only to spin back to the hole.
Second place went to Martin Patterson with 32 points off 15, a triple bogey at the penultimate hole doing him no favours.
Tom Lamb had his name pulled out of the hat for this week’s Joker Draw but unfortunately the Joker Card was not turned.