Big Day Out winner Neil has spring in his step

Peter Hanna presents Neil Dillon with his prize.
Peter Hanna presents Neil Dillon with his prize.

Whilst the March Big Day Out traditionally marks the end of winter golf, it also signals the arrival of spring and although still in its early stages, Neil Dillon has already scored as many points in 2015 as would keep a lot of golfers happy for a season.

A return of 38 points is more or less run of the mill stuff for him but they were enough to take the overall Big Day Out prize by two clear points on Saturday at Lurgan.

It has been a quiet winter for Laurence Mitchell by his own standards but he almost went out in a blaze of glory with 36 points, off 9, helped by birdies at 4 and 10.

He will no doubt be happy with the runner up spot and even happier that a return to form will have given him grounds for optimism for the incoming season.

There was a time when Martin McNeice had to take a back seat as the other members of his fourball covered themselves in weekly glory, but it would appear that those days are in the past.

The 10th hole continues to sum up his form and he is now 14 under par there since Halloween.

Another 36 points, off 8, flowed from his elegant golfing motion and gave him third overall on the day.

Francis Tallon took the gross with 32 gross points. Quickly becoming known as ‘Mr Birdie’, he added to his remarkable total of sub par holes when he chalked up a further seven birdies in his round, half of the 14 holes he played.

Last Sunday Gavin Little struggled to 33 points over 18 holes, but he took section 1 with the same score over just 14 holes. Conall Coleman took the runners up spot with 32 points off 5 to continue his impressive run of form.

A birdie at 1 and eagle at 4 left Mark O’Neill 3 under par, but he failed to capitalise on his best ever start and had to be content with 35 points, off 9, to lift section 2. Raymond McCann saved his best score of the winter to come second with 34 points off 12 helped by birdies at 10 and 15.

Tom Creaney looked like walking away with the day’s top prize until a horrible triple bogey popped up at 17 to leave him with an ultimately disappointing 34 points, off 11, and empty handed.

Andrew Heasley started the week with 45 points over 18 holes and ended it with 36 points over 14 to take section 3 off 20.

Philip Ward came second also with 36 points, off 19. His birdies at 4, 9 and 10 really helped but an NR at 7 was not what the doctor ordered.

Also on 36 points but finding himself out of the prizes was the consistent Terry McCrory who no doubt will not have to wait long before his luck changes.