Andrew Cummins produced the dream start to his round with three birdies in the first four holes as he made his way to 41 points, off 5, and victory in the Baird Cup at Lurgan on Saturday.
A few loose shots meant he reached the turn on level par, and with a birdie and bogey coming home his 20 back 9 points were just enough to lift the trophy.
Three and five under handicap respectively for the last two Saturdays suggests that Andrew will be a strong contender throughout yet another season.
Nobody enjoys a win more than Francis Tallon, 3, and he came within a whisker of lifting his second trophy in 6 days after lifting the RIR Cup on the previous Monday.
Three under par at the turn after birdies at 1, 7 and 8 for 23 outward points, he failed to replicate the sparkle coming home and his 18 back 9pts meant he had to settle for the runners-up spot.
Young Ronan McCrory, 9, scored 40 points for the second Saturday in a row and having lifted the low section last week he took third place on this occasion with a level par back 9 for 22 points.
Fourth place went to Gavin Smyth, 11, who also had 40 points with 20 coming home. Although he had 7 outward pars, double bogeys at 6 and 9 did him no favours.
Most players can only dream of a 67, but Gary Clarke is beginning to make a habit of them as he shot his second in a row to take the day’s gross prize with 39 gross points, four birdies and a bogey putting him at the head of the field.
Dairmuid Mitchell’s birdie at the last helped him to 38 points, off 11, to take the low section, with that late surge of pts enabling him to hold off the strong challenge of three players on a similar total. That unlucky trio was John O’Neill, 6, Garfield Harrison, 7, and Brian Scullion, 5.
The middle section went to Terence Eagers with 39pts off 19. He will be a little disappointed with his triple bogey 8 at 15 but glad that after a slightly stuttering start to the season he has got things back on track. Henry McAreavey and Johnny McEvoy, both 13, came close with 38 points each.
Michael Fleville took the high section by a clear two point margin with 38pts off 23, a birdie at the difficult 7th hole being the highlight of a very steady round.
The RIR Cup was first played for in 1915 and has long been the traditional Easter Monday competition in the club. As it began its second century last Monday it was fitting that one of the club’s more senior members should mark the occasion with 43 points, of 3, to lift the trophy.
Francis Tallon had birdies at 2, 4, 12, 16 and 18, and with a bogey at 7 he went round in just 66 shots, the third time he has done this in the last six months. Brother-in-law Johnny McEvoy kept things in the family by taking 2nd place with 42 points off 13. He will be disappointed with his double bogey at 16, and will join a long line of family and friends who consistently come up short when challenging Francis.
Brian Doley is more used to taking his place on the podium than most and he took 3rd place with 40 points off 14, double bogeys at 16 and 17 bringing to an end what had hitherto been a very credible challenge.
The day’s gross prize went to Nathan McCann with 38 gross points. A double bogey at three was immediately followed by an eagle leaving Nathan wondering what might be coming next. An old head on young shoulders steadied the ship and covering the last 10 holes in four under.
The lengthening evenings helped attract the biggest crowd of the year to yesterday’s sweep and although some were making debut appearances after their annual hibernation it was the familiar faces who played their way into the prizes.
After playing second fiddle to brother in law Francis Tallon on Monday, Johnny McEvoy wasted no time in making amends with 41 points, off 13, to claim top spot. His birdies at 2, 4 and 15 helped him secure an important victory in his quest to become the number 1 golfer in the family before the season ends. Liam Scullion took second place with 40 points off 23. Nett eagles at 14 and 16 helped him to 22 homeward points to claim his prize over that stretch.
Third place went to Louis Moore, 16, who seems to be playing the golf of his life at the moment. This was his second podium finish in a fortnight but after being just 3 over at the turn he dropped nine shots coming home to leave him with thoughts of what might have been.
Cahal McEvoy will share those thoughts as having played himself into contention, a trio of double bogeys at 12, 13 and 14 played their part in spoiling his chances of victory, although he will be happy his 39pts, of 19, claimed fourth place for him.
In fifth place came the ever impressive Sean McClean with 38 points off 15. He has been hitting the ball really well lately so it was little surprise to see him among the winners where he feels so much at home. The last nett prize went to Ronan McGivern with 38 points, off 4, to add to his family’s blistering start to the season.
The gross prize went to Jim McKee who went round in 2 over par for 34 gross points. Two days previously a great round at Castleblaney had returned Jim to his cherished Category 1 status where he will be hoping to remain for the season.