Mark worthy winner of McKinley trophy

Hole in one
Hole in one

Fred McKinley was appointed greenkeeper and professional at Lurgan Golf Club in 1939 and his name is etched in the history of the club.

Even after his retirement he made his weekly appearance at the club and many of Lurgan’s senior members will have fond memories of him wheeling his bicycle around the course on a Saturday afternoon offering advice and sharing stories.

During his playing days at the club Fred was a prolific winner and Mark O’Neill, who lifted the trophy on Saturday, is beginning to share that reputation.

Having won a number of trophies over the last few years, he has regularly featured in the prizes this season and it almost seemed like a natural progression when his 40 points, off 12, came out on top. A double bogey at 3 was his only error and a 38 back 9 meant 21 points and victory

David Herron had 21 points at the turn but a roller coaster back 9 saw a pair of birdies, at 10 and 16, couple with a pair of double bogeys, at 13 and 17, for 19 homeward points and second place. This was David’s second visit to the prizes this year and there is no doubt he will continue to characteristically carry his clubs to further success.

Three players returned 39 points with Dwaine Hanna’s 20 points, off 8, on the back 9 giving him third place. A double bogey at 9 was not how he would have wished to have reached the turn, but his score suggests that he will continue to be the leading golfer in the male Hanna contingent for some time to come.

As he teed off Paul Carlin was dismissing his victory of a couple of weeks ago as a ‘flash in the pan’, but he returned 39 points, off 19, to take fourth place. But for two double bogeys in his last three holes he would be celebrating a profitable May ‘double’.

No fewer than five players had 38 points in the low section with Denis McInerney’s 14 points over the last six holes taking the prize.

The unlucky quartet of Jim McKee, 6, Nathan McCann, 4, Jason McCann, 3 and Ciaran Seeley, 5, are no strangers to the prizes and will no doubt be back among them before long.

Narrowly pipped for the Veterans’ Trophy on Wednesday due to a couple of NRs, it was a case of déjà vu for Terry McCrory as he began each half of his round in similar fashion. While his 38 points, off 17, took the middle section for him, he must be starting to dream of a disaster free round.

Darryl McErlean took the high section with 37 points off 24 and once he eradicates the occasional NRs from his game he will doubtlessly be finding more frequent reward.

David Sutton made the first serious assault of the summer on the course record when he toured the course 5 under par with birdies at 1, 4, 7, 10, 12 and 18, and a bogey at 16. This meant 41 gross points and his +2 handicap reduced this to 39 nett points.

It is very rare for the best gross score to be better than the best nett score and yet not win the competition.