CAPTAIN’S Day, the major golfing highlight of the year, took place over Friday evening and all day Saturday.
After a hiccup in early March the officers in the club in their wisdom reappointed Patrick Meehan as Captain for his second tenure in office.
Paddy’s original day was beaten by the weather but on this occasion the golfing gods looked down favourably upon the weekend. Pleasant sunny weather was much in evidence and the competing golfers were more than thankful. Pristine conditions greeted the golfers but they had to produce the necessary form to achieve a respectable score. Less than generous fairways, slick greens and challenging pin positions tested the skill and patience of the three hundred and fifty odd entries.
Over the duration of the competition only 23 golfers were under the par of 36 points. This represented between six and seven per cent of the competing field.
Three golfers achieved the best return of 39 points and two of these were student members. The winner of the Captain’s Prize was Stephen Allen with his brand of 39 points. This fourteen handicapper was quickly into his stride with a good run of pars starting at the second and ending on the fifth. A par at the ninth concluded his fine opening nine salvo. A par on the eleventh and a birdie on the next hole set a good standard for the inward nine. Further pars came his way on holes fourteen and seventeen. No points on the seventh and a double bogey on the thirteenth were his only off-key plays. A string of net pars secured him this coveted accolade of the golfing year and a quality piece of crystal.
There were nine golfers with cards attaining a score of thirty eight points. A better back nine enabled David Lennon to capture the runners-up prize with his effort of 38 points. This twelve handicapper had quite a solid opening nine containing pars at holes one, three, seven and eight. Double bogeys on holes five and six may have raised a few eyebrows. However a lot more drive and consistency was evident on the homeward section of the course. Par figures at holes ten, twelve, thirteen and sixteen provided the necessary stability. A birdie on the fourteenth was another defining moment. This no frills play earned him second place on the day.
The third net prize went to John Horan. This six handicapper had a similar haul of 38 points. A solid opening of pars at holes one, three, five, six and seven set the bar. He completed the nine with an useful birdie on the ninth. More birdies were posted on holes ten, thirteen and fifteen. A trio of pars at holes twelve, sixteen and seventeen rounded off his successful day.
The desirable gross prize went to one handicapper Gary Clarke. Gary took the honours with a tidy return of gross 69. He was level par through nine holes thanks to seven pars, a birdie at the second and a bogey on the eighth. On the back nine bogeys on holes eleven and fourteen may have caused some uneasiness. However he ended his round brilliantly with three closing birdies. This proved sufficient to secure him this category award.
In the low handicap section where twelve golfers submitted under par scores, Paul Lyness emerged victorious with another tally of 38 points. This seven handicapper was competitive on both sides of the course. His front nine comprised six pars to accompany bogeys on holes two, three and nine. On the way home he fell foul of bogeys on holes fourteen, seventeen and eighteen. Five pars and a birdie on the sixteenth came to his rescue and he duly claimed section honours.
The middle section went to Gerard Marner with a fighting effort of 38 points. This seventeen handicapper opened his account with a birdie on the first. Par figures at holes three, ten and fifteenth were additional highlights. A string of net pars was his other potent scoring offering. In spite of double bogeys on holes thirteen and sixteen he held on to get his name in the winning frame. Five golfers in this division registered under par returns.
On the day Alastair McCaffrey shot a two under par effort of 38 points and this enabled him to seize the high section category. Playing off a nineteen handicap Alastair was best served by a quintet of pars at holes five, nine, ten, eleven and seventeen. Although he had a triple bogey on the eighth and double bogeys on holes seven and eighteen he nevertheless kept fighting with numerous net par returns. This determination kept him on track for this award. Six golfers in this grouping attained under par scores.
Outside of the usual prizes there were a variety of others on offer. The student prize was hotly contested with both Daniel Wright and Chris Watt scoring impressive totals of 39 points. Ten handicapper Daniel had the best overall return of the day and he bagged this prize. Daniel had an indifferent opening nine but he salvaged something with pars on holes one, two and seven. He was a revelation on the back nine with nine pars on his card. This guided him to the victory.
On the Friday Patrick Horner shot 38 points and this helped him to capture the seniors prize.
The Council and Past-Captain’s prizes were both won by single figure handicappers. The former was won by four handicapper Tom Douglas with his under par tally of 37 points. The latter went to the current honorary secretary Ian McMurray with a tally of 36 points.
Closest to the Captain’s drive down the first was Jim Stevenson and he was suitably rewarded for his endeavour.
Playing on Friday James Horan recorded the longest drive in the tournament down the eighteenth. On the eighth and seventeenth pars threes there were prizes for the individuals finishing closest to the pins. The winners of these were Josh Beck and High O’Reilly respectively.
The lady members were also competing for prizes put up by the Captain. The main winner was Sorcha Mulholland with a super effort of 48 points. Zoe Allen took the gross with a score of 35 points. The putting prize went to Brid Rodgers.
On Saturday night the Captain and his esteemed guests enjoyed the cuisine and as usual at the presentation ceremony the winning golfers were handed their prizes.