On Sunday the Senior Scratch Cup, jointly sponsored by Bailies Amusements and Metal Technology, attracted some of the finest local golfers to battle it out for the coveted trophy.
The course proved tricky and the competition scratch scores for each round of the 36 hole event were 72 and 73.
Having lifted the gross prize the previous day, David Sutton finished the weekend in style by lifting the top prize thanks to rounds of 70 and 72 for a very impressive 142 total. Overall he had 5 birdies, 24 pars and 7 bogeys and will no doubt be hoping for many more weekends where the sun was shining for him in more ways than one.
Michael McSherry took the runners-up spot with a 146 total. His opening round of 71 contained 5 birdies and 6 bogeys, and although his second round was 4 shots worse at 75.
Matt Wylie, from Belvoir Park, also had a 146 with rounds of 70 and 76. Four birdies and four bogeys in his first round left him level par and in the joint lead at the halfway stage of the competition, but he rather hit the bogey trail on his second round running up 8 to finish Conor Doran, Banbridge, came 4th on 147, and Paul Topley, Tandragee, 5th with 149.
Overall nett prizes went to Graham Douglas with nett 140, Keith Percy with nett 143 and The first round gross prizes went to Martin McAvoy, 72, and Gareth Moore, 74, with Jason McCann claiming the nett award with a nett 70. In the second round the gross prizes went to Philip Kelly (Co Armagh GC) on 73 and Gary McNally on 76. Jim McKee took the nett with a nett 72.
The season’s first ‘major’, the Malcolm Trophy was played for and it went to one of its youngest ever winners when 16 yr old Peter Kennedy returned a nett 65, off 6, for victory. Peter completed quite a week with this major victory as he had lifted the previous Saturday’s competition, touring the course in 71 shots on each occasion. He also finished his week by entering category 1 for the first time, so we shall obviously be hearing much more about him in the coming years.
Ronan McCrory made it a great day for the youth as he took the runners-up spot with a nett 66, off 8. A double bogey at 9 was immediately followed by a birdie and his level par back 9 proved decisive in holding off the challenge of another player on nett 66. That player was Kieran Ward playing off 10. He seemed to have put himself out of contention with a double bogey at 9, but a back 9 of 37 shots almost did the trick, third prize being something of a consolation.
Gary McNally came 4th with a nett 67 off 4, his 1 under par back 9 giving him the edge over veteran Roy Hanna Jnr who came 5th. Roy is apparently the youngest winner of the trophy having lifted it when he was just 14 years of age, and he came so close to winning it again so many decades later.
Fifth place went to Paul Best with a nett 68 off 12. A triple bogey at 6 had left him 7 over par at that point, however, a homeward run of 37 enabled him to edge in front of no fewer than 7 other players on a similar total.
On a difficult day the course was proving the winner as the competition scratch score rose to 71, but David Sutton still managed to break par, the only player to do so on the day. Birdies at 4, 8 and 13, and a bogey at 11 all added up to a 68 and the day’s gross prize.
Brian Scullion has been knocking on the door these past few weeks and he took 2nd gross with a 71. He had 5 birdies on his card, the most of anyone on the day, and was 3 under par after 5 holes, but 6 bogeys lay waiting thereafter.
John Hartnett ran up his second victory in his last three Wednesday Sweeps when he took this week’s event with 41pts off 10. John never leaves it long between lifting prizes and he went about his business in his normal quiet manner when he toured the course in 75 shots for victory. A double bogey at the penultimate hole threatened to spoil his day but a birdie at the last saw him home.
The runners-up spot went to another man in form when Brian Mallon scored 40pts off 18. He seemed to be coasting to victory until back to back double bogeys popped up at 15 and 16, but a 3-6 finish yielded 5 vital pts over the last 2 holes.
Gerard Henderson brought a promising opening to an end with a double bogey at the 9th, but he opened his homeward journey with a birdie to set him on the way to 39pts, off 12, and a third place finish.
Martin McNeice brought his promising opening to an end even sooner with an NR at 4, his second consecutive NR at this relatively easy hole. Birdies at 9 and 13 got him back on track and he ended up in 4th place with 38pts off 10.
The gross prize went to Robert Emerson whose bogeys at 2, 5 and 14 were balanced by birdies at 7, 10 and 18 for a level par round and 36 gross pts.