Liam bags a turkey
The turkey season began at Ballycastle on Saturday with temperatures more akin to barbecues than Christmas dinner.
The good weather was reflected in the scoring with Liam McLean (14) leading the way in Section 1 for 0-14 handicappers with a super 44 points. Niall Hill (13) took second spot with 42 points and Gerry McGouran (13) was third on 40 points.
The Section 2 bird was won by Paul Brogan (18) on 43 points, Colin Miller was second on 41 points and another 16 handicapper, John McSparran, pipped three others with his 25 points on the back nine to bring his total to 40 points.
Sunday’s conditions were somewhat more breezy, but that didn’t stop Allan McCook (14) taking the Section One Turkey with 42 points, one ahead of Eddie McMullan (13) in second place.
James Sloan (23) and John Morgan (23) both recorded 38 points in Section Two, with James’ back nine of 18 giving him the first prize and pushing John into second place.
It was the second time in a week that John Morgan was pipped on countback as Sean McCullough and he had both 39 points in the Wednesday Open.
However, the highlight for Sean was his hole-in-one at the 13th which cost him a few pounds at the bar later in the day.
Allister Somers took advantage of the good weather to clinch a win in the Castlerock Club Stableford on Saturday.
His 41 points with 21 back won out in the countback. The eleven handicapper had a birdy free front nine of three over par 39 which gave him 20 points. Allister slipped in two birdies coming back, fours at the eleven and seventeen, to go one better and add 21 points to the card. The scoring was so close that the aforementioned countback went down to the final three holes where Allister’s birdie made the difference and eased Fred Mealiff (22) into runners up spot with another 41 pointer.
Fred bettered his 22 handicap on both nines, by two on the way out and by three coming back, 20 and 21 respectively.
His single point take from the seventeenth was his undoing in the countback and second spot it had to be. Low Section topper was Eamon McGuinness, playing off nine, with a points tally of 39. He didn’t score at the second but had just one dropped shot with a five at the long par four “Armchair” to finish the nine with 18 points bagged. Eamon repeated much of the front nine procedure with just one bogey but no blanks to gather up another 21 points for his prizewinning 39.
Best in the High Section was Geoff Mitchell on 40points. The fifteen handicapper covered the opening nine in four over par for 21 out and kept up the steady scoring into the back nine. A wee slip at twelve took a point off him but the big damage came with a blank at the short sixteenth.
Geoff followed this with his birdie four but the die was cast and he fell one point short of the lead. In the “Oldie Section Brian Wilson was the table topper with a good score of 38 points from his mark of fourteen. He collected 19 points from a front nine which included two blanks and a two at nine. Ten and eleven fell to birdies with a three and a four being hit to make it three birds in a row. Another blank appeared at fourteen but Brian picked up another 19 back to get to his 38 points.
Aaron Kearney, one of the very few plus three handicappers locally, had the Best Gross round of the day, he covered the course in 70 shots, three under par. His first dropped shot came with a four at the “Leg O’Mutton and he let another slip with another four at nine but amongst these he had birdied the third in four the sixth in three to be out in level par 36.
Aaron’s only dropped shot in the back nine came with a five at the last but before this he had knocked in birdie fours at eleven, fifteen and seventeen and a three at thirteen for a three under gross back nine of 34 giving him his round of 70.
CUP WIN FOR PEARCE
Pearce Donnelly scored 44 points from his thirteen handicap to take the SS Henry Cup at Portstewart on Saturday.
An indifferent start saw just one point come from the second but a run of four pars and a birdie four at seven saw Pearce with 23 points after nine. Very few mistakes were made on the inward nine, another one pointer at thirteen, and he signed up for 21 back and 44 overall to take the cup.
Stephen Garrett missed out on the Best Gross by coming second in the points table. Playing off one Stephen opened with a birdie three but followed this with a double bogey six.
He settled after that to drop in two birdies, four at the seventh and three at eight, to end the nine in one under par 35. His two at twelve started a run of three in a row with both par fives falling to fours and he added another bird with his three at sixteen. Round in 67 shots Stephen had scored 42 points for second place.
Dessie Crawford hit 41 to get to the top of the Low Section. The nine handicapper picked up a birdie three at eight for four points and boosted his halfway score to 20 points. Dessie’s two at twelve boosted the card again but he hadn’t finished with the birdies yet, a four was logged at the long fourteenth and a three to end the round at eighteen for 21 back. Brian McCafferty, refreshed from his trip to Turkey, also hit 41 points from his mark of sixteen.
A two at six gave him four points to make up for a few single pointers and got him to the ninth with 20 points carded. Brian started back with another one pointer and, although he birdied the long fourteenth for four, the final two holes gave up just two points and pushed him down the main field and into top slot of the Section.
Ansley Stewart had a round of 74 which got him Best Gross. Three bogies on the way out got him to 39 and he parred the first three on the way in. Bothpar fives gave up birdies before another shot slipped away with a four at fifteen. Three pars to finish and he was back in one under par 35 and round in 74.
LADY PRESIDENT’S WIN
Jean Baker used all her guile to secure BushfootGC’s Lady president’s Prize last Friday. It was a three way tie at the top with Jean, Sharon Scott and Gillian McKenna but Jean’s better back nine score clinched the deal for her. She also topped the charts in Division Three.
Sharon was Division One winner and Gillian was runner up in the same section. Caroline Hackney took the honours in Division Two with her 34 points tally.
Lady President Alice Trufelli was well supported by the Bushfoot Ladies and her guests and was commended on producing excellent weather for them.
DINNER IS SECURED
Top turkey winner at Rathmore on Sunday was twenty one handicapper Johnny McMullan with 42 points to his name.
His opening hole double bogey six did not auger well but the ship was steadied enough to put 20 points on the card for the first nine holes. The second nine went in a similar fashion with another double bogey slipping in at thirteen but steadt golf before and after this. 22 points was the result for his winning score of 42.
Runner up on the day was Jon Neely with 41 points. Jon approached the game slightly differently to the winner by hitting a birdy three at the first and adding in his double bogey six at the second but he finished the nine on 20 points as well.
The eleven handicapper birdied the fourteenth with a three to boost his back nine tally to 21 points and take second spot by himself with 41. Jim Baird and Ian Pritchard tied with 39 points each for the final two birds with Jim taking the countback.He had 18 points out including his birdie two at the third, and he used his twenty shots well to add another 21 to clinch the tie breaker. Ian matched the front and back nines scores, 18 and 21, but the last six came up a bit short and fourth was the result.
MEDAL WIN FOR JOHN
A net 67 was enough to top the chart for John Bamber in the Royal Portrush Monthly Medal on Saturday. The seven handicapper picked up twos at the third and the sixth to help the front nine total to 37, one over par.
His three at sixteen was the only birdy on the return leg and John matched the front nine score of 37 again. The 74 gross netted down to the winning 67.
Michael Taylor took the Silver Medal for his net 68 playing off eleven. He hit a three at the fourth for birdy and covered the opening nine in 37.
No more birdies were found but a nasty three over par seven at the twelfth was to prove costly as he came back in 40 for a gross 77, nett 68, just one short of the leader.
Richard McDermott was the Bronze winner after shooting a nett 71. His only birdy of the day came with a four at the second and helped him through the front nine in 40 shots. With a back nine tally of 43 Richard ended up with a round of 83 which netted to 71.
Further congratulations are due to Richard as he also won the Monthly Medal Final for his consistent efforts over the season.
Best Gross was taken on the day by Michael Ferris for a round of 76, two over par.