HANDY ANDY GETS SPORTS TRUST WIN
Andrew Stanton played the front nine of Portstewart’s Strand course in four over par on Saturday to help himself to a win in the first of the season’s competitions, the Ulster Sports Trust.
That score was not too bad for a seventeen handicapper. The eagle two he got on the par four second helped in no small measure as it represented five stableford points for the card to ease Andrew on to 24 points at the turn for home.
Coming back there were no more eagles, or birdies for that matter, just good steady golf scoring with nothing worse than a bogey at any hole, but with a few three pointers to boost the back nine score to 21 points. The resulting 45 points was just enough to give Andrew his win as Robin Walker finished just one back on 44 points.
Robin picked up an ordinary two, on the par three sixth, for four points, but gave a point back with his seven on the next. 23 points, however, were put on record for the opening nine holes, the winner’s five pointer being the difference there.
Robin’s first dropped shot on the return leg came at the fourteenth with a six and his only hole with less than two points came with another six on seventeen. 21 points was the consequence and gave Robin his 44 and second spot by one point.
Club Captain. Leading by example, won the day’s best gross section with a round of 74. The three handicapper saw his allotted shots used up in a four over par front nine but put the card straight on the return half by hitting a two at fifteen and a three on sixteen along with seven pars to be back in two under par 34 for his eighteen hole tally of 74.
The Low Section winner was Ciaran Cahoon with 41 points logged. After an ordinary enough start of five points from the first three holes Ciaran knocked in a birdy three on the long par four fifth for four points and ran out the front nine with 21 points under his belt.
Playing off twelve, Ciaran then covered the back nine in three over par for another 21 to secure his Section win with 41 overall. Colin Hegan took the High Section with an impressive 43 points from his mark of 21.
Sixes on two and nine were evened up by a four pointer on five and a few threes here and there all culminating in 22 points out. Colin eliminated the one pointers on the return leg but was unable to find any fours either and added 21 for his great 43 point total.
RUBY WINS PGA TANKARD
The PGA Tankard was played at Bushfoot Golf Club on Tuesday and was duly won by Ruby Boyce with 32 points.
This just pipped 17 handicapper Jill McIlroy on countback. In third place was Maureen Pentland, also playing off 17, with 30 points.
Ruby goes through to represent the club, alongside Club Pro David Jones, at the regional finals later this year.
PAT HAS CAPTAIN’S DAY
WIN ‘OFF PAT’
Don Brockerton provides me with details of a few golf events and he was effusive in praising the winner of the North West Ladies Golfing Alliance Captain’s Prize.
This was Castlerock’s Pat Brockerton, could they be connected in some way? Pat scored 34 points on a blustery, but dry day over eighteen holes to win by a single point from Portstewart’s Brenda Strain on 33.
Liz Dowds took the honours for the longest drive while Melanie Mitchell claimed the nearest the pin award.
Lady Captain Denise Henry (CGC) hosted the event which attracted some seventy players. They enjoyed the their coffee and scones before play and attended their AGM followed by dinner and presentation of prizes.
This included Portstewart Ladies being awarded the ‘Casement Cup’ for the best team score at the previous outing at Portstewart GC.
ALLIANCE WIN FOR KEN AT PORTRUSH
Castlerock’s Ken Newens scored 41 points at the Valley Links of Royal Portrush to win the recent meeting of the NE Golfing Alliance on countback from Portstewart’s Stephen Henry.
The round hundred golfers took part on a breezy day and the scoring was very competitive with several 36 points scores not getting into the prizes. After Ken and Stephen we had Jackie Graham in third with 39, JA Dohery, Walter Brogan, Gary Todd and Ian Bennett, a mix of Portstewart and Castlerock members, all with 38s.
The next outing of the NEGA will be on 17 April at Portstewart GC for Captain Jimmy Hamill’s big day with a big turn-out expected for both golf and the dinner afterwards.
McCLELLAND CUP FOR MARK
Mark McClelland came off best in the countback stakes on Sunday to get his name on the McClelland Cup at Ratmore GC.
Mark played to his six handicap over the first nine holes, getting 18 points on his card in spite of a no score on the eighth hole. Up to that he had dropped just one shot and had also hit a birdie four on the long fourth hole.
The inward nine was very profitable for Mark as he birdied both par fives and notched up a two at the last to get a back nine score of 23 points.
This is just the thing when a tie break is called for and it worked a treat for Mark as his 41 was matched by Kevin Liken, unfortunately Kevin had 21 back so lost out in the process.
Kevin’s two at six evened up a nasty double bogey six on the seventh and got him to 20 points for the nine. The long thirteenth gave him another birdie and he eliminated the double bogeys on the inward track.
This meant 21 points for Kevin and he got second place, three clear of third man Johnny Martin snr. Johnny scored 38 in an eventful round. He had 18 points at the turn, playing to his sixteen handicap, but failed to score at twelve.
He then double bogied fourteen and seventeen to boot, so things were looking bleak. With his confidence shaken Johnny worked out a plan for the final hole, a par three.
Rib an iron off the tee, watch it scuttle up the slope in front of the green, along the green, leave a dent in the pin and drop in for a hole in one! No bother.
He has now aced all of the par threes on the Valley, well done Johnny. Fourth place on the day went to Darren Dunlop for his 38 points. He failed to score at nine and eighteen but still returned 18 points out and 20 back for his prize.
Best gross for the day came from Ian Kettyle with a score of 72. Two bogies going out were reversed after two holes of the back nine; the tenth was birdied in four and the eleventh in two, getting Ian back to level.
His double bogey six at twelve pushed Ian back to two over and a five on seventeen balanced his final birdie three on sixteen to keep the two over 72 tally.
KEITH TOPS IN MEDAL AT THE ROCK
A net 69 from ten handicapper Keith McAllister was just enough to win Castlerock’s Monthly Medal at the weekend.
After a few bogies Keith knocked in a two on nine to get back to his handicap standard, five over par 41.
It was a different story on the inward nine as Keith found the par trail with five in a row before dropping a shot on the long fifteenth.
Another went on the short sixteenth but Keith made this up again with a good birdy four on seventeen before finishing with another par.
This one over par back nine of 38 gave Keith a gross 79 which netted down to his winning 69.
Two players were one shot back with Sam Brown getting runners up spot with his 70 on countback. Also a ten handicapper Sam birdied the third and dropped very few shots on the outward nine which he covered in four over 40.
Sam had dropped six shots after seven holes of the back nine but birdied the final two in four and three respectively to end that nine with a three over par 40 for a gross of 80, net 70.
Countback had pushed nine handicapper Eamon McGuinness out of second but into top place in the Low Section with his net 70. The seventh gave up a birdy three to Eamon but he dropped a shot on eight to be out in level par 36. Two sixes opened the back nine for Eamon before he retaliated with a birdie three on twelve. This was the final bird of the day as Eamon went on to get a back nine tally of 43 for his net 70. Gary Adamson headed the High section with a net 71.
The short Leg o’ Mutton punished Gary with seven but he steadied well after that to be out in 47 and he helped this recovery on the way in by notching up a good few pars and ending his round with a birdy three as well.
Back in 41 for a gross 88 and this netted to a 71 for Gary. Best of the oldies was Eugene Devlin with his net 73.
Eugene played well for most of the round, getting to seventeen with six shots of his handicap left but fell to a seven on seventeen and a nasty eight at the last to miss out on the main placings but still top of his section on 73.
David Turner’s round of 71 was good enough to win the best gross.
His four on three and three on the sixth helped David to cover the front nine in one under par 35 and the good form carried on into the back nine where everything was parred except the fifteenth which gave him another birdie four. His final score was two under par 71.