FLOWERFIELD CUP AT
It took 40 points to secure the winning of the Flowerfield Cup on Saturday and twelve handicap Mark Hamilton scored just that to stay one point ahead of the field.
Mark hit a couple of three pointers nearly in the outward nine but the long par four fifth took two back with a six and the next, the pitch hole took another. He ran out the nine with 19 points to his credit though, and the good form carried over into the back nine. Mark picked up four points for his birdy three on eleven and although a point was lost on the short twelfth, a steady run to the finishing post had just two shots dropped to par and meant 21 back and 40 overall for the cup win.
Three 39 pointers followed Mark with the best of these coming from 14 handicapper Kenny Swann. Kenny announced his intentions early with a birdie three on hole one, thought better of it by blanking the second, then steadied himself to get to the turn with 16 points gained.
It was all change coming back for Kenny as he knocked in a birdie three on eleven for four points, had a selection of twos and threes and finished his round as he started, with another four point birdy at the last. Kenny pulled 23 points for the back nine and that pushed John Murray down the list but into top position in the High Section.
His unfortunate blank at the second restricted the front nine tally to 17 points but a few good pars to start the inward nine got John back to two better than twos. A timely two on fifteen gained him another four points, helping him to add 22 points to the card for his 39 total.
Chris Lundy topped the Low Section with a 37 point return off his handicap of five. He was one up on twos after four, including a two on the third, but the long par four fifth gave up nothing to Chris’s card. Another two on the sixth got Chris back on track and he ran out the nine with 19 points in the bag. The par five fourteenth was his only birdie on the inward nine and that helped Chris to get another 18 carded for his total of 37.
Six handicapper Eamon McCotter scored 38 points, four over par 76, to take the honours in the Best Gross Section. An opening one pointer and a blank at the fifth saw Eamon well behind in points but that was cured by a fine birdie three on eight for four to allow him to turn for home with 18 points carded.
Another up and down start was made on the back nine but again Eamon came back with a flurry of points over the last five holes. He played these in one under par, including a birdy two on fifteen for 13 points taking the inward nine tally to 20.
KIERAN SWEEPS UP AT RPGC
Kieran Crowley hit 38 points over the Dunluce Links on Saturday to seal a victory in the Stableford Sweep.
The nineteen handicapper started with a double bogey six but birdies the long second to help get him back on track.
The opening nine yielded 20 points to Kieran, eight over par, two better than his handicap would suggest. He performed well on the inward nine too with a three on the par four twelfth and a four on the long seventeenth. Those birdies balanced up the two blanks at fourteen and fifteen to add 18 points and boosted his final score to 38.
Another nineteen handicapper took runners up spot with Adrian Jennions scoring 36. His steady 17 out was blighted by a nasty triple bogey seven on the eighth but he navigated his way through the back nine, avoiding major trouble until the eighteenth gave him a double bogey six. Nineteen points were eked from that and got second place secured for Adrian. Club Captain Simon Rankin took third place on 35 points.
The curse of the double bogies struck on the front nine to restrict the points tally to just 16 but Captain Simon played the back nine in two over par for 19 points to ease another 35 points scorer, Dr Michael Patterson into fourth on countback.
Playing off five Michael was out in four over for 17 points and, like Simon came back in two over. This gave up 18 points to the card. Sid Henry took the final placing with his 34 points from his scratch handicap. He had a modest 11 points out, not scoring on the two opening holes, but really found his game on the inward nine.
Sid came back in five under par 31 with birdy fours on ten and seventeen, threes on twelve and sixteen and a two on fourteen. That amounted to 23 and was well worthy of a prize for the reversal of form alone.
BRIAN WINS CASTLEROCK MEDAL
Two net 69s tied for top spot at Castlerock on Saturday with Brian McGonigle winning out in the countback process.
The fourteen handicapper double bogied the long third and the par four eighth to be out in nine over 45.
It was all change coming back however as just three shots were lost to par and Brian birdied seventeen and eighteen to get back in one over par 38. His gross of 83 netted down to 69 and that finish served him well to push Richard Boyd into second spot in the tie break.
Richard also had a double bogey on the opening nine, a seven on the fifth, but knocked in a birdy three on the next to ease the pain. He ended the front nine in 41, five over par. The eleven handicapper’s form improved after that and a birdy three on thirteen was duly carded. No more were to be found but few shots were lost to see Richard cover the back nine in two over par 39. 80 gross was the result, netting down to 69 but losing out on countback.
Ivor Lapsley, playing off six, topped the Low Section with his net 71. His starting double bogey six was made good by his four on the long fifth and, with few other errors showing he ended the front nine on three over 39. The back nine started and ended with bogey fives but between these were no dropped shots and a good birdy four on seventeen to see Ivor back in 38, one over par and with gross 77 which nets to 71.
High section topper was Gary Stewart with his net 70. As with many others he found the front nine hard, out in 43, seven over, but the back nine seemed friendlier. His bogey five on ten and the double five on the short sixteenth were his only departures from par for the nine and gave him a three over par inward score. His 73 gross then netted to his prizewinning 70.
Best Senior of the day was R Burnett with a net 71. A composed 46 out, 48 back; with few mistakes was the order of the day here.
David Turner’s round of 73 won him the Best Gross. His birdy three at the opening hole was tempered by a couple of bogies on the par fives and saw him finish the front nine on one over 37. On the back nine he opened with another birdy three but did not let the par fives catch him out again, playing them in one under par. No shots were dropped so he ended the nine one under and the round on level par 73.
GARRY TAKES McNAUGHTON CUP
Garry McCullagh scored the better of two 65s at bushfoot GC on Saturday to get his hands on the McNaughton Cup.
The seventeen handicapper started steadily with four bogies before a dramatic eight on the par four fifth left him in a pickle. His birdie four on the next helped to sort that out and he ran out the first nine holes in eight over par 43.
A brace of double bogies to start the back nine was again overcome by hitting a birdy three on twelve and slipping in another with a four on fifteen as well. Garry’s four over back nine took him to a gross of 82 which netted down to 65 and gave him a decisive edge in the countback to ease Andrew Fulton into runners up spot with another net 65.
Andrew was nine over par going out, two better than his handicap of 22 would suggest, and came back in eight over. An unfortunate last hole triple bogey did not help his cause but second prize was his with a net 65. Nigel Shannon took up third place just a shot back on 66.
But for his triple bogey seven at four he would have been well in contention but, as it was, he ended the front nine seven over par. It was better over the back nine with no sign of triples, his worst score was a bogey and he had just four of those to get back in 39 for his gross of 81, net 66.
Paddy is king of the Glens
Saturday past saw the good weather continue and this was reflected in the fine scoring by the competitors in the Glens of Antrim Cup.
Paddy Dallat senior took the top spot with a fine nett 64. Paddy had birdies at the second and 10th holes in an ultra consistent round of golf for the eleven handicapper. Liam McGarry’s fine form continued as he took another podium finish with a round of 65. Section One was topped by young Leo Morgan (11) who also has enjoyed a fine start to the season,
Section Two went the way of Roland Kearns (13) who returned a nett 66 of his own and Kevin Blaney (19) took Section three with a nett 68. Rory Gallagher (5) had the low gross score of the day with one over par round of 72 and Brendan McCollum took the second gross with a 76.
The Order of Merits are starting to take shape and Liam McGarry (14) and Leo Morgan’s blistering start to the season have them positioned first and second respectively in the Golfer of the year standings. Francis McGinn has a commanding lead after four events in the gross calculated Winchester Bowl, but still plenty to play for through May and June.
The weather on Sunday wasn’t just as favourable but it didn’t stop the men taking to the links for the Sunday Stableford. Gerard Daly (16) took top honours with a fine return of 41 points in tough conditions; runners up spot went to Gareth Beckett (16) who also had 41 points but a weaker back nine holes. Four men returned scores of 40points but after the count back rule, David Getty took third spot and Damien McMullan took 4th from Edgar Dornan and Trevor Blaney.