EDDIE READY FOR
Eddie O’Connor, playing off twelve, had a single point win to take the William Boyd Memorial Trophy at Castlerock GC on Saturday.
Eddie scored 43 points with two blanks on his card so the twelve handicap will have seen its last day. He opened his account with a par four and a birdie three to take seven points from two holes. The first of his two blanks then appeared on the long third.
To the turn from there he dropped just two shots and had 21 points logged. Eddie’s final blank was the tenth but this time he dropped in a birdie four on eleven to get back on track, in fact it was regulation par from there in and that run gave up 22 points taking the full tally to 43 and gave Eddie his victory.
Mark O’Connor took runners up spot with 42 points off his six handicap. He opened with a birdie three and didn’t lose a shot until his bogey five on eight.
This effort gave Mark 21 points out Spion Kop took a shot off him but he recovered from that by slipping in a two at sixteen helping Mark to another 21 for his card of 42.
Ross McCrabbe topped the Low Section with another 41 points.
The five handicapper also had 21 points out and kept it up well into the back nine. The first dropped shot coming back came with a five on the twelfth but he had more birdies in store, and produced them on the short sixteenth and the long seventeenth before ending the round with a five at the last.
20 points came out of all that and meant third place for Ross.
Ian Bennett scored 39 points from his handicap of fourteen to take the High Section prize.
He made consistent progress through the front nine with only one single pointer in his tally of 20. Coming back was much the same with 19 coming from that to secure the Section.
Derek Dickson took the honours in the Senior Section scoring 39 points from his mark of twelve.
His birdie two on the fourth gave him four points and helped him to 21 by the turn for home.
A four pointer on ten boosted the hopes but they were blunted by a one pointer on eleven and a blank on thirteen.
Another no score on sixteen meant no chance of the main prize but his birdie four on seventeen made sure of the Senior title.
David Turner was this week’s Best Gross winner for his three under par round of 70. He covered the first nine in level par with a birdie on eight balancing a bogey on nine. The back nine saw the arrival of quadruple birdies starting with a four on the long eleventh, and a three on twelve, the par three ‘Corner’ gave David a two and the long seventeenth a four before eighteen took a shot back.
34 shots covered the last nine, three under par, to give David his round of 70.
JIMMY O’NEILL DAY ‘FALLS’ TO JOHN JNR
The Jimmy O’Neill NI Fire Services Day was topped, after countback by John Fall’s 40 points.
The seven handicapper finished the front nine on five over par with a birdie four on the fourth and a double bogey six at the eighth.
Better was ahead as he dropped just one shot, a five at the twelfth, but birdied ten, thirteen, both par fives, and ended his day with a good two on eighteen for his 40 point return.
Twelve handicap Gerard Bradley too k second spot with his 40 points. His birdie four on the fourth made up some of the damage done with three double bogeys. Gerard knocked in an eagle three on ten but the curse of the doubles returned at fifteen with a five.
A closing bogey four did his countback chances no good at all and he had to be content with second place. David McLaughlin’s 40 points was eased into third place.
His three for birdie on nine saw the fifteen handicapper out in four over par and he kept the good standard up well into the back nine, only faltering at seventeen where two shots went west.
Again a closing bogey four at eighteen only confirmed the countback verdict of third. Steven Crockett and Bill Clarke had matching 36s for fourth and fifth respectively.
Steven had a birdie on the card with a three at nine while Bill ahd two on the opening nine and three coming back. In between these the scoring was not just as sharp as it could have been for both players.
Ian Kettyle again took the Best Gross prize with a one over 71.
With an opening hole bogey and a double bogey five on three two birdies were a welcome sight for Ian, these came at the long fourth and the par four fifth.
The par five thirteenth gave him another bird as did the fourteenth to get Ian round in one over for his prize.
SPECSAVERS WIN FOR GARY AT RATHMORE
Scratch golfer Gary McDowell played the Valley links in one under par 69 to win the Specsavers Open at Rathmore Golf Club last Monday.
He announced his intent with a birdie three on the opening hole but dropped a shot immediately after this. After a series of pars Gary knocked in another birdie, a three on seven, to get to the turn one under par and with 19 points on the card.
Gary’s back nine account opened with two pars before he slipped in consecutive birdies, a three on twelve and a four on thirteen to go to three under. This lead was whittled down a little as bogies appeared on fifteen and sixteen but he settled again to par the last two for his round of 69. This converts to a winning 37 Stableford points.
Portstewart’s Davy Barber matched Gary’s 37 points but the three handicapper missed out on countback.
Davy’s first dropped shot came with his four on the short sixth but he reclaimed level par status with a three on nine. His inward nine did not start too well, two bogeys, but a good birdie four on thirteen made up a little for that.
No more birdies turned up and, with a shot dropping on the par four sixteenth, Davy finished the back nine on two over par 37 for his points total of 37 and took runners up spot.
Three 36s vied for the other placings with Steven Penney getting the countback nod for third. Steven plays off two out of Galgorm Castle and he played the opening nine holes in two over par.
He covered the back nine in regulation figures to get round in two over for 36 points. Gareth McLaughlin, playing off fifteen, also hit 36 points for fourth spot. He played very steadily for a six over front nine and a seven over back and but for a couple of uncharacteristic double bogeys could have been challenging for top spot.
Eleven handicap Clive Shorter also played to his handicap for fifth place after countback. He was four over par at the turn but dropped a few shots before slipping in a birdy four on thirteen. A few more shots were lost near the end to hamper Clive’s chances of the main prize.
Ian Kettyle took another Best Gross for his round of 73. In a birdie free outward nine Ian was beset with bogies as he got to the turn in five over par 39.
He set his stall out early on the back nine by reducing the long tenth to four shots and the short eleventh to two. Ian’s final bogey of the day came with a five on twelve and he immediately countered this with his final birdie of the day, a four on thirteen. Five pars to finish gave Ian his two under par 33 for the inward nine and his three over gross winning 73.
This event was again generously sponsored by Specsavers and remains one of the ‘jewels in the crown’ for Rathmore Golf Club, always generating great interest from members and visitors alike.
EAMON HIGH IN CENTENARY TROPHY WIN
Eamon Hughes had an almost flawless front nine at Royal Portrush on Saturday as he won the Centenary Trophy with 41 points.
The four handicapper birdied the first with a three and shortened the second to four for another.
The only blemish on the card came with a bogey four at three but this was corrected with Eamon’s third birdie of the nine, another three on the fourth.
Two under par after four, and it stayed that way to the turn for home with Eamon on 22 points.
The birdies were not finished as Eamon took a share of the twos with one at eleven and claimed another with his three on thirteen.
Three shots were lost to par but the 19 points gained for the back nine kept Eamon two in front of the rest for his Cup win.
It was Jamie Knipe who claimed the runners up spot with a return of 39 points off his mark of four. Jamie also grabbed a birdy at the first and added two more with a three on eight and a four on nine to get 21 points registered.
Both par fives on the inward nine gave up fours and the fifteenth, a par four, was played in three shots. Mixed with these were a few too many bogeys for Jamie but he still carded 18 for the nine to get him to 39 for the day and second spot by himself.
One back from Jamie came Aidan Brankin on 38 points. Aidan plays off six but wasn’t quite on form going out so 17 points was the result of this.
He came alive for the back nine though, birdying ten and seventeen and dropping just three shots to gather another 21 for his card taking him on to 38 for the day.