All the news and happenings from the local golf clubs

Patrons at Graeme McDowell's Rathmore Golf Club in Portrush celebrate Europe's Ryder Cup victory over the USA on Sunday. Graeme came from three down to beat Jordan Spieth. PICTURE MARK JAMIESON.
Patrons at Graeme McDowell's Rathmore Golf Club in Portrush celebrate Europe's Ryder Cup victory over the USA on Sunday. Graeme came from three down to beat Jordan Spieth. PICTURE MARK JAMIESON.

SID AND GARY WIN JACKSON TAGGART MEMORIAL

Forty-six points were scored by Sid Henry and Gary Stevenson at Royal Portrush on Saturday to win the Jackson Taggart Memorial Trophy.

The duo went under par with a birdie four on the par five second and built on that by getting a two on the third. The seventh took a shot back but another birdie four on nine saw them turn for home with 22 points on board for their two under par 34 for the nine played.

The back nine contained five birdies, eleven and fourteen gave up twos, ten and seventeen fours, and a three was carded on fifteen. Add those to four pars and 24 points is the result for the back nine, 46 in total, and this was three points ahead of the opposition.

Peter Graham and Paul Cameron were the runners up with 43 points. They took one birdy from each half of the round, a four on the long second and a two on eleven. Four shots were dropped and the pair scored 21 out and 22 back for their 43.

In third place came Callum Beggs paired with Neal Morrison with 40 points. Their birdy four on the long second got them away to a good start but a double bogey six at the eighth undid that to restrict the score to 18 points out.

Back to back birdies on the short eleventh and the par four twelfth got them back in stride to gather a further 22 for the card and took it up to the 40 points needed for third place.

DARREN PLUCKS THE FIRST TURKEY

Rathmore Golf Club held the first Turkey Competition of the year on Sunday and Darren Dunlop took the number one bird with a score of 45 points from his eleven handicap.

He covered the front nine in level par, including a birdy three on the fifth, to get 24 points on the card at the turn for home.

Darren dropped a shot on eleven with a four and another slipped away when he took five on the par four fourteenth but those were his only bogies and with seven other pars 21 points were gained and gave Darren his 45 total for his bird.

Three players tied on 40 points but it was Steven Crockett who came out best in the tie break to take second place.

A good birdy three on the fourth got four points reward but this was evened up by a blank on eight.

In between these events Steven, playing off sixteen, scored well and turned with 19 carded.

The only major slip up came with a double bogey six on seventeen but he had dropped just three other shots and was able to sign up for 21 back and 40 overall. Chris Langford got third place with his 40 pointer.

Last of the 40 point trio was two handicap Rory Houston. Birdies on the par four second and the long fourth meant a two under front nine for Rory which agve him 21 points. He duly birdied the tenth in four and added in a two on the next for good measure.

The first bogey arrived on the twelfth but another three recouped a shot on fourteen before a nasty five at the final hole scuppered Rory’s chance of the top slot.

Stephen Dunlop hit 39 points for fifth place. The nine handicapper double bogied the first but repaired that by slipping in a three at the next, but the double trouble returned on seven and that meant 18 points out for Stephen.

A more evenly balanced back nine gave Stephen a birdie four on ten and a couple of bogies for a back nine 21 points.

Ben Best took the Best Gross prize with a round of one under par 69. Birdies on two and four and a bogey five on seven got him out in one under par 34 and the back nine started with another birdie four.

Two more came with a three on fourteen and a two on fifteen to help Ben to get back in level par 35 for his 18 hole total of 69

DEREK SWEEPS UP AT PORTSTEWART

When Club veteran Derek Agnew blanked the second hole he would not have believed what was to come his way later in the round.

He bogied the third in six then double bogied six and eight to boot. The seventeen handicapper had 18 points recorded when he stopped in the halfway house, and I don’t know what happened in there, but he returned the fray to drop just two more shots to par and bag 24 points for the nine and the Sweep was Derek’s!

That back nine was as good as an extra point when it came to a tie break with Sean McGahon who was the man pushed into second spot with another 42 return.

Sean plays off sixteen and was four over until he reached the long seventh where he picked up his birdy four. The front nine ended with Sean four over par and with 22 points earned for this.

He got just the one point on ten but slipped in a putt on twelve for another birdie before slipping to an unfortunate blank on the thirteenth.

A comeback was mounted by Sean as he reduced the par five fourteenth to four shots but a few shots slipped away over the closing three holes to give Sean 20 points back, a good nine in normal circumstances but just short of winning.

Trevor Kelly has been missing from leaderboards of late but his 40 points on Saturday got him to the top of Section A.

Two nines of 20 points each with a birdie four on seven and a nasty double bogey on the par four ninth going out and a two over par back nine did the job for the nine handicapper.

Peter Duffy got top spot in Section B with his offering of 39 points from his nineteen mark. A no score on five restricted him to 17 out but that was the only major slip up.

His birdy four on fourteen helped Peter to cover the inward nine in five over par for 22 points.

Without his usual playing partner,Club Captain Mark Windebank was away on international duties, Paddy McAleese was free to express himself on the course and did that so well he won the Best Gross with a round of 75.

On the outward nine he scored 40, the same as the 16 handicap runner up, but coming back he was a different animal, eagling the par five thirteenth and birdying the sixteen in three.

He dropped two shots to par to finish the nine in two under 33 for his overall of 75.

BUSHFOOT SENIORS

Bushfoot GC’s Winter Seniors Opens are restarting at Bushfoot with the first one scheduled for Thursday 16th October.

This unfortunately clashes with the first Alliance Meeting so if you are not involved in that you will be welcomed at Bushfoot.

The timesheet for this one is now open and any interested golfers can book tee times by phone on 028 207531317.

CASTLEROCK ROUNDUP

On Saturday at Castlerock GC Keith Robinson scored 43 points to win the Stableford Sweep by four points from Reggie Dallas who was promoted from his regular Seniors slot by scoring 39 to secure second overall.

Top of the Low Section was William Hewitson with a tally of 38points while Andrew Dalton won the High Section with the same total. The Oldie Section winner was Ronnie Taylor with 35points and David Turner played the course in level par 73 to take the Best Gross.

On Sunday there was a “Ryder Cup Scramble” and tops in the Ladies event came Valerie, Alison and Wendy just ahead of Eithna, Margaret and Vida.

The Gents leaderboard was formed by Michael, Garry and John on 58.0, just 0.3 ahead of Darren, Justin and John who in turn were 1.0 up on Gary, David and Simon with 61.3.

Delight for Eamon at Gracehill

It was delight for Eamon Doyle who plays off 16, on Saturday as he won the Medal Champions with a nett 68.

After a solid start Eamon made steady progress through the front 9, always bouncing back with a par after a dropped shot. However, it was his superb finish which cemented his victory as he played the past four holes in one under par!

A shot further back in second place was Gerald ’Chiefy’ Smith with a nett 69. This 12 handicapper got of to a great start and made the turn three under his handicap.

Birdies at the 15th and 16th were unfortunately offset with a couple of bogeys to finish with; otherwise victory could have been his. Herbie McCook (11) was 3rd with a nett 73. Leslie McCauley won the gross prize with a 79

Kilrea GC stage the

alternative Ryder Cup

The Sunday morning golfers, plus a couple of wildcards, held an alternative Ryder Cup on Sunday.

Team Europe was led by Seamus Quinn, like Paul McGinley a failed GAA man who turned to golf, whilst Team USA was captained by birthday boy Gerry Dillon, who like Tom Watson is an “oul boy whose seen better days” (sorry Gerry). The format saw 14 players on each team, with the F9 being played as fourball betterball and the B9 in singles matchplay.

However with the USA team being more Gabriel Bradley than Keegan Bradley and the Europeans more Tommy McCamphill than Tommy Bjorn hopes of a birdie fest were not that high! That said a very exiciting finished ensued.

Competition organiser James Henry produced spreadsheets, pens and paper and even an abacus to work out the scores. But an hour later it was decreed as an honourable draw 10.5 each.