WHAT Graeme McDowell would have given for his brother Gary’s round of 67 on Sunday!
Graeme battled well for a place in the top ranks of The Open and Gary did likewise round the Valley to win the McClelland Memorial Cup with his nett 67.
Gary plays off a handicap of one and that single shot went west with an opening five at the first. Undaunted Gary nabbed a birdie four at the fourth to get back on terms with the course until he got to seven where a nasty triple bogey seven threatened to derail his game.
Two consecutive birdie threes was Gary’s answer to that and they saw him out in one over par 36.
Another set of consecutive birdies, a two and a three at eight and nine, got him back under par again and, as he rattled off four pars and a closing birdie two he was able to sign for a two under par gross 68 netting to his winning 67.
That three under par back nine was too hot for runner up Paul Elliott who matched the nett 67. Paul, a seven handicapper, had birdie threes at one and five before dropping two shots at the par three sixth to have 38 shots for the front nine.
Paul balanced a bogey four at eleven with a bogey three at fourteen but a closing bogey four pegged him back and put him on the wrong side of the countback.
Just one back came Jimmy Magill in third place. A good birdie four at the fourth was the highlight of Jimmy’s card, the downside came with a couple of double bogies late in the front nine. Ronnie McCarroll carded a nett 68 for fourth spot off his handicap of 10. A two at fifteen helped but three bogeys to finish with hurt Ronnie’s chances. Kevin Liken took the final place with his effort of net 70.
Ian Kettyle nabbed another best gross with his round of 73. A double bogey six at fourteen undoing the good from birdies at four and ten, both par fives and a three at eight.