IN THE SWING WITH IVAN McDONALD

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Front nine set up Cup win for Alan

Seventeen handicapper Alan Brown hit a great peak of form at Portstewart to win the JA Armstrong Cup.

Alan’s outward nine points score of 25 was the bedrock of his card. This tally came from a two over par nine hole score which included a birdie four at the long fourth.

Alan scored no less than two points per hole for the nine and this form lasted with another three coming from the tenth. Alan’s only wobble came with a blank at eleven and a single pointer from the short twelfth.

It was back to good form from there on in to allow Alan to gather another 18 from the back nine and take his tally to a massive 43 points.

This proved to be two points better than runner up Brian McNeill who carded 41 points from his eleven handicap. Recently returned from a trip to the US Open Brian seems to have picked up a few tips from the pros as he covered the outward nine in three over par for 21 points.

The inward half started well with a birdie three at ten but two single point holes, thirteen and eighteen, restricted the back nine tally to 20 for 41 overall, two short of top spot.

Mark Kilgore took another Best Gross prize with his round of 71 shots.

Colin Troy’s 40 points secured him top place in the Low Section. Three single point holes marred an otherwise high scoring front nine that still gave up 19 points. A birdie four at fourteen put Colin under par on the second half but an uncharacteristic blanking of the seventeenth pegged him back a little. Not to be downhearted Colin promptly birdied the last to get to 21 back and 40 overall.

Charlie Bonner topped the High Section on 38 points. His ordinary enough front nine of 16 points belied the form to come on the back nine which was covered in two over par for another 21. Charlie hit a birdy two at fifteen to help his cause.

Captain Alana hosts Bushfoot Ladies

Alana Wallace, Lady Captain of Bushfoot Golf Club hosted her Captain’s Prize Day last week and, from a great turnout, Debbie Hillis shot 36 points to take the day by one from Section B winner Paula Grant on 35.

Ruby Boyce finished two back on 33 to get runners up spot in Section B. Section A was taken by Gillian McKenna’s 34 followed by Julie Wilson with 31 while Best Gross for the day went to Sharon Scott.

Eilish Clyde carded 33 points for her Section C win just in front of Joy Hanley with 31. Other prizewinners were Visitors: Liz McCartney 34 pts, Past Captain’s Prize: Aileen Reid, Back 9: Caroline McKendry 17 pts, Front 9: Margot Knox 16 pts, Hood Cup (Men’s): Mervyn Greer.

Sweet Caroline nets Dundarave Cup

Caroline McKendry was seven ahead of the field as she got her name on the Dundarave Cup at Bushfoot Golf Club recently. Her nearest rival was playing partner Sharon Scott with a net 72. Sharon in turn finished three in front of Alma Morrison on 75.

Des strolls to Earl Haig Cup win

To say Des Walker strolled to his Earl Haig Cup win is maybe a bit glib, he carded 18 out and 21 back to finish the day on 39 points, one in front of Owen Crooks on 38.

Des was just four over par coming back playing off fourteen. Owen made a great fight of it however, two short after nine the four man covered the next nine in two under par with birdies being taken from the long fifteenth and the par four eighteenth for 22 points.

Keri Kidd produced a one under par gross round for 38 points to take third place. Two shots were dropped on his way out while both par fives fell to birdies.

The seventeenth gave up a three to take the one handicapper to his sub par round. Best Gross of the day went to seven handicap Mervyn Greer.

In form Russell wins Knox Cup

A fine 41 points at Rathmore’s Valley Links from three handicap Russell Dunlop took him one point clear of the opposition and got his name on the WR Knox Cup.

Russell opened proceedings with a birdie three and made that a trio of birds with his four at the fourth and a three at five.

This meant 22 points to the card. Same again on the back nine, an opening birdie four followed by another birdie four at thirteen and a three at seventeen.

He dropped a few shots between these but added 19 back for his 41 total keeping a point between himself and four 40 pointers.

The best of these came from Simon Carruthers, another in form man at Rathmore, with his 40 coming off a handicap of five. Simon blanked the fourth for 17 out but turned on the style coming back.

He nabbed a birdie four at ten then added three more in quick succession, a four at thirteen, a two at fifteen, and a three at sixteen to get 23 points out of the nine but fell just short of the winning post.

That 23 back was too good for Jonny Birch, Jimmy Martin and Geoffrey Niblock who took third, fourth and fifth respectively.

Len Stevenson had a two under par round of 68 a claimed the Best Gross for this. His eagle two at the ninth got him out in one under par 34 and his trio of birdies did the same on the back nine for another 34.

McCartney Medal/Ford Challenge

In a change to the norm Sunday’s competition at Gracehill was played as a medal competition over the front nine and a stableford competition over the back nine - then taking the stableford points score from the nett medal score to achieve the final score.

The runaway overall champion was scratch golfer Robert McNeil with a nett 37-23 points for a score of 14 and in the process set a new course record 67!

Congratulations to Robert on achieving a personal goal and we’ll have a full profile on his triumph at a later date. First Men’s prize went to F. McKenna with a nett 38-18 points for a score of 20.

G. Magee was second with a nett 40-20pts for a 20 total.

In the ladies section Gloria Stewart was first with a nett 38-19 points for a score of 19. Susan Davidson was second with a nett 43-21 points for a 22 total.

Paul wins July Medal

Paul Scott (11) fired an excellent nett 66 on Sunday at Ballycastle to win the July Monthly Medal.

With birdies at the first and ninth holes, Paul went on to record a three over par back nine and win by one shot from the in-form Kieran Kelly (12) who took the Section One prize with a nett 67.

In Section Two Liam McGonigle took the prize with a nett 68 off his 15 handicap, while Ryan Twaddle (18) was the winner of Section Three with a nett 71.

Mark McCormick (3) was winner of the gross prize with a two over par 73.

Saturday was Lady Captain’s Day and there was an excellent turn out of members to compete for the Gent’s prize.

Michael McAfee (19) recorded a fine 42 points despite a blank at the fifth hole to take first place just ahead of Gerry McGouran on 41 points.

In Section One Danny Taggart (8) was top of his division with 38 points while Sean Brogan (13) picked up the Section Two prize on 42 points, Mark Molloy (23) topped Section Three with 39 points.

The best gross was won by Peter Dallat (4) with a 76.

Ballycastle Open Week kicks off on Thursday with a Gents and Ladies fourball better ball competition followed by Open Stableford competitions on Friday, Saturday, Monday and Wednesday.

Tuesday 16th July is the Open Stroke competition while Thursday 18th July features a Junior Open Stableford.

Presentation of all the prizes takes place in the clubrooms on Saturday 20th July at 10pm.

Willie tops Dobbin Cup

The week-end competition at the Brown Trout was for the Dobbin Cup played in medal format.

Taking advantage of the glorious weather William Pyper (14) topped the scoring with a steady round. Starting off with a double bogey didn’t deter Billy and with the help of birdies at the seventh and ninth holes ending the first nine in five over 40 blows before improving over the second nine which he completed in two over par 37 a gross 77 net 63. The highlight of his round was undoubtedly the very difficult seventh/16th hole which he managed to birdie each time round.

Two shots adrift Lyle Harris (15) took second prize after playing each nine in 40 shots netted down to 65.

Lyle birdied the 15th. Tom Boyd won the gross prize on count back from Donal Mulholland after both had returns of three over par 73’s.

In the last group out playing with Club Captain Gary Hamilton Ryan Smyth finished his round in style with every golfers dream a hole-in-one. Scooping the entire kitty. Well done Bimbo!! Next weekend’s competition is the Mary Peters Trust Fred Daly Memorial qualifying with the winner representing the Club at Lisburn GC on Friday 13th September.

Meanwhile, Club Captain Gary Hamilton has complimented the green keepers for all their hard work in preparing the course in difficult weather conditions for his recent Captain’s Day.