IN THE SWING WITH IVAN McDONALD

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GMAC TROPHY GOES TO BEN

Ben Best’s round of two under par 68 secured the GMac Trophy for 2013.

The Rathmore golfer saw his birdies at the first and fifth wiped out by a bogey five at seven and a double with a six at the eighth to be out in one over 36. The tenth produced an eagle three to get into red figures again and Ben was to stay there as he hit a three at twelve to consolidate his score. A dropped shot at fourteen was redressed by birdying sixteen and Ben finished the day with 32 for the nine and 68 overall.

Just one back came Gary McDowell on 69. A valiant attempt to win his brother Graeme’s trophy was thwarted by a few too many bogies. Two and three gave up birdies to Gary but six and seven took them back and Gary ended the nine on level par 35.

As with the winner Gary eagled the tenth but again gave the two shots back on eleven and thirteen. These were then retrieved when Gary knocked in a three and a two on fourteen and fifteen but a five at the par four seventeenth meant a 69 and runner up spot for Gary.

In the nett section it was seventeen man Andy Baird who took the honours with a great score if 42 points. His two matching nines of 21 each included a birdy four at ten and kept andy two points away from runner up Derek McAleese on 40. Birdies at nine and ten were Derek’s high points and he won a countback to push Colin Walker into third again on 40 points.

Colin’s blank at seventeen proving costly. The other 40 pointer came from JA Hamilton. His 19 points back lost out in the tie break stakes. Derek Sinnamon took fifth place with 39 points.

WINS FOR TERENCE AND KERI

Terence McFaull’s 43 points from last week added to this week’s 36 gave him an aggregate win in the Challenge Trophy.

The ten handicapper had bagged 21 points for the front nine but had a few blanks on the back nine to restrict it to 15. Brian Walker played himself into second place with his score of 41 points on Saturday.

In the Scratch Cup it was Keri Kidd who had a round of 72 to add to his first round score of 69 for an aggregate of 141. This proved to be seven clear of runner up Damian Clyde on 178.

Keri was two under par for the opening nine, birdying one, three and six, but took an ugly eighth on the tenth followed by bogies on thirteen and fourteen to go to four over. Keri rallied to produce birds from fifteen and sixteen and ran out two over par on 72.

Damian also came to grief on ten where a six appeared but he played steadily apart from this to finish on 148.

TURNERS VICTOTIOUS

The pairing of David and Paul Turner scored a one point victory in Castlerock’s fourball better ball event at the weekend.

A birdie three to start with, a bogey on the long Railway hole and a two to end the front nine saw 20 points safely secured. Five pars were rattled off before another birdie was struck at fifteen. Their par birdie, par finish put another 22 points on for 42, one clear of the field.

The best of the rest were B & R Moore with 41 points. A four bogey start to the nine was made to look healthier by the addition of some pars and a good birdie three at the index one Armchair got them to 20 points at the turn. No more birdies were carded but nothing less than two points per hole was recorded to secure 21 points back. This was sufficient to take second place in front of N. McKenny & J. Todd with 40 points being their offering. Two nines of 20 points each included a birdie four on the par five Railway hole.

GARRY IS JUST CHAMPION

Garry McGrotty compiled an aggregate 36 hole total of 153 to win Portstewart Golf Club’s Championship. Testing conditions on Saturday made scoring difficult, the best morning round was a three over par 75 from Declan Lafferty while Garry was returning an 80.

In the afternoon however Garry came into his own by carding a one over par 73. His four early bogeys were trimmed back by birdying the long seventh and the ninth to be on two over par after nine.

The tenth saw Garry drop in another birdy and he rattled off a few pars before dropping in a two at fifteen. Shots were lost at sixteen and seventeen before a closing birdy three put Garry one under for the nine. The resulting 73 was the best of the afternoon scores, Chris barber was closest on 75. Declan Lafertry had an 84 for the second round and Mark Kilgore carded two rounds of 79 each to snatch runners up spot.

Garry tallied up to 153 to win, Mark Kilgore had 158 for second and Matthew Weir was third with 159

STABLEFORD WIN FOR MARK

Mark Devenny scored 36 points from his handicap of fourteen to win Portstewart’s stableford completion on Saturday.

A few one pointers restricted his front nine tally to just sixteen but better was to come from the back nine. A fine eagle three on the thirteenth gave him four points and he used this springboard to get 20 more on the card to end up with 36. This was just a point ahead of Arthur McMullan on 35. He had 20 points on the card after eight but failed to score at nine. This malaise continued as Arthur gat nothing from ten and eleven too. A recovery was made and he pulled fifteen points from the remaining seven to take runners up spot on 35 points

EDDIE TAKES CAPTAIN’S DAY PRIZE

Stephen Wylie’s Captain’s Day at Kilrea Manor was well supported by members and visiting members from neighbouring clubs.

The course was in excellent condition and thanks are due to the grounds man Stephen for his good work. Apart from a couple of brief showers and wind, the weather was kind and the competition was a great success, with Stephen and his family hosting a continuous light buffet throughout the day. Congratulations to them for their welcoming hospitality.

The winner was Eddie O’Kane ,with 41 points, Jeff Marks was runner up on 40, and Charlie Hasson was third on 38. The front nine won by M Mc Cann and the back nine was won by M C McCann, a most unusual result but no relation, I am told.

Gerard McKenna won the prize for nearest to the pin, and the prize for the longest drive went to Philip Irvine of the Brown Trout golf club.

EOIN ON TOP AT BALLYCASTLE

Cecil Watson’s Captain’s Day took place on Saturday and Loughgiel man Eoin McCloskey (8) took the top prize with a superb score of 41 points which included birdies at the 12th and the 17th holes in very windy conditions.

Colm Davis had to settle for second place as he was ineligble for the captain’s prize; Colm had a fantastic score of 44 points playing off a handicap of 21.

Third place belonged to Paul Brogan (20) who matched Eoin’s score of 41points but was pipped on countback.

Section one was won by twelve handicapper Sean Brogan with 39 points, Terence McHugh (16) claimed the section two prize with 39 points and David Lamont (22) topped section three with 37 points.

The gross prizes were won by Mel Carlton (5) and Francis McGinn Jr (2) with 73 and 74 respectively. Tony Connolly (13) got his name amongst the prizes for the second week running by claiming the veteran’s prize with a score of 37 points from Fin McCarry.

The Past Captain’s Prize went to Danny Taggart (9) who scored a total of 39 points, Rita McCormick (10) was the top lady on the day with 32 points from Kim Fee and Colin Campbell (9) came away with the junior prize with 36 points.

On Sunday the golfers battled it out for the Atlantic Cup and Lawrence McQuillan came out on top with a sublime score of 66 in tricky conditions.

Big hitting “Larry” got his round off to the ideal start with a birdie at the first and followed it up with some really consistent golf to navigate his way to victory by a shot.

John Armstrong (11) took the section one honours with a fine score of 67, Paul McCloskey (15) topped section two with a nett 68 and Jonathan McBride (17) was victorious in section three with a nett 67. Francis McGinn Jr completed a successful weekend by winning the gross with a 73.

Next Saturday sees the Peter Lamont Trophy with more all important Golfer of the Year points also up for grabs.

After the Atlantic Cup Rory Gallagher has cut Mel Carlton’s lead to just 2 points,while Francis Og McGinn and Gerard McCloskey are still firmly in the mix with four events to go.

JIMMY ENDS THREE YEAR WAIT

The competition at the Brown Trout was for the Frazer Cup played in medal format.

Jimmy Kelly (10) ended a three year drought by winning by a clear three shots the weekend competition with a fine score of 73 net 63.

Opening with four straight pars Jimmy recovered after three bogeys in a row to end his front nine with two pars for a three over par 38. He covered the second nine in level par 35 the highlight a birdie at the 13th. cancelling out a bogey at the 16th.

Tom Boyd (7) opened with 40 shots before adding a two under gross 33 (the only blemish a dropped shot at 16) netted down to 66.

Tom had a plethora of birdies at holes 1, 10, 12 and 15. In third place Malachy Laverty (15) took 44 shots for the first nine and then improved by five with a return of 39 strokes helped by a birdie four at the 10th. 83 gross net 68.

Donal Mulholland (2) won the gross prize with a three over 73. The twos kitty was shared by J. Kelly R. Orr and James Montgomery.