Michael McCormick, a twenty handicapper no more, scored a sound 39 points on Saturday to get his hands and name on Portstewart’s Queen Elizabeth Cup.
Michael opened and closed the outward nine with pars for three points each and in between his par at the long par four fifth, with two handicap shots, donated four points. These holes made up for his two blanks at seven and eight to get Michael to the turn with 18 points carded. His very steady inward nine, played in three under his handicap, added 21 points but more importantly gave him an advantage in the countback that had to be deployed to ease Rory Smyth into runners up spot with a matching 39 points. Rory also matched both nine-hole scores, 18 out, 21 back, so the tie break went to the last six holes.
Rory logged a blank at two and needed something to get back on track quickly, this came at the long fourth with a birdie four and four points. Three pars to end the nine saw 18 points won and this run continued with no dropped shots for the next five, in fact one was picked up via Rory’s birdie three at eleven. A steady final four saw the back nine total go to 21 but the countback sequence went against Rory in the end.
Mark Kilgore took the best Gross Prize with a level par round of 72. He was one under par for the outward nine scoring birdies at one, four and nine. The back nine started with three bogies before Mark got back to birdie form with his four at thirteen and a two at fifteen. Three pars to finish saw him home in 37 shots, one over par, to level the nines at 72.
Trevor Kelly matched the top two scores with another 39 pointer. His back nine of 19 eased him into top slot in the Low Section. The eight handicapper had single points logged for the start and end of the front nine but his birdie four at seven made up ground to see 20 points onto the card at the turn.
His chances took a tumble when the short fifteenth gave Trevor a no return but he put in a strong nine point finish over the last three to get to 39. High Section topper was Alan Brown on 38. With all nine holes scored at and playing steadily Alan racked up 19 points for the front half.
A seven at thirteen interrupted a series of five three pointers but Alan was still sitting pretty after seventeen, then, an uncharacteristic blank at eighteen! Two points there would have done the trick but, that’s golf.