Portstewart’s Flowerfield Cup goes Ansley’s way

Two well composed cards of 40 points each took the top positions in the Flowerfield Cup on Saturday. Countback ensured that Ansley Stewart got his name on the silverware at the expense of Neil Smyth.

Ansley’s eagle three at the long seventh gave him four points and left him with 20 on the card at the turn. His sequence of six straight pars to start the back nine was broken by a birdie three at sixteen but this was given back as Ansley bogeyed the difficult seventeenth. Not to be discouraged by this the three handicapper hit another birdie three at the last to sign for another 20 points and 40 overall.

Neil Smyth, playing off twelve, had a superb two over par front nine which equated to 22 points. A great start but he could not maintain that pace on the inward nine, a couple of single pointers had crept in. These were evened up to an extent by his birdie four at thirteen but his handicap equalling 18 points was too light in the countback and second place had to be resigned to.

Gerry Hasson hit 37 points from his mark of twelve to win the Low Section. A blank at six restricted his outward nine haul to 17 points but an improvement on that came after the turn, no birdies but steady scoring for the most part and a flourish at the end with two three pointers to take the back nine tally to 20 and secure his winnings.

High Section hero was Richard Clarke with 38 points. Steady isn’t quite the word for Richard’s first eight holes, two points at each of them, but a blank at nine meant 16 points only for the nine. After a one point take for the tenth he added 16 for the next five! This was including a birdie four at the long fourteenth. Another blank, at sixteen, was his undoing and even with a good finish, 22 points for the nine gave him 38 overall.

Philip McAuley took the honours in the gross department with his round of 75. His opening bogey five at the first was more than offset with a three at the second and a two at the third to get into red figures. Three shots was enough to add another birdie at nine and see Philip out in 36. Both par fives on the inward nine were birdied but a couple of sixes appeared, at eleven and seventeen, as he came back in 39 shots for his winning 75. This equalled the top two stableford scores but again countback did its job to give Philip his gross win.