EAGLES HAVE LANDED AT THE TROUT
With the Star Fuels Sponsored Winter League completed Bonanza Day was the fare at the weekend.
Played in probably the worst conditions of the winter to date with cold wintry showers it was only for the brave and despite the weather a good number took part. The winner albeit after the enforcement of the tiebreak was Donal Mulholland (3) with an outstanding score considering the conditions with 39 points,17 after nine Donal started the back nine with a birdie before what was the turning point in his round scoring an eagle three at the par five 14th yielding five points.
And with 22 back nine points he just edged out the ever steady Ronnie Milliken (5) who opened with 20 points thanks to birdies at holes 1, 6 and 7. Ronnie opened the back nine with five straight pars but a rare blank by his standard at the 15th proved costly as he also finished with 39 claiming runner-up prize.
Club President Michael Kane (17) took third place with nines of 20 and 18 for 38. He played steady throughout but a blank at the difficult 16th. was his undoing. 22 handicapper Denis James took fourth prize after opening with 16 points and finished strongly with the help of a birdie at 16 closed with a back nine of 21 for 37 point total.
In fifth place Ryan Smyth (16) opened strongly with a three over par nine yielding 23 points slipped up at holes 13, 14 and 15 where he only scored a single point and ended up with a back nine of 14 to also finish with 37 points.
Sixth place went to Gary Hamilton (15) with 36, seventh to Christopher Dempsey (16) with 34, eighth. James Montgomery (17) 33, ninth. Jimmy Kelly (8) 32 and Malacy Laverty (13) completed the top ten scoring 30 points.
Tom Boyd (5) also had an eagle, his was scored at the 10th. hole! Twos were scored by D. Mulholland R. Orr J. Kelly and M. Laverty. Recently elected Club Captain Mark Dempsey handed over the good selection of prizes congratulating and thanking all who participated.
GERRY WINS THE BONANZA WEEKEND
The golfers at Ballycastle battled the severe elements to complete their bonanza and ringer competitions which ironically had been cancelled the previous weekend due to bad weather.
Gerry McGouran (13) battled through the wind and low temperatures to shoot a fine 39 points and take top spot in the bonanza weekend Section One, Gerry had a remarkably consistent card on which was a very blustery day to keep the ball going straight, the highlight of his round was a birdie at the notoriously tough 9th hole.
Patrick McIlroy (10) was top scorer of the weekend with 41 points but had to settle for second place as he was eligible for the top prize. Patrick scored a sensational treble of two’s on his card which will pay a tidy sum on a day that they were few and far between. Hugh Sayers took third spot with 39 points; the five handicapper completed his card with a birdie at the long 18thhole.
Section two was won by David Lamont (22) whose back nine score of 20 points helped propel him to top spot from Gareth Curren (15) who also returned a fine score of 39 points. Michael Dallat Senior filled the podium after a score of 38 points helped the eighteen handicapper to third spot.
Bonanza weekend also meant the conclusion of the ringer’s completion which had been played over the previous ten weekends. The Saturday Section One ringers was won by Gerard Waide with a nett score of 52.5, Gerard won a shade cosily from Mel Carlton who returned a total of 55.5,
Des Nevin took third spot with 57.5 and a shot separated John Higgins jnr and Owen Kennedy who shot 57.5 and 58.5 to take 4th and 5th spots respectively.
Section Two went right to the last day and John McSparran took the top honours courtesy of an eagle three at the 12th hole to give the doctor a fine total of 54.0.
Colin Millar was rewarded for his consistent play this winter with a second place finish with a score of 58.0, Marty Morgan took third with 58.5 thanks to a better last nine than Sean Casey who returned the same score for fourth spot and Gerry Gillan completed the places with a nett score of 59.0 for fifth spot.
Sunday’s section one ringer’s competition was won by Edgar Dornan with nett 55.0, young Francis OG Mc Ginn took second spot with 56.0 and Lawrence McQuillan pipped third spot from Peter Dowds after a superior back nine after both men returned 56.5.
Michael McAfee took the Section Two honours with a fine return of 54.0, Kevin Traynor finished second with a score of 56.0 and Gerry McConville returned a 58.0 to take third spot.
WILLIE WINS WINTER LEAGUE
Although Willie McLernon’s score on Saturday past didn’t win Division One on the day it got him 19 ranking points for second spot and secured his victory in the eight week sequence of the Dunluce Golf Winter League with a total of 78 ranking points.
Thomas Watt was runner up on 64 points, his recent win getting him the full 20 points to boost his position well. Matt Colgan scored 20 ranking points on the final day to get to 59 total and grabbed third place for this. William Creighton also ended the campaign with 59 for fourth spot.
The best score in Division Two was also the best for the day and came from Matt Colgan with 40 points. The fifteen handicapper had 17 points scored for the opening nine but added a great 23 point tally for the closing nine, hitting a birdy three at fifteen in the process. Gilbert Bowman, also in Div Two, hit 39 points, 18 and 21 to get runner up on the day.
Lennie McIlroy topped Div One with 39 points, 20 coming from his three over par opening nine and 19 on the way back.
McCANN CUP GOES TO COLIN
Rathmore’s McCann Cup went to Colin Friel last Sunday as he hit 35 points off his twelve handicap.
The strong winds presented a severe challenge and Colin felt them on the tird and sixth as he took no points from either. He played the remaining holes well though to gather 16 points for the nine.
Having had enough of the blanks he steadied himself and took 19 points from the back nine, with no major slips, to secure his grip on the McCann Cup by a single point.Andrew Porter had the better of two 34s for second place. After blanking the first he went on the gather 16 by the turn.
An eagle three at ten followed by a birdy two at eleven gave Andrew the boost he needed and he went on to card another 19 points to ease Paul Elliott into third place. Paul had scored 18 points out and had birdied the tenth to get into a strong position but blanked the seventeenth to miss out on the top prize
Best gross was taken by Simon Carruthers for his round of 81. He birdied the long fourth and the par three eleventh in compiling his score.
CHRISTMAS HAMPER FOR IVAN
Ivan McDonald’s 33 points over the fourteen holes in play at Portstewart was more than enough to secure his prize of the Christmas Hamper.
A blank on the long fourth restricted his scoring on the opening seven holes but a series of pars brought the points tally up to 15 at the turn. No further blanks were seen and his four over par back seven produced 18 points to get to the end with 33 points registered.
That back seven score was bettered by Declan Kelly who took 19 from it, including an eagle three at the long thirteenth; unfortunately he had a dose of the blanks going out with no points coming from four and six.
This left him with just 11 points for the opening seven and 30 overall for second spot. Desi Ballentine had the better of two 29ers to get third place. His two sevens of 15 and 14 points respectively contained birdie fours on seven and thirteen and a closing birdy three on the sixteenth. Those 14 back seven points were matched by Paul Hewitt but countback edged him into fourth spot.
His two at the pitch hole, the sixth, helped Paul to 15 out as well but a single point from the twelfth was the undoing. Incoming Captain Mark Windebank took the fifth prize for his effort of 28 points.
His first birdie came with a three at the ninth but a couple of one pointers had already been logged so it was 14 points for the opening seven holes. Mark almost pulled off seven straight pars coming back but the fifteenth cost him a bogey four to add another 14 to the card.
TOMMY DOES AN ALLIANCE DOUBLE
The very odd glimpse of sunshine on Portstewart’s Riverside course gave the contrast to the generally awful weather the 44 players in the recent Alliance meet were subjected to, rain, hail, sleet, snow and a very strong blustery wind.
Castlerock’s Tommy Allen seemed to be impervious to this though as he took back to back titles, scoring 29 points, over 16 holes, this time, beating off a challenge from another ‘Rock man, John Hanson, on countback. Five players tied on 27 points each for third to seventh places, Reggie Dallas, Castlerock, coming out best on the tie break from two of his clubmates B Kane and B Trolland with brothers John and Billy Cameron in that mix as well. The remaining places were filled by the host club’s members, Hugh Duffy, Norman Grills and S McCarron on 26, and Eamon Cassley and Geoff Brown with 25s.
There was a good atmosphere in the Clubhouse after as Alliance Captain, Jimmy Hamill, hosted a prize presentation, meal and ‘bottle draw’ for the festive members who attended