All the news and happenings from the local golf clubs
WRIGHT MAN FOR KENNY’S CAPTAIN’S DAY
Bushfoot’s members were out in force on Captain Kenny Gault’s Captain’s Day at Bushfoot Golf Club on Saturday. The difficult conditions were mastered best by David Wright who scored 41 points from his handicap of sixteen. Things weren’t looking too bright for David as he hit two double bogies at the opening holes but he gathered himself together after that by birdying the third in three. A birdie four at the long sixth got him back in position and he ran out the front nine with 20 points bagged. The twelfth gave David another boost of a birdie three and he birdied the long par five again to balance up a couple of poor holes on the back nine. 21 points were taken from the inward half to get David to 41 points.
Those 21 points back were precious as they pushed Ricky Elliott into runners up spot with another 41 points but just 20 back. After another poor start Ricky recovered well, hitting birdies at four and six, scoring 21 points out in the process. The back nine was going very well until, uncharacteristically, Ricky blanked the fourteenth. Even with his birdies at twelve and fifteen this was telling as he did well to muster 20 back to fall just short of the big prize.
Keri Kidd took another gross prize with a round of 70, level par. His 36 out included a three at eight and he went better than that second time round. Ten and eleven were birdied, as was thirteen, as Keri came back in 34 shots for his prizewinning 70. Mark Dunlop topped the Low section with Mervyn Greer close behind. Paul Pentland added to his haul of titles by winning the high section and the past Captain’s Trophy with 39 points. Clive Kennedy was runner up in the High Section.
John West was the best of the visitors while Gillian McKenna won the Ladies Prize and the Hood Cup. The longest drive went to Mark McKillop and nearest the pin to Dessie Hamilton. Brian McNeill was top of the front nine scoreres and Derick Johnston took the best back nine.
Captain Kenny was well supported by his members and hosted a great day and night’s entertainment. Sunday may have been satisfyingly subdued!
JOHN CLAIMS DONNELL CUP WIN
Fifteen handicapper John McCloskey “beat” the Mussenden Course at Castlerock GC on Saturday by three holes to get his name on the Donnell Cup. In this versus par completion a run of four wins in a row from the third got John to three up but the ninth slipped from his grasp to see him two up at the turn. Nine, fifteen and seventeen went John’s way on the inward nine while he lost just two, ten and sixteen, to get to three up overall at the end.
Runner up at two up was twenty handicap Gordon Stewart. His back nine gave the score a boost as he won four holes and lost just one. High Section topper with a score of two up was Jeremy McCreadie. The front nine left Jeremy three up and he faded a little on the way in with just one win and two losses to push him back to two up. In the Low Section a one up score was enough to give the prize to Paul Turner (6). All square after nine Paul went two up early on the inward nine. The final five holes went three to the course and two to Paul to pull him back to one up. Pearse McNickle finished all square to claim the gross prize and John Bunting was the top Senior on two down.
KING FERGUS CUP GOES TO CHRIS
On a close scoring Sunday Chris Dunbar scored 42 points to win a tie break with Ben Best and get his name on the King Fergus Cup at Rathmore GC. A shot went west at the first but that just paved the way for a birdie blitz as Chris hit four in the last six of the nine to turn with 22 points bagged. A four at ten and a two at eleven meant he had birdied six from eight! Apart from a five at the twelfth it was pars all the way in to add 20 to the card but, more importantly, beat Ben Best by a point in the countback.
This was hard luck on Ben, playing off plus one, as he started with a birdie three, another birdie three, a par three, an eagle three, a birdie three and a par three! Six threes in row to go five under par. A bogey appeared at seven with a five but this was just a fleeting visit as Ben birdied the ninth with another three for 23 points out equating to 30 shots for the nine. Mr Bogey did not reappear on the second half but Ben added birdies with a four at ten and a two at eleven. He had to wait another two holes for his final bird of the round, another four, at thirteen. 19 points were scored coming back for his 42 total.
Two 41s were posted by Mark McClelland and Johnny Martin with Mark getting the best from the tie break with a great 22 points back. A trio of birdies were hit at ten, twelve and thirteen and Mark closed his card with a two at eighteen to clinch a tie break win. Johnny had a steady if unspectacular card showing just one birdy, a four at six. 21 points out and 20 back got him into fourth spot though. Philip McMullan hit 40 off his mark of eleven for fifth place. 23 from a three was a great score out and it was followed by 17 back.
Leon Stevenson hit a 69 to grab the Best Gross for the day. His unfortunate double bogey five at the short sixth pushed him over par for the nine on 37 but a great eagle three at ten got things going again and a final birdy four at thirteen saw Leon home in 32 shots, three under par, for his one under par 69.
MONTHLY MEDAL GOES TO PAUL
A birdie at the opening hole set Paul Rohdich off on a winning score at Royal Portrush on Saturday. The five handicapper added another at the long second before dropping a few shots here and there. A ninth hole birdie three got Paul back to two over par 38 for the front nine. Seven pars were hit coming back with just one shot dropping at sixteen with a five. Seventeen, a par five, gave up a four for a back nine tally of level par 36. Paul’s 74 gross netted down to a 69 to be four clear of the field.
The Silver Medallist was Chris Elliott on net 73, a steady round of 84 for the nine handicapper. Bronze position went to Chris Moore with another 73 from a handicap of eleven. Out in 40 with a birdie four at the second Chris was going along nicely until two double bogies were struck at seventeen and eighteen to add 44 shots for the back nine to the card.
Peter Kerr was round in 74 shots to capture the Best Gross prize. Birdies at one and two were added to with a two at six and a three at eight to be out in one under par 35. His three at twelve got Peter to two under but a few bogeys and a double at fifteen hampered him until the relief of another birdie at eighteen meant he could sign for 39 back and 74 overall.
PORTSTEWART GC PRESIDENT’S DAY
Dr John McHugh, Portstewart Golf Club’s President passed away a short time ago and his family asked that his President’s Day be played in his memory. A superb turnout of members testified to the esteem in which Dr John was held.
It was Stephen McKenna that came tops to win Dr John’s Prize, he scored 41 points off his handicap of eleven, to finish two clear of the field. Stephen was very consistent over the opening nine, three over par gross 39, and had 21 points bagged at the turn. His single point at the short sixth was the only score under two points so far. Something similar was performed coming back with the two par three yielding just a point apiece but just one other shot being dropped to par, a five at sixteen. Another 20 points to the card and Stephen was in with 41 points.
Colm Diamond, a Past President himself, took runners up spot after a close countback as several players were locked together on 39 points. Colm had a nasty six at the second for one point and blanked the short sixth to go three below twos, not a great position to be in. Undaunted he then parred eight and nine to have 17 points under his belt for the nine played.
That form was continued with a series of pars until he hit a four pointer with a birdie four at the long fourteenth. Ten further points were carded for the final four holes to squeeze 22 points from the back nine to come tops from the 39ers and secure second spot. John Taylor was the man to get pushed into third place as one of them. The four handicapper matched Colm’s 17 out and 22 back but the last six proved to be the telling part. John had a birdie free front nine but added some with fours at both par fives on the back nine. Sixteen took a shot from him while seventeen gave in to a good par and a final birdie came via his three at eighteen.
Desi Ballentine, North of Ireland Champion in 1987, has shown signs of a revival of late, winning the Moore Browne Cup on Friday night against Paul Holmes and coming back on Saturday to win the Best Gross on President’s Day. Now playing off five Desi dropped a shot at the opening hole and another tow with a seven at four. Grit was needed and produced as no further shots were lost in a front nine of 39. It went to seventeen before another bogey was carded and in between times Desi birdied the long thirteenth and the par four sixteenth to go one under par, 35, for the inward nine and finish on 74 for the round.
The McHugh family then entertained a packed clubhouse well into the wee hours, a fitting tribute to Dr John. He would have been well pleased to preside over this day