Hole-in-one for Paul at Ballycastle
The weekend past brought Week Three of the P.J. McIlroy & Son sponsored Winter League at Ballycastle.
On Saturday the Section one scores couldn’t have been closer, Paul Surgenor (11), Seamus Killough (11) and Gerry McGouran (12) all returned 30 points.
However it was Paul who finished at the summit thanks two birdies on the 12th and 14th holes to give him a better last nine score than Seamus Killough who took second spot from Gerry Mc Gouran thanks his back nine score meaning Gerry had to settle for third place.
The scoring in Section Two was just as close, with the top two players returning the same score and had to be separated by the count back rule. Liam Mc Gonigle was on the right side of the decision, the sixteen handicapper finished with a super birdie on the last hole to pip Gareth Beckett (16) for top spot.
Gareth had to settle for the runners up spot after also returning 31 points; Terrence Bakewell (15) filled the podium with a returned score of 30 points enough to get him third spot.
Sunday’s weather felt more like a spring morning rather than the winter days we have been experiencing of late, and Declan Mc Carry (13) took full advantage.
Declan had one of few birdie twos on the day at the 13th on his way to the top of the leaderboard and thanks to his superior back nine pushed Peter Dowds (11) into second place. Peter also finished with 28 points and his back nine was enough to push Damien McSorley (9) out of the places. The theme continued in Section Two as again the winner and runner up were split only on count back.
This time it was Michael Mc Afee (17) who got the better of Gerard McCloskey (16), Michael finished his round with a run of pars from the 15th hole enough to push Gerard into second place after both men returned a score of 31 points.
Shot of the weekend went to Paul Mc Closkey, Paul had a HOLE IN ONE at the long 17th hole on Saturday. Congratulations Paul from all your fellow members.
The Midweek Stableford was won by Connor Taggart (22) with 40 points over 18 holes; Seamus Killough (11) again was amongst the prizes after his score of 39 points was enough for the runners up spot, with Joe Tannahill (24) taking third spot with 37 points.
Ballycastle’s next completion is Wednesday’s Open Stableford which runs throughout the winter and is only £10 for visitors to enter. For any tee time enquiries contact the Pro Shop on 02820762506.
TIGHT FINISH AT RPGC
Patrick McCrudden hit the best of three 39 pointers to get the countabck nod in the Saturday Stableford at Royal Portrush.
Three birdies in the opening five holes helped the scratch man to 20 points at the turn for home. The birdies were still coming with Patrick’s four at ten and two on eleven helping the cause. Two bogies came his way before the final birdy perched on his card, a four on seventeen, to see 19 points added for his 39.
Countback had to be applied down to the last three to move Richard McClements into second spot. He had birdied the opening hole and added in an eagle three on the second before hitting a few bogeys. His birdie three on the ninth brough him back to finish the front half with 20 points scored.
Thirteen gave up Richard’s final birdie and he carded a couple of bogeys to get him signing for 19 back. JJ McElderry had an impressive 24 points on his card for the front nine. Birdies at one, two, five and nine over powering a single bogey five at seven to see the seven man out in three under par. A wobble or two coming back, and the absence of birds, saw him add just 15 to the total to miss out on the tiebreak and get third spot for his efforts.
65 GROSS WINS SHIELD FOR JONNY
It was a magnificent score from Jonathan Martin jnr at Rathmore GC on Sunday, four under par 65, and it translated into 42 Stableford points to get his name on the McMullan Shield.
The four handicapper birdied the long fourth and bogied the sixth to end the opening nine holes on level par with 19 points bagged. Overdrive was selected for the back nine with an opening birdie four setting the pace. Fourteen fell to a three and a nice two was knocked in on the fifteenth to get Jonny to three under for the inward nine. This got a great 23 points for the card to push Jonny up to 42 for the day.
All of these were needed as Paul Elliott was on his tail. Paul ended up with 41 off his nine handicap but even another point would not have beaten that back nine of Jonny’s. Paul had a similar opening nine to Jonny with a birdy three on five evened up with a bogey five at the short seventh.
With Paul’s handicap taken into consideration, that level par nine holes got him 23 points. His four over back nine matched his handicap and added in 18 to help secure second spot on 41, three clear of the field. Three players ended up with 38 points each, Gerard Bradley got preference in the countback stakes with a creditable 21 from the back nine after blanking the opening hole.
Benny Workman blanked the first and the last but scored well between with 18 out and 20 back for fourth spot while Jon Neely took fifth place with two 19s.
Leon Stevenson was the best Gross winner for his round of 70. His birdie and bogey in the outward nine saw him on level par at the turn but he eagled the tenth and followed this with a birdie two at eleven to get into red figures. His run of four bogeys in a row took some of the shine off the earlier good work as he ended the nine on one over par 35.
TOP PLACE FOR LEE
Lee Creighton hit the better of the two 31 pointers scored at Castlerock on Saturday to take the sweep on countback.
Playing the thirteen hole winter layout Lee hit a birdie four on the third to help him to 13 for the opening six holes, a couple of single pointers holding back the scoring. The ten handicapper didn’t score fewer than two points per hole after that slipping in back to back birdies with a two on sixteen and a four on seventeen getting Lee another 18 for the card..
Nine handicap Robert Wallace matched that total for runners up spot. His level par opening six gave him 15 for the card and the inward seven went much the same way until the seventeenth gave up a birdy four to see Robert back with 16 points for his total of 31.
High Section topper was 15 man John McCloskey with 30 scored. His blanks on the opening hole and the fifth limited his front six to nine points but bad temper applied in the right way saw John pile up the points coming back. Thirteen gave up a three and seventeen a four to give John eight points. He had averaged three points per hole for the last seven for a massive 21 back, 30 total and a High Section win. The best Low Man was James Douglas with 29 scored off his mark of 12.
An opening birdy, a blank at two, steady up and 12 points were scored! As with John James fared better on the back seven with a birdie two on fourteen getting four points on the card. 17 was the tally for the back half to get James to 29.
Tommy Crampsie was best of the oldies with his 30 points. Tommy birdied both opening holes for eight points but blanked the fourth to see 15 points safely on the card. Thirteen was not kind to Tommy either but he was able to add another fifteen for his prize.
JOHN FREEMAN TROPHY AT BUSHFOOT
Section Two again produced the better scorers at Bushfoot on Saturday in the third week of the John Freeman Trophy.
John Nicholl hit 42 from his mark of 19 to top the charts. After blanking the third he hit two birdie twos, five and seven, to get to the turn on 22 points.
Steady scoring from there in saw John notch up 20 for the back nine to finish three in front of Ken Little on 39. Ken plays off 21 and had 20 points scored for the first eight holes, nine gave him nothing and he had a couple of double bogeys at the start of the back nine.
Ken steadied the ship after this to get 19 from the nine and 39 overall.
Division One topper was Gary Bones with 37 from his mark of 15. His six over par front nine gave him 19 points but a bad start to the back nine hindered him somewhat.
A double bogey six on ten was followed by a blank on eleven. Again a steadier finish was evident as 18 points were salvaged from the nine to keep Gary one in front of Brian Walker. Brian, a heavy rock fan, must have felt a heavy weight on his back after three holes, two double bogies and a no score! He picked up the rhythm thereafter to get 15 out and increased the tempo coming back getting a birdie three on fifteen and 21 points from the nine to secure a second place finish.
DOCTOR’S ORDERS AT ALLIANCE
A well supported event with over 100 members playing saw Portstewart’s Dr Jim Lenfesty came good, like the weather, for the recent Alliance meet at Rathmore GC. He scored 39 points from his seven handicap to top the table two in front of another seven man, Castlerock’s Eamon McGuinness, on 37.