Portstewart’s Captain, Malcolm Glover, saw a good turnout for his Captain’s Day on Saturday even with the dubious weather conditions and handed the main prize of the day to Johnny Topps.
He had scored 39 points to go a point clear of the field. The nineteen handicapper had two blanks on his card in the outward nine but had picked up four points at the fifth and a few three pointers to get to a modest 17 points at the turn. Whatever he took at the tenth tee hut it worked wonders as Johnny was one over par for the first six holes of the back nine and had eighteen more points scored. This stretch included an eagle three at the par five thirteenth! A wee wobble appeared with another blank hole, the sixteenth, but normal service returned as Johnny took two points from each of the closing holes to end the round with 39 scored and a 22 point back nine.
That eagle proved to be the crucial hole for Johnny as Chris Young, the runner up, had carded a back nine of 23 points in compiling his overall of 38. As with the winner Chris had an unremarkable front nine of 15 points caused by a few single pointers and a no score at seven. Another no score slipped in at twelve but his run in from there was remarkable, a birdie four at twelve got him three points, a birdy four at thirteen got four and Chris finished with a trio of three pointers from the sixteenth. He had scored eighteen points from the last six and that would have been hard to beat in a tie break.
The front nine was proving the more difficult for the leading players as Eamon Cassley showed. He carded fifteen points for it. Blanking the second did not help his cause but the twelve handicapper showed his mettle after the turn, opening with two pars Eamon then had three birdies in succession, a two at the short twelfth and fours at both par fives. As with Chris and Johnny he had taken eighteen points from six holes. The final three holes were not just as profitable for Eamon as he managed just four more points to get to 37 and take third spot.
The Best Gross of the day came from two handicap Gerry Bradley with a score of 74, an excellent tally in the conditions. An outward nine of 39 shots, three over par, included a double bogey six at the fifth and again the back nine was proving to be more forgiving as Gerry covered it in one under par 35. Eight pars and a birdy four at the long fourteenth did the trick.
Other prizewinners were JA Doherty, over 65, on 37 points, Mark Scott, Council prize, with 33 points, Alastair Glenn, Past Captains, on 35 points and Malachy McMullan, Visitor’s Prize, on 32 points. The Riverside Prize was taken By John Loughrey who scored 42 points. Lloyd and Lynne Gibb won the Mixed Pairs. Caroline McMullan was top Lady scoring 40 points to do so, two clear of Susan Kelly on 38 in runners up spot.
After the presentation the Captain paid tribute to the efforts of the Clubhouse and greens staff who made the day flow smoothly and presented a course in superb condition. He was then able to relax to the music of the Grooverobbers.