Gareth shoots 61 to win the Darren Weir Memorial Trophy

Alex Clarke, the best senior in the Darren Weir Memorial, pictured with William Malcolmson, the overall runner-up.
Alex Clarke, the best senior in the Darren Weir Memorial, pictured with William Malcolmson, the overall runner-up.

Gareth Matthews won the Darren Weir Memorial Trophy on Saturday with a wonderful score of nett 61.

Gareth (10) was round in 71 shots, 3 over par, with birdies at the 3rd, 9th and 17th. Gareth was delighted but not half as much as his father Jim.

The result was confirmed on Father’s Day and Jim could not have received a better present. What a proud dad!

Gareth said: “I’m delighted to win the Darren Weir Memorial Trophy as it is a great competition to win and one of the biggest of the year.

“Hopefully I can keep playing well, win a few more competitions and lower my handicap.”

The trophy honours the memory of Darren Weir who tragically lost his life in a road accident on April 3, 2000.

This was a dark day in the history of Banbridge Golf Club as they lost one of their most outstanding players and his memory is recalled every year with the playing of the Darren Weir Memorial Trophy.

Over 180 players competed last Saturday and, for once, it was a glorious day.

William Malcolmson (6) was runner-up with a nett 63. He started with 7 straight pars and then birdied holes 9, 11, 13 and 14. His only error was a double bogey at the tricky short 12th hole. And it is ranked on the card as the easiest hole on the course. No way.

Andrew Quinn (6) won the low section (0-12) with a nett 63. He was 3 under par after 13 holes and looked a sure winner. Three dropped shots over the last five holes cost him dearly.

Kerry McCluskey (8) was runner-up in the low section with a nett 64.

Alan Dale (13) won the middle section (13-17) with a nett 64. Alan played with a golf ball, which was afraid of the dark. At ten holes, and maybe more, Alan’s ball peeked into the hole but would not go in. I can confirm that, as I was there.

Tony Ewbanks (15), fully fit again, was second in the middle section with a nett 64.

Dennis Livingstone (21) won the high section (18+) with a nett 64. When Dennis eagled the 14th, he looked like a winner. Two double bogeys on the last four put an end to that thought. Golf can be cruel at times.

Paddy McCambridge (24) was second in the high section with a nett 67. Well done, big man!

Alex Clarke (13) won the prize for best senior with a nett 68. He beat Sydney Pepper on countback.

Finally, the best gross prize went to Connor Doran (+1) with a superb 4 under par 65.

Connor had 7 birdies on his card. How about that! I know some people who would not have 7 birdies in a season.

There are always hard-luck stories. Ross McCandless, Jonathan Burns, Neil Diamond, Patrick McNiff and Mark Watt all shot nett 65 and all went home empty-handed. That is sad, don’t you agree?

It was a wonderful competition and the beautiful Darren Weir Memorial Trophy will be presented later to Gareth Matthews. He deserves it.