Move over Jimmy, BJ is Bann’s final major winner

BJ McAnarney was a happy man after scoring 40 points on Saturday. INBL1602-230EB
BJ McAnarney was a happy man after scoring 40 points on Saturday. INBL1602-230EB

BJ McAnarney is Banbridge’s answer to Jimmy Walker.

While the American was on his way to his first major title at the US PGA Championship, BJ was claiming the final major of the season at Banbridge Golf Club.

He did it in the Bin 66 sponsored competition, claiming top spot in the final chance to bag double points in the race for Golfer of the Year.

To suit the occasion, the course was set up as difficult as possible. The white blocks were as far back as they could legally go.

This was reflected in the scoring and the calculated standard scratch score was nett 69 or 36 stableford points. That doesn’t happen too often at Banbridge, if ever.

BJ, playing off a handicap of 21, was the winner with 40 points. He opened his round with a double bogey and closed it with another double bogey. As for the 16 holes in between, BJ played them just brilliantly.

He sprung to everyone’s attention back in early April when he won the Bill McMaster Memorial with 48 points, a nett 57. That is still the best round of the season so far. He must now be one of the favourites to lift the Golfer of the Year title.

John Gallagher (9) was the runner-up with 39 points. John played very steady for 17 holes of his round. He had an unfortunate ding at the ninth hole and that cost him first place.

Kieran Magennis (5), fresh from his win in the Thursday Open, finished third with 39 points. Kieran loves a challenge and he was delighted to see the way the course was set up. He had birdies at the sixth and at the 17th. If he could have managed one more birdie, he would have won.

Connor Doran (+1) lifted the coveted best gross prize with a level par 69. He had 16 pars, one birdie and one bogey. That’s the way to do it!

The legendary Gerry Blevins (19) took the prize for the best senior player with 38 points.

Juvenile members were allowed to play but they were not eligible to win any of the main prizes. Two of them deserve a mention.

Matthew Elliott (11) had 41 points, the best score on the day. Patrick McNiff (8), the juvenile captain, had 39 points. Hopefully these scores will be recognised in some manner.

Josh Lockhart, Paddy Grimes, Jonathan Ward, Mark McCoy and Malcolm Hanna all came close with 38 points each.

Equally deserving of praise are Martin McAleenan, Seamus McNally, Ken Stevenson, Richard Coburn, Aidy McEvoy, Matthew Mallon and Kerry McCluskey who all beat the CSS with 37 points.

But the man of the moment was BJ McAnarney, the winner of the Bin 66. Remember that name as you are going to hear a lot more about him in the future.