Neil is the Solitary Man at top of the tree

Neil Diamond, winner of the Downshire Hotel sponsored golf competition.
Neil Diamond, winner of the Downshire Hotel sponsored golf competition.

Neil Diamond (11) shot one of his best ever rounds to win the Downshire Sponsored Stroke at Banbridge Golf Club.

He was only three over par on his way to a gross 72, nett 61 and he won the competition by one shot. His score was enhanced by twos at the eighth and twelfth.

Neil was followed closely by Rory Leonard (scr.) who scored a nett 62.

Rory’s card was a thing of beauty. He was out in 31 shots, thanks to birdies at the second, fifth, seventh, eighth and ninth. He came back in 31 shots with birdies at the 11th, 13th and 14th.

Some people, myself included, could well take six months to have eight birdies.

The only blemish on his card was a bogey at the long par three 12th hole.

The low section was won by Neil Madeley (6), with a nett score of 63. He plays little or no golf during the hockey season but was able to pick up his clubs and shoot a level par 69.

Kenny Arlow (13) won the middle section with a nett 63. Noel McSherry (13) was second with a nett 66.

Jack McKerr (18) won the high section with a nett 65 while Philip Strong was second with a nett 68.

The best senior player on the day was Jim Cochrane (12) with a nett 68,

The coveted best gross prize went to Conor Doran (+1) who scored a one under par, 68.

Robin Bond (14) and Jonathan Burns (5) both scored nett 66’s while Joe McGivern (16) and Colin Dodds (15) both had nett 67’s but despite their good scores they all went home empty handed.

The Downshire Hotel, who now provides the catering at Banbridge Golf Club, generously sponsored the competition last Saturday.

The weather was quite good and that was reflected in the larger than usual turnout.

A total of 177 entered the competition but, because it was strokeplay, there was 65 “no returns”.

Strokeplay seems to favour the lower handicap players and that was certainly the case in this competition.

Everyone at the club appreciates the sponsorship from the Downshire Hotel. One way of showing that would be to dine in the clubhouse after the game. It’s just an idea!