There was an excellent turnout last Saturday for the last 18 holes competition of the season at Banbridge GC.
The weather was fine and the course was in excellent condition.
The winner was Paddy Malcolmson (13 now 11) with a marvellous score of 43 points.
He went round in 75 gross with birdies at the fourth and 17th. His only blemish was a double at the difficult 11th.
This was Paddy’s second major win this season. He won the Centenary Cup back in June. I know a lot of people, Paddy, who didn’t come even close to winning once.
Paddy was a 15 handicapper when he won the Centenary Cup. He is now down to 11. Well done, Paddy!
For the second week in a row Cathal McNiff (13 now 12) had 42 points. He came very close to winning both competitions but it was not to be as he finished runner-up.
Cathal scored no points at the short 12th but he was delighted to get a birdie at the 17th. It was the 17th, which ruined his card last week.
Most people have a relaxing morning before going out to play their golf but not Cathal. Last Saturday morning, along with 800 others, Cathal ran the Dundrum GR8, an eight mile multi-terrain run starting at Dundrum, following the road and path to the beach, two miles up the beach, then onto the boardwalk for another two miles and return to Dundrum. His time was amazing. He said he had to rush round to make his tee-time.
Cathal has reduced his handicap from 15 to 12 in two weeks; some achievement.
Kerry McCluskey (8 now 7) won the low section (0-12) with 39 points. The Captain’s Prizewinner, John Lennon (10) was second with 38 points.
Paul Mark (13 now 12) won the middle section (13-17) with 41 points. Paul started badly with a six at the first. He finished brilliantly, playing the last four 2, 4, 3, 4.
Andrew Burns (17 now 16) was runner-up in the middle section with 40 points.
Andrew Mairs (22) won the high section (18+) with 42 points. A ding at the 14th where he received two shots and a double at the last spoiled Andrew’s chances of winning.
Aidan Lavery (19) was second in the high section with 40 points.
Robert Haire (18) was the best senior player with 40 points.
And, finally, the coveted best gross prize went to the in-form Neil Clydesdale (3) who had a gross 67. Neil’s scorecard was close to perfection. The highlight was a magnificent eagle at the 14th.
There are always a number of hard-luck stories.
Seamus McGrath (14), Vaughan Lamont (14) and Eamon McAnarney (12) each had 39 points.
John Convery (14), Aidy McEvoy (15) and Philip Mallon (10) each had 38 points.
The only consolation for these six players is that they broke the calculated standard scratch of nett 68 and will have a point or two taken off their handicaps. That’s good, isn’t it?
Paddy Malcolmson heads off on holidays a happy man after this great win.
It’s hard to believe that the Winter League is about to get under way. It’s enough to make you cry.