A TOTAL of 85 members of the North-Western Alliance descended on Rosapenna’s Strand/Valley course on Saturday, the latest outing enjoying fine weather conditions and the scoring was reflected in the favourable conditions.
The majority of the members had not previously had the opportunity to test their skills against the relatively new layout of the first nine holes, but all commented favourably on the new layout.
Indeed, quite a few excellent scores were recorded in the nett category with no fever than seven returns under par. The winner and the runner up were 4 under their handicaps and the next two were just one shot back.
The first player to show on the day was Conor Sharkey who covered the first nine in 36 gross which was reduced to a 32 when his handicap was applied.
However, the eventual winner of the nett category was North-West’s Delwyn Montgomery covered the way out in 39 shots, a level par 35 on his handicap.
And Buncrana’s James William Doherty was on the same mark with the fourth card of note was from Michael O’Donnell who was 2 over his handicap for the first nine. He had three birdies on the back nine which gave him a two over gross and a nett 31.
At this stage Montgomery had really started to play and while he was going really well so to was the runner up who had dropped three shots at the 10th, 11th and 12th but was then level par for the remaining holes. Delwyn was 1 under gross to the 17th when he could afford the luxury of dropping shots at the last two to win the nett section following a break of tie.
Fascinating Gross Battle
The gross competition was, as ever, a fascinating battle with two locals in the mix and it was one of them who was ahead after nine. Derek McNeill, who was level par to the 7th when he dropped a stroke at the par three but he picked it up again at the next, a par five.
Behind him was Michael McGeady who was playing par golf with just one shot dropped at the par four 5th. Also on 36 was Paul McGuigan who was having mixed fortunes. He dropped 3 shots at par fours but he was immaculate on the par threes as he birdied each of them.
Drawing up the rear at this stage was local favourite Enda Kennedy who had dropped 3 strokes and picked up none on the first nine. So after nine it was Derek on 35, Paul and Michael on 36 with Enda on 38. Indeed, the alarm bells were ringing loud and clear for him to improve or he would finish out of the prizes for the first time this year!
And the popular post man responded. After the 14th the situation was that Derek had dropped 3 strokes over 5 holes and he was level with Michael who had dropped a shot at the 10th, had a nasty double bogey on 12 but a birdie on 13, both players on 3 over. Paul was now on 4 over.
Enda, with a birdie on 14 and no dropped strokes, was now in the lead by one .The situation had changed utterly in a matter of five holes!
However, all the changing was not over just yet as over the next two holes Enda birdied the par 4 and par 5, making that three birdies in succession and the other three could only par them to leave the story coming down the stretch as: Enda at one over after 15 and the other three on three and four over respectively.
The drama was basically played out, but there was more fireworks as Enda carded another two birdies over the last three holes and the only one to come close to matching him was Michael who had one. This left Enda the gross winner - a superb back nine of four under, with Michael having to settle for the runners-up spot.
Meanwhile, Michael is now in the process of completing his preparation for the next stage of securing his tour card for next year and the best wishes from everyone associated with the North-Western Alliance is extended to the McCambridge-Duffy player.
In the race for the Golfer of the Year titles, Enda Kennedy has a very healthy 45 points in the Gross Category with Michael McGeady on 28, Sean Quigg on 25, John Callan 16, Connor Mallon 15 and the Alliance Captain, Noel Callan, is on 14.
In the Nett Section Strabane’s Odhran McGettigan leads the way on 23, Michael P.O’Donnell on 20, Eddie McHugh and John Callan on 18, Clive Davison is on 14 and Delwyn Montgomery is on 13.
The next outing will take place on Saturday, December 3rd on the Old Links at Ballyliffin.
North-Western Alliance outing to Rosapenna’s Strand-Valley Course - Saturday, November 19th - Nett Category - 1, break of tie, Delwyn Montgomery (9), North-West, 67; 2, Conor Sharkey (8), Strabane, 67; 3, break of tie, Michael P.O’Donnell(14), Letterkenny, 68; 4, James William Doherty (12), Buncrana, 68; 5, break of tie, Freddie Patterson (5), Strabane, 70; 6, Eddie McHugh (15), Letterkenny, 70.
Gross Category - 1, Enda Kennedy (scr.), Rosapenna, 70; 2, Michael McGeady (scr.), McCambridge-Duffy, 73; 3, Derek McNeill (2), Rosapenna, 74; 4, Paul McGuigan (3), City of Derry, 75; 5, Padraig MacLochlainn (4), North-West, 76; 6, John Sweeney (6), Portsalon, 77.
The following players recorded “2’s” - E. Kennedy, O. Doherty, M. Neils, E. McGlinchey, James Callan, D. McLaughlin (P), D. McLaughlin (I), C. McGuigan, C. Jeffrey, Corry, B. Haughey, Mark Doherty and S. McKeegan.