AFTER ALL the dreadful weather conditions of the past few months those who attended the North-Western Alliance outing at Lisfannon on Saturday last, enjoyed perfect conditions.
Labelled “the St. Andrews of Ireland” in some quarters, the competition was closely contested but it came as no surprise that local knowledge would again prove significant.
The score returned by local course expert, Brian McElhinney, could not be bettered, the North-West member coming home in one under par.
That said, Brian did not have it all his own way having been involved in a battle royale with Enda Kennedy and John P. Dolan. McElhinney and Kennedy both negotiated the outward nine in level par 35’s, while Dolan, the resident professional at Ballybofey & Stranorlar, had a 38.
But J. P. enjoyed a superb back nine and it has been rumoured that one of his playing partners, Frank McBrearty, the Mayor of Donegal, delivered a stirring rallying speech on the 10th tee, an incident which appears to have lit John’s fire!
Dolan birdied the 14th, 16th, 17th and 18th for an amazing back nine score of 32 blows and three birdies on the final three holes.
In what proved an exciting day, the top two players were involved in a nip and tuck match. Enda moved into the driving seat after the 10th while Brian levelled matters almost immediately and that type of scoring continued until they reached the fateful 18th, a par five measuring 513 yards, which settled the issue.
McElhinney returned a regulation par while Edna’s uncharacteristic double bogey “7” proved hugely disappointing.
Meanwhile, in the Nett Section, Stephen McHugh, from the neighbouring Buncrana club, played exceptional golf on the day.
He dropped a shot at the first hole, but got it back with a birdie on the fifth, but then dropped another at the seventh and was one over gross for his opening nine.
Stephen then dropped another shot at thepar four 10th and another at the par three 13th before claiming birdies at the 14th and 18th to finsish on 71, leaving him one point clear in this section which is now scored on Stableford points.
Interestingly, the prizes were won by members representing no fewer than seven different clubs.
In the race for the “golfer of the year” in the Nett Section, John P. Dolan leads the way while in the Gross Category, the honours are shared between John P. Dolan and Brian McElhinney.
The next outing will take place to Ballyliffin Golf Club on Saturday, October 20th.
Full results were - Nett Category - 1, Stephen McHugh (3) Buncrana, 38 points; 2, John P. Dolan (scr), Ballybofey & Stranorlar, 37; 3, break of tie, Stephen McKeegan (5), City of Derry, 36; 4, Dermot Kenny (19), North West, 36; 5, Oliver Doherty (7), Buncrana, 36; 6, Peter Smyth (12), Rosapenna, 35.
Gross Category - 1, Brian McElhinney (+2), Golf Ireland, 69; 2, Enda Kennedy (+1), Rosapenna, 71; 3, Noel Callan (scr), Faughan Valley, 74; 4, Justin McLochlainn (3), North-West, 75; 5, break of tie, Kieran Doherty (5) Strabane, 77; 6, David McGeough (3), North-West, 77.
The following players carded “2’s” - P. Smyth, D. McNeil, M. Carlin, A. Simpson, C. McGettigan, J. Harding, N. Patton, J. P. Dolan, N. Callan and D. McGeough.
Terry Claims Tuesday “Open “Meal Deal”
North-West Council member, Terry Meenan, produced the goods on Tuesday, October 2nd, to win the Open “Meal Deal” event which continues to prove highly propular at Lisfannon.
Terry had two solid nines of 19 points for a winning total of 38 saw him win by three points.
Full results were - Open Meal Deal, Tuesday, October 2nd - 1, Terry Meenan (9) 38 points; 2, Gerry Coyle (13) 35.
Meanwhile, in week two of the Winter League, the foursomes event was played in superb conditions on Sunday last with some excellent golf played.
The strong pairing of Bosco Reid & Hugh Duffy (12) claimed the honours with an impressive score of 43 points with the help of a superb “eagle 2” at the par four second. This pair had 22 points on there outward nine and a further 21 points on the way home to win by one point Andy Davis & Andy Murphy (13).
This weekend’s fixtures are - tomorrow (Sat.), Christmas Fare; Sunday, October 14th, Winter League Week 3 (Scramble).
Flying Start for Coyle
City of Derry’s Sean Coyle (20) got his Sunday Society quest for “Golfer of the Year” off to a winning start in the first of this season’s competitions with a finely compiled 42 points lat weekend.
However he had to survive a tie-break as Gary Leckey (10) returned the same score, but lost out on the back nine. Gary had a whirlwind start to his round, a one under par gross front nine giving him a fabulous 24 points.
Noel McDermott (21) was third, best of a trio on 40 points with Richard Hamilton (17) and Peter Deans (26) finishing 4th and 5th respectively and the 6th and final place went to Liam McCafferty (22) who returned 39 points to be the best of four scores on that mark on the count back.
Last Sunday’s Open Stableford attracted a very good entry at Greencastle and it resulted with two 11 handicappers prevailing with Hugh Casey and Brendan Duffy returning totals of 42 points.
However, it was the former who emerged victorious thanks to his superior back nine. Hugh had under par scores at the 6th and 8th holes, but after dropping shots at the 10th and 11th, he played the remaining holes in level par.
In third place was Laurance McColgan (16) with 39 points. Once again Willie Havlin claimed the gross prize with 31 points after having recorded birdies on the final two holes.
The front nine was claimed by Gerry McCourt with 21 points and John McElhinney won the back nine with 22 points.
This weekend’s competitions will be - an Open Singles Stableford for Ladies & Gents tomorrow (Sat.) and a Singles Stableford on Sunday,
Institute Fundraiser at
Institute Football Club staged it’s annual Open Stableford competition at Faughan Valley last Sunday and the event was well supported by club members.
In the qualifiers category, a break of tie saw Tony P. Grifiths (11) taking top spot with 40 points while Martin Mailey (19) had to settle for the runners-up prize returned the same score. In third spot was Paul Duffy (6) with 39.
The gross prize was won by Lee Totten (13) 67 nett.
THe non qualifying prizewinners were - 1, Corey Wilson, 38 points; 2, Norman Bates, 37; 3, Stephen Adair, 36; front nine, Andrew Cooke, 22; back nine, Stanley Lyle, 23; nearest the pin and the longest drive, Paul Duffy and Lee O’Connor respectively. Best junior Mathew Orr, 42.
Winner of the first turkey of the year was Lee Totton with 43 pts.