Royal Recognition for Billy at Prehen

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THE curtain fell on City of Derry’s Centenary Open Week on Sunday last with one of the Prehen club’s major sponsors, Billy Henderson, claiming the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Open to finish what has been a superb week of golf, played in glorious weather conditions.

Billy (11) was back to his best form in the final competition, a birdie “2” at the 8th followed by back-to-back birdies at the 10th and 11th added considerably to his 43 points winning score.

Stephen McKeegan (6) was looking good for victory until an unfortunate double bogey six on the 17th meant he had to settle for the runners-up spot with a nonetheless fine 41 points.

A four birdie blitz on the front nine gave Kealan Quigg (1) a great start to his round but he ran out of steam on the way home and had to be content with 40 points for third place and the best gross of the day. His consolation prize and much sought after ambition is that he is now off a scratch handicap and is the lowest handicapped player at the club.

Robin McClay (19) took fourth with 39 points while Donal Hasson (5) won the visitors’ prize (37 pts.).

The ladies competition was claimed by Marlene Montgomery (24) with 32 points just beating her marker, the Ladies Branch secretary, Christine Mitchell (26) on a count back.

Meanwhile, John McClafferty (17), had great cause for celebrations on Saturday night with his dramatic tie-break winning 44 points in the City Hotel (Derry) sponsored Open Stableford followed by his win in the club’s monthly prize draw, a unique double for the retired teacher who usually reserves his best form for winter golf.

Iain Anthony (5) saved his best golf of the Open week for Saturday’s event and having posted his fantastic 44 points early in the day must have felt he was home and dry but McClafferty’s 25 points on the back nine proved unbeatable and he had to settle for second spot. He had the distinction, however, of having the best gross of the day a huge 39 points even with a blank on the 10th hole.

But spare a thought for the third placed finisher Allen Heaney (13) who finished on 43 points despite two successive ugly “7’s” on his card and 24 points on the back nine.

Pat McAllister (28) took the fourth spot with 41 points following a count back, a very good score that started with a blank. Best of the ladies was Ann Wallace (18) on 35 points followed by Ciara Quigg (16) who survived a tie break on 32 points.

The Campsie Paper Company Mixed Foursomes event was welcomed by another glorious sunny day on Friday. Scoring was quite impressive for this format and eventually the experienced pairing of Centenary President Brian Long and Centenary Lady Captain, Betty McBride, proved much too strong for the rest of the field with a fine 39 points.

They were followed home in turn by a pair of Prehen’s 2011 All-Ireland winning mixed foursomes team, Cormac McKeone and Ciara Quigg who scored 38 points. Third place, following a tie break, went to Eamon O’Kane and Rose Campbell with 35 points

This Saturday, June 9th, will see Mr. Brian Long host his Centenary President’s Day and a big turnout is expected. Competitors are asked to arrive early for their tee-times to help the smooth running of the event.

The entry fee is set at £10 and that will include competition entry, a pint in the bar and a meal in the Duffer’s Restaurant following the round.

Back to Open Week and in last Thursday’s North-West Tyres Open (Dan McAnulla), another record number of competitors took to the immaculate Prehen fairways to do battle.

A stalwart of the club for many years Noel Kehoe (snr) 17 proved he has the game for the big occasion by taking first place with an excellently compiled 40 points.

Sean Quigg (2) again appeared on the podium, this time in second spot and with the same score as the winner but losing out on the count back.

Third and fourth places were also decided on a tie break with John Woods (12) and Bert Whoriskey (15) taking the honours respectively on 39 points. Bert now has the proud distinction of being the oldest ever prize winner at Prehen and had his handicap reduced to (14) in the process. Brendan Duffy (11) from Foyle was the best visitor with 37 points.

Kathy Jackson (25) was best of the ladies with a superb 42 points, four shots clear of the runner-up Maire Gillespie (34) and Lesley Mulgrew finished in third place on 37 points.

Sean Quigg (2) the most successful golfer of the week to date also took home the nearest the pin and long drive awards.

Monday, May 28th - Everglades Hotel Open Stableford - 1, Conrad Smith (20) 45 points; 2, Eddie McMenamin (13) 42; 3, break of tie, Sean Quigg (3) 41; gross, Kealan Quigg (1) 67; front nine, Eddie Burton (6) 22; back nine, Graham Robb (10) 24; visitor, break of tie, Ciaran O’Neill (7), Greencastle, 37.

Ladies results - 1, Lucy Smyth (19) 37 points; 2, Cathy Jackson (25) 35.

Wednesday, May 30th - Kelly Fuels Open Stableford - 1, break of tie, Ernie Heywood (1) 42 points; 2, Sean Quigg (2) 42; 3, Maurice Quigg, 42; 4, James Kelly (4) finished in fourth spot on 41; visitor, Matt Donnell (11) 39; front nine, John Gallagher (19) 24; back nine, break of tie, Stuart McClelland (9) 22.

Ladies competition - 1, Vivienne Houston, 38 points; 2, break of tie, Catherine McCanny, 36.