Brendan Berry leads the cup qualifiers

LAST Saturday 180 golfers from Banbridge Golf Club set out with high hopes of securing one of the 16 qualifying spots in the Haughton Smyth Cup.

This competition has a unique format. The players mark an 18 holes card in strokeplay. The 8 best nett scores and the 8 best gross scores qualify for matchplay.

The 8 best net scores this year came from Brendan Berry (16) nett 61, Ryan Simpson (12) nett 64, Garth McDonald (16) nett 64, Jim Cochrane (11) nett 64, Adam McGregor (10) nett 66, Philip Mallon (9) nett 66, Callum McCandless (7) nett 66 and Paul McAleavey (5) nett 67.

The eight best gross scores came from Luke Woods (5) 72, John Bell (6) 73, Kieran Magennis (5) 73, Jonathan Ward (3) 74, Jonathan Shannon (5) 75, Rory Madeley (3) 76, Conor Mulholland (7) 77 and Bill McCandless (6) 77.

As always, there were a number of players who missed out by a shot or two.

In the nett section, Michael Beattie (19), Morris Phillips (18) and John Redpath (12) all finished with nett 67 and lost out on countback.

Colin McKinney (15), John Cowan (28), Kenny Arlow (14), Joe E. Hamilton (17), Walter Smyth (15) and Stephen Shaw (19) all shot nett 68, one shot too many.

In the gross section, a score of 77 was needed.

Joshua Crory (9) had a 78 while John Redpath (12), Patrick Magennis (10), Brian Mulholland (10), Colin Wilton (1) and Seamus Rooney (7) all had 79’s.

The draw for the matchplay stage will take place this week and we await that with interest.

Brendan Berry and his fantastic nett 61 deserve a special mention. Nobody could have been more excited after a good round of golf than Brendan. Let’s hope that he does well in the matchplay stage. His handicap was cut from 16 to 14 and that pleased him no end.