THE qualifying round of the GUI Mixed Foursomes was played at Spa last Sunday.
Gerry and Denise McBrien were the captains of the Banbridge team and they had selected a very good-looking team. Well, at least the ladies were good looking.
The Spa course is long and testing. Every hole demands good ball-striking and maximum concentration.
Seamus Rooney and Anne-Maire Canavan shot one of the best rounds of the day, a superb nett 73.
Colin Wilton and Mary Dooher were also in tip-top form as they finished with a nett 74.5.
Martin McAleenan and Mildred Hodgett hit lots of great shots and kept mistakes to a minimum as they carded a nett 76.
It was all very close at the top of the leaderboard. Banbridge needed one more sub-80 round.
To everyone’s delight, John McDowell and Fionulla Crossey came in with a nett 78.5.
The score of William Malcolmson and Mary Longmore (nett 80) was not required.
The four teams to qualify were Lurgan 299.5, Spa 301, Banbridge 302 and Ardglass 303.
In the first round of matchplay, Banbridge will play Spa at the neutral venue of Downpatrick.
The qualifying round is always the hardest part of this competition. Banbridge have cleared that hurdle and they could go far in the matchplay. Let’s hope so.