Birdie seals Coburn Cup victory for Gary

CLOSE to 200 golfers played in the Coburn Cup at Banbridge Golf Club on Saturday July 14.

And it was one of the closest finishes ever. Eight players finished with nett 64’s and a further six players shot nett 65’s.

Every one of those 14 players could reflect on their round and spot the opportunities they had to win the Coburn Cup.

But one man seized his opportunity and, thanks to a brilliant birdie at the final hole, emerged victorious.

That man was Gary McCartney (9), a confident player who always tries his best. Gary’s last success was in the IPGA tankard back in 2010. That win meant that he played in the Ulster final alongside the club professional, Jason Greenaway. That experience has stood him in good stead. His golf game has matured beyond belief.

Young Jonathan Brush (10), for the second Saturday in a row, finished runner-up with his nett 64. He must be wondering what exactly he has to do in order to win. If he could have parred the last hole, he would have won, it’s as simple as that.

Dermot Dawson (13) was third, also with nett 64. Dermot did par the last but he dropped shots at both 15 and 17. It’s easy done.

Billy Clarke (15) is playing superb golf at this moment of time and he finished fourth with his nett 64. Billy parred the last five holes so no complaints there. It was double bogeys at the ninth and 10th holes, which kept Billy off the winner’s rostrum.

Andrew Quinn (5) was level par gross standing on the 18th tee. A par would give him the cup. He couldn’t manage it but he was pleased to win the best gross prize with a 70. He has a very big day coming up and we all wish him every happiness.

Merton McDowell (21), captain of the successful Ulster Fourball team, won the best senior prize with his nett 64. Maybe he will now consider picking himself for the team.

Robert Haire (17) and Josh Lockhart (6) both had nett 64’s and walked away empty-handed.

Sean M. Quinn (15), Glen Buchanan (23), Barrie McCoy (13), Tom Fee (12), Philip Strong (20) and Patrick Magennis (12) all had nett 65’s, just one shot too many.

Laurence Bramall (14), Cathal O’Neill (11), Alan Caughey (12) and Quentin Boyce all should be well satisfied with their play as they all shot nett 66.

The calculated standard scratch score was nett 67 and this was equalled by Paul Downey (12), Brendan Berry (20), Tom Mulholland (10), Lyle Rea (23), Philip Mallon (10) and Shane Crossan (15).

It was an amazing photo finish and any one of twenty plus players could have won. But Gary McCartney stepped up to the mark, birdied the 18th and walked off with the Coburn Cub. Well done, Gary! You’re a star!

And we must mention the shot of the day. Paul McAleavey hit a superb iron shot at the 15th hole and the ball soared into the air and dropped into the hole for an ace. Paul wasn’t too excited as this was the eighth hole in one of his career. His card made interesting reading as he went 6-1-6. It’s the first ace in competitive play this season at Banbridge Golf Club.