Connor and Colin lead the scores in the Haughton Smyth Cup

Kenny Stevenson (left) and Connor Doran (right) both qualified. They are pictured with Brian Mulholland.
Kenny Stevenson (left) and Connor Doran (right) both qualified. They are pictured with Brian Mulholland.

Connor Doran and Colin McKinney led the qualifiers in the Haughton Smyth Cup last Saturday at Banbridge Golf Club.

This is a unique competition at the club.

Colin McKinney led the nett scores with a nett 64 off his 18 handicap.

Colin McKinney led the nett scores with a nett 64 off his 18 handicap.

First of all, a player has to shoot a good round in order to gain one of the 16 qualification places.

These go to the eight best gross scores and the eight best nett scores. After that, there are four rounds of matchplay to determine the winner. The winner of the Haughton Smyth Cup is truly the complete golfer.

The top eight gross scores this year were as follows:

Connor Doran (+1) 65; Luke Woods (4) 70; Ken Stevenson (3) 70; Kieran Magennis (5) 72; Bill McCandless (5) 73; Barry Tumelty (4) 73; Andrew Shaw (6) 74 and Mark McCoy (6) 74.

Luke Woods shot a gross 70 to cruise into the matchplay stages.

Luke Woods shot a gross 70 to cruise into the matchplay stages.

The top eight nett scores were: Colin McKinney (18) nett 64; Gordon Enderson (20) nett 64; Kieran McGreevey (23) net 65; Cecil Wilson (13) nett 66; Gary McCormick (11) nett 66; B.J. McAnarney (23) nett 66; John Poots (17) nett 67 and Richard Coburn (11) nett 67.

Of the 16 who qualified last year, only four of them managed to do so this time.

They were Ken Stevenson, Bill McCandless, Barry Tumelty and Mark McCoy.

Mark McCoy, in fact, is the only player to have qualified in each of the last three seasons.

Last year’s winner, Matthew Mallon, failed to qualify with a gross 78, nett 72.

Conor Mulholland would have qualified comfortably with a gross 72 if he had taken the time to get his card signed.

The draw for the opening round of matchplay is as follows:

John Poots V. Gordon Enderson. (John’s experience might see him progress.)

Connor Doran V. Kieran Magennis. ( The tie of the round.)

Ken Stevenson V. Andrew Shaw. (Ken is the supreme match player.)

Kieran McGreevey V. Mark McCoy. (Can Mark give his opponent 17 shots?)

Cecil Wilson V. Barry Tumelty. ( You must favour the low handicapper.)

Bill McCandless V. Luke Woods. (It’s too close to call.)

Gary McCormick V. B.J. McAnarney. ( B.J. could be the surprise package.)

Colin McKinney V. Richard Coburn. ( Colin gets seven shots. He’ll need them all.)

Good luck to everyone and let the games begin.