It was T.B.Wallace Day at Banbridge Golf Club last Saturday.
It was generously sponsored once again by the Donnelly Group, thanks to club member, Martin McAleenan.
The T.B.Wallace Cup is one of the oldest and most treasured trophies in the club and it is every member’s dream to have their name engraved thereon.
Saturday was also memorable as the brand new 16th hole came into play for the first time. The green was still a little raw but the design of the hole is superb.
Back to the actual golf, the standard of play was out of this world.
The calculated standard scratch score was nett 67.
Six players equalled the C.S.S. and another thirteen players beat it. One player beat the C.S.S. by 10 shots. We will come to him later.
Robert Clydesdale (18), Bill McCandless (6), Richard Huey (20), P.J. Johnston (14), Philip Strong (21) and John Gallagher (12) all finished with nett 67’s.
Gareth Matthews (12), Aidan Lavery (18) and Felix Duffy (21 now 20) came in with nett 66’s.
Gareth hit his first two tee shots into the car park and onto the Huntly Road.
He took a nine at the hole, five over par. Many a player would have given up but not Gareth. He shot a gross 78, nett 66 and finished in 11th place out of a field of 211 players. This was a heroic effort, Gareth.
Colin Kennedy (13 now 12), Jonathan Ward (4) and Paul McCullough (12) all finished in the top ten with nett 65’s.
Jonathan Ward was delighted to win the best gross prize. 14 pars, 2 birdies and 2 bogeys gave Jonathan a level par gross 69.
Kenny Jones (19 now 18), Albert Morrison (21 now 20) and Hugo Downey (9 now 8) each had a nett 64. Albert won the prize for best senior player. No better man!
Fergie Cosgrove (15 now 13) was fourth with a nett 63. A brilliant round was spoiled a little by a triple bogey 7 at the 17th hole.
Gareth Magee (8 now 7) was third, also with a nett 63. This too was a fantastic round and, for a long part of the day, everyone thought that Gareth was going to win the cup.
But then in came (14 now 12) with a sensational nett 60. Verdun was in sparkling form with birdies at holes 3,8, 9 and 18.
Nine times out of ten, this score would win but, as it transpired, Verdun had to be content with the runners-up position.
James Bryson (19 now 16) was the hero of the hour as he shot the round of his life, a gross 76, nett 57. He won the T.B. Wallace by 3 shots.
He had a near flawless outward nine, 37 shots, one over par. He was only 2 over par after 13 holes and it looked as if he would shoot the best nett score ever recorded.
He came down to earth over the final five holes, bogeying them all. He still ended up with a winning score of nett 57.
James has always been a class player and this type of performance was on the cards. He picked the right day to come good as they don’t come any more important than the T.B. Wallace Cup.