James wins Darren Clarke charity contest

James Wilson, the winner of the Darren Clarke Charity competition.
James Wilson, the winner of the Darren Clarke Charity competition.

Last Saturday was an awful day for golf. It was bitterly cold with persistent rain and strong winds.

A lot of players never left their homes. Several others drove into the car park, spun around and drove home.

Others paid their entry fees but gave up after nine or twelve holes. Most of them complained that their hands were so cold that they couldn’t hold onto their clubs.

But, as always, there were a number of players who refused to let the elements beat them. One of them was last year’s “golfer of the year”, James Wilson.

James, playing off a 12 handicap, had an absolutely incredible round of golf. He didn’t have a score on his card worse than a bogey and he had a run of 7 pars in a row on the second nine. His gross 77, nett 65, gave him a winning score of 40 points.

In the conditions, this may well be one of the rounds of the year.

Danny O’Boyle (16) was runner-up with 39 points. Danny, you will recall, was the top golfer in the last Winter League so he was not going to be put off by a bit of bad weather. Danny played really well but four double bogeys cost him victory.

Malcolm Russell (8) won the low section (0-12) with 38 points. Malcolm had a 2 at the 10th and another at the 12th. There were only six 2’s altogether so Malcolm was richly rewarded.

Malcolm Hanna (12) was runner-up in the low section with 37 points.

Trevor Mulholland (14) won the middle section (13-17) with 37 points. The calculated standard scratch was nett 70 or 35 points. Trevor broke it by 2 points, which was no mean achievement.

Harry Shannon (15) thought long and hard before venturing out to play.

He took a chance and was rewarded with second place in the middle section. He had 36 points.

Chris Lennon (20) won the high section (18+) with 38 points. This was one of the best scores on the day, no doubt about it. Robin Jardine (22) was runner-up with 35 points.

Barry Tumilty (6) won the best gross with a very steady 75.

And, finally, the prize for the best senior went to Dennis Watt (17) with 37 points.

Other good scores worthy of a mention came from Neil Comiskey (36 points), Mark Watt (35), Seamus McNally (35), Kerry McCluskey (34), Gordon Enderson (34) and John Bell (34).

The winner, James Wilson, will play in the grand final later in the season. If anyone has earned a day out, it’s James.