The final qualifying competition of the 2014 golfing season was played at Banbridge Golf Club last Saturday.
It was appropriate that it should be won with one of the best rounds of the season.
That came from sharpshooter Jim Matthews who, playing off 13 now 11, amassed a total of 46 stableford points. That is the equivalent of a nett 59, which is just fantastic.
Jim is only the fourth player to shoot a sub-60 round this year. The others were Gerry McBrien (a nett 59 in the first of the Thursday Opens, Noel McSherry (a nett 58 in the Mizuno) and, best of all, a nett 56 from Aidy McEvoy on Champions Day.
Jim Matthews is a sharpshooter in more ways than one. Recently he won a small-bore rifle shooting competition with the perfect score of 600. Is there no end to his talents?
Jim started his golf round with 6 straight pars and never looked back.
Andrew Mairs (25 now 23) was runner-up with 43 points. Double bogeys at 3,5 and 12 cost Andrew dearly.
Bobby Geddis, playing with Jim, won the low section with a very tidy round of 41 points.
Philip Mallon (10) was second with 40 points.
Mark McCullough (14 now 13) won the middle section with 41 points. Mark has come down from 16 to 13 this season and he has his eye on a single figure handicap next season.
Colin Kennedy (14 now 13) was second in the middle section with 41 points.
Mark Hodgen (22 now 20) won the high section with 42 points. He was three points ahead of second placed Harry Burnside (20). Kenny Arlow (14) was the best senior player with 40 points.
Finally, Jim Carvill (+1) won the best gross prize with a one over par 70. Jim made a blunder at the first hole and then played the remaining 17 holes in 16 pars and 1 birdie. Class golf!
The near misses deserve a mention.
John Crothers, Joe McGivern and Neil Clydesdale all had 40 points.
Jeffrey Brown, John Gallagher, Matthew Elliott, Scott Nelson and Rory Madeley all had 39 points.
There were no prizes for them but they had the satisfaction of beating the calculated standard scratch score of 38 points (nett 67).
If you see Jim Matthews, shake his hand. He deserves our congratulations.