ON Saturday April 2, the members of Banbridge Golf Club played for the first major prize of the season, the Bill McMaster Memorial Trophy.
The weather was fine and the total number of competitors was close to 200.
The calculated standard scratch score was nett 67 or 38 stableford points. Five players equalled this score and a total of 17 bettered it.
The five with 38 points were Malcolm Russell (9), Cecil Wilson (20), Tony Ewbanks (10), Paul McAleavey (5) and John Parkes (12).
Young Josh Lockhart (10) topped the group of five players with 39 points. He was joined on that mark by Gary McCartney (10), Seamus Rooney (6), Jim Ledlie (23) and Gareth Magee (7).
Stanley Dickson (20) and Colin Kennedy (12) both played very well to finish with 40 points each.
We now come to the top ten players in the Bill McMaster Memorial Trophy.
Paul Cochrane (13), a very consistent player, was tenth with 41 points.
Jonathan Ward (4 now 3) was ninth, also with 41 points. What pleased Jonathan most of all was the fact that his level par 69 was good enough to win the best gross prize.
John Fitzpatrick (19) was eighth with 41 points. John could very well have won the competition as he let three points slip away over the last three holes. It’s easily done, John!
Colin Smylie (13) was seventh with 41 points. His score was the best returned by a senior player and Colin was duly rewarded.
John Russell (9), making a very welcome return to the golf scene at Banbridge, was sixth with a score of 41 points.
David Thompson (20) was fifth with 42 points. He was very unfortunate to finish outside the prizes. His turn will come sooner rather than later.
John Molloy (20) took the fourth nett prize with 42 points. According to his playing partners, John is enjoying a bit of a purple patch. Enjoy it while it lasts, John!
Young Stuart Singer (17) was third, also with 42 points. He came very close to winning. All he needed was one more point and I’m sure he made one or two careless mistakes.
The runner-up in the Bill McMaster Memorial Trophy, beaten on countback, was Alan Caughey (14 now 13). He shot 43 stableford points.
Alan is a very talented golfer indeed and a few of the team captains should maybe consider him as a panel member.
The winner, also with 43 points, was Jim Minnis (12 now 11). Jim is an avid student of the game and this result will have delighted him no end. It’s an important trophy to win and Jim will appreciate that.
This victory brought back many fond memories for Jim. The first cup that Jim won in his long and successful career just happens to be the Bill Mc Master Memorial Trophy.
Well done, Jim! Your season is off to the best possible start and let’s hope that you have many more good days before the summer ends.