LAST Saturday, September 8th, was President’s Day at Banbridge Golf Club.
John Parkes, ably assisted by his wife Mary, had everything organised to perfection, including the weather.
The highlight of the day was the final of the fourball matchplay knockout competition, affectionately known as the President’s Prize.
The two semi-final were played the previous day and both went down to the final green.
Ken Stevenson and Paul Wylie beat Robert and Callum Barnes 1 up.
Kevin McKay and Brian Grimes beat Neil Clydesdale and Kevin Smyth 1 up.
The general opinion was that the experience of Ken Stevenson (3) and Paul Wylie (10) would prove too much for their younger opponents in the final. That was not the case.
Kevin McKay (14) is, without doubt, one of the longest hitters in the club and his partner, Brian Grimes (17) doesn’t know the meaning of fear.
This is how the final panned out:
Hole 1: Brian won it with a nett birdie 3.
Hole 2: Kevin was on this par 5 with a drive and a 7 iron. He won it with a nett
Hole 3: Ken won it with a par 4.
Hole 4: Kevin won it with a nett birdie 3.
Hole 5: Kevin hit this green with a drive and a wedge and won it with a nett birdie 3.
Hole 6: Kevin again! A rescue and a sand wedge set up a winning nett birdie 3.
One third of the match was over and Kevin and Brian were 4 up with a nett score of 5 under par.
The next 3 holes were crucial. There were no shots given so Ken and Paul fancied their chances. Up stepped Brian, the 17 handicapper. He parred all three holes and halved each of them. So Kevin and Brian were 4 up at the turn.
Hole 10: Kevin hit a glorious iron to the edge of the green and won the hole with a nett birdie 2.
Hole 11: Brian’s drive was at the foot of the hill. A sand wedge onto the green set up another win with a nett birdie 3.
Hole 12: Ken and Paul won this hole with a par. The other boys both 3-putted. They were human after all.
Hole 13: Brian almost drove the green and got an easy half with Ken in par.
Hole 14: Another nett birdie 4 from Kevin won the hole and the match.
Kevin and Brian were nett 7 under par for the 14 holes played and that was just incredible golf. There was nothing Ken and Paul could do about it. They just had to sportingly admit defeat.
This win could herald the start of an amazing golfing career for Kevin McKay and Brian Grimes. Remember the names!
THE DAY PRIZES.
The other members played for an array of lovely prizes.
The winner was Paul Cochrane (11) with 44 points.
Runner-up was David McComb (12) with 42 points.
Third was Malcolm Hanna (8) with 41 points.
Sydney Pepper (11) won the senior prize with 41 points.
Kieran Magennis (5) won the best gross prize with a 71.
Peter Clarke, a past captain and president of Bundoran Golf Club, won the visitors prize.
The juvenile prizes went to Matthew Doyle, Gareth Orr, Scott Nelson and Jamie Thompson.
Vivian Faulkner, Phyllis McIlherron, Helen Cocks, Pat McCartan and Megan Whan were the happy winners of the ladies prizes.
It was a memorable day for John Parkes. As well as the golf, it will be remembered as the day the new green-keepers headquarters were opened. All the players were invited to view the finished building and they were hugely impressed.
At the function in the clubhouse later in the evening, Noel McSherry was presented with a beautiful piece of crystal in recognition of the major part he played in the building of the green-keepers facilities. It was richly deserved.