JASON Greenaway, the very popular professional at Banbridge Golf Club, organised a special competition for the members on Saturday April 21.
Everyone was enthusiastic because the prize potential was immense. The winner will, of course, receive a valuable prize from Jason’s shop but, if his score is good enough, he will win a trip to Celtic Manor in September, courtesy of Taylor Made.
This was a qualifier for the Taylor Made Amateur Golf Championship and the top 20 winning scores in the UK earn a trip to Celtic Manor for the grand final. Banbridge have made it to the final on two out of the last three years.
And this year’s winner would seem to have an excellent chance of qualifying.
Garreth Moody, playing off 12, now 10, went round in 73 shots, four over par, and he won with a nett 61.
And it could have been so much better, believe it or not. Garreth was level par with two holes to play and he had eyes on a nett 59. But he overshot the green at the 17th and took a double bogey. This obviously upset him as he proceeded to take another double bogey at the par 3 eighteenth hole. Let’s hope it doesn’t cost him dearly in the final analysis.
Garreth broke the calculated standard scratch (nett 68) by seven shots and that should be good enough.
Garreth is one of the nattiest dressers in the golf club and he will begin immediately to prepare his wardrobe for Celtic Manor. Little wonder they call him “Mr. Golfino”.
There were six other golfers chasing Garreth to the winning post but they all came up a little bit short.
P.J. Johnston (14 now 12) was runner-up with his nett 63.
Dennis Lockhart (14 now 12) was third, also with a nett 63.
Connor Mulholland (8 now 7) was fourth, with yet another nett 63.
Aidan Lavery (20 now 18) won the prize for the best senior player and he too had a nett 63.
Two other players went home empty-handed, despite shooting nett 63’s, namely Neville Kerr (11 now 10) and Timothy Beattie (12 now 11).
All these six players on nett 63 could relate incidents where they let points slip away and lost their chance of victory. Timothy Beattie had perhaps the saddest story of all. Timothy, who incidentally would be a serious contender, alongside Garreth Moody, for the title of the club’s best dressed golfer, stood on the 18th tee needing a par for a nett 60 and the win. Somehow or other, he contrived to take a 3-over-par 6.
The game of golf, from the lowly amateur to the top professional, is littered with sad stories of what might have been. Timothy’s slip-up can now be added to the list.
The C.S.S. of the day was nett 68 and those who broke it deserve a mention.
Kevin McKay (17 now 15) and Michael Gillen (17 now 16) both shot nett 64.
Sean McGreevey (18 now 17), Paul McAleavey (5 now 4), Michael Young (12) and Brian Boyd (15 now 14) all shot nett 65.
Clifford Gibson (19) was alone on nett 66.
Jonathan Shannon (4), Harry Shannon (13), Robin Jardine (26 now 25), Colm McGreevey (21 now 20), Matthew Mallon (5), Alan McGowan (14 now 13), Connor Doran (scr) and Kevin Smyth (14 now 13) all finished with nett 67.
Connor Doran won the best gross prize with his two under par gross 67.
Jason, the sponsor, had a special reward for any player who could hit the green on the long par 3 tenth hole with his tee shot. Only three players managed to do it. Garreth Moody, the eventual winner, hit a driver to four feet from the hole. The other two were Jonathan Shannon and Mark Crory.
It was a wonderful competition and our thanks must go to Jason Greenaway for his generosity and our congratulations go to Garreth Moody, the winner. Let’s hope he gets to Celtic Manor with Jason.
SWEEP RESULTS. - SUNDAY APRIL 22 - This Sunday Sweep, played over nine holes, was a major windfall for Hugo Downey.
Not only did Hugo win the competition but he also split the 2’s pot, fifty-fifty, with William Malcolmson. And a lucrative 2’s pot it was too.
1st , Hugo Downey (8) Nett 31; 2nd, Paul Downey (13) Nett 31.5; 3rd, Tom Nelson (24) Nett 34.
MONDAY APRIL 23 - Philip Mallon played the 14 holes of the Monday Sweep in only two over par. Golf like that deserves a prize.
Philip won the competition by four points and he got a nice little bonus prize when he shared the twos pot with William Malcolmson.
1st, Philip Mallon (10) 34; 2nd, Andrew Quinn (5) 30.
THURSDAY APRIL 26 - This was the second of the Thursday 18 holes open stableford competitions. The entry was rather small due to the bitterly cold weather.
The two major prizes went to the Woods family. Father Trevor won the best nett with an excellent 39 points. Son Luke won the best gross prize with a 76.
1st, Trevor Woods (5) 39 points; 2nd, Conor Mulholland (7) 37; 3rd, Tony Walsh (Tandragee) 36. Best gross: Luke Woods (5) 76.
JOHN AND MARY WIN THE MIXED FOURSOMES. - THERE was a club mixed foursomes competition last Friday evening and there was quite a good turnout.
The winners, by a very narrow margin, were the club president, John Parkes and his wife Mary. They totalled 28 points for the 14 holes played.
The runners-up, also with 28 points, were Eamon and Gina Mc Conville. These two have become very proficient mixed foursomes players.
John McDowell and Denise Nelson were third with yet another 28 points.
There are some more mixed competitions planned for the rest of the season. Keep an eye on the noticeboard for details.
BRILLIANT WIN FOR MERTON’S ULSTER FOURBALL TEAM - THE Banbridge Ulster Fourball team, captained by Merton McDowell, won their first round match against Fintona Golf Club last Sunday.
The first leg had finished all square; two and a half points each.
The advantage was certainly with the home side but it didn’t look that way after the first game.
Billy Clarke and Robert Clydesdale lost a tight match by 2 and 1.
The next two games were very exciting and could have gone either way.
John Poots and Kieran Meade combined perfectly to win 2 and 1.
Philip Strong and Darren Barker did likewise and they too won 2 and 1.
Merton could relax a little at this stage because he knew his final pairing were going along very nicely.
Sean McGreevey, a spectator at the Masters recently (imagine that!), and Robert Haire won comfortably, by 4 and 3.
That was it all over.
Will Dickson and Gerry Blevins were 2 up playing the 17th hole and they were called in.
Banbridge will play either Moyala Park or Ardglass in round two. There are exciting times ahead for this team, that’s for sure.