Thanks to the reasonably fine weather and the condition of the golf course, the summer season has been extended by two weeks. That’s good news all round.
So last Saturday, the members of Banbridge Golf Club were delighted to be playing an 18 holes stableford competition.
The calculated standard scratch score was nett 68 or 37 points.
Eight players equalled the CSS, namely Mel Hylands (12), Brendon Berry (13), John Russell (9), Kerry McCluskey (8), Roland Harwood (15), Jim Minnis (15), Declan Dooher (16) and Philip McCourt (13).
Nine players managed to break the CSS by one shot, all finishing with 38 points. They were Gerry McBrien (25 now 24), Rory Madeley (3), Harry Shannon (14), Bobby Geddis (12), John Parkes (13 now 12), Albert Morrison (19 now 18), Gordon Cruikshanks (15 now 14), Brian Grimes (12) and Derek Crory (13 now 12).
The only prizewinner from that group was Harry Shannon who was placed second in the 13-17 handicap group.
We now come to the top ten players last Saturday. Six of them had 39 points namely Rory Leonard (scr), Neville Kerr (10), Tom Mulholland (9 now 8), Morris Phillips (18 now 17), Philip Mallon (10) and Andrew Quinn (50.
Rory Leonard won the best gross prize with a fabulous 3 under par 66. Rory was out in 38 shots, nothing remarkable about that. But then he stepped up a gear or two and played the second nine in 28 shots, yes, 28. Look at these numbers – 3, 3, 2, 4, 5, 2, 3, 3, 3 – they add up to 28 and they included 5 birdies. Wonderful golf!
Philip Mallon won the prize for best senior and Neville Kerr won the 0-12 section.
Tom Mulholland was second in the 0-12 section and Morris Phillips was second in the 18+ section.
That leaves with four players who all broke the 40 points barrier.
Paul Mark won the 18+ section with his 40 points and Sydney Pepper won the 13-17 section. Two great players and two great rounds.
Cathal O’Neill finished runner-up with 42 points. He was just a little disappointed because he had put himself into a great position to win. Cathal had seven pars in a row from the 11th hole and a bogey 4 at the last would have been good enough to win. But it wasn’t to be. Cathal double bogeyed the hole and his chance was gone.
Now for the winner and what a story this is!
Brian Mullholland, one of the best known characters in the golf club, went round in 74 gross, nett 62 and he won the competition with 43 points.
Brian has looked like winning several times this season but slipped up over the closing holes. There were no slip-ups this time.
Brian has a short game that would be the envy of many a professional. He is a wonderful chipper and his putting stroke is magical to watch. His handicap is now down to 10 and, who knows, he could get to single figures this coming Saturday.
If you see Brian, shake his hand and offer your congratulations. He has earned it.