It was Scratch Cups Day at Banbridge Golf Club last Saturday.
This is a big test for every player as it is decided on strokeplay and the field is divided into four handicap sections.
The Low Scratch Cup
This is for those in the handicap range 0-5 and is always closely contested.
Jonathan Burns (5) won with a superb level par 69. Out in 37 shots, Jonathan was flawless over the inward nine, which he played in one under par 32.
The runner-up was the veteran Kenny Stevenson (3) with a one over par 70. Kenny has been playing top class golf for well over 50 years and he is still as enthusiastic as ever.
The best nett prize went to Andrew Quinn (5) with a nett 68.
Those who came close were Jonathan Shannon 73 and Rory Madeley 74.
The Bank Of Ireland Junior Scratch Cup
This is for those playing off a handicap from 6 to 11.
The winner, and the toast of the club on the day, was young Luke Crory (9). This outstanding juvenile player shot the best gross round of all, a magnificent one under par 68. Luke went out in 37 shots, one over par, but came home in 31 shots, two under par. How good is that!
Gareth Magee (7) was runner-up with a 72. It was another prize for “Mr. Consistency”.
The best nett prize went to the juvenile convener, Nigel Bryson, with a nett 64. Nigel was more excited about Luke Crory’s effort than he was about his own performance.
The near misses were Eugene Weir 75, David McComb 75 and Matthew Mallon 75.
J. J. Henderson Intermediate Scratch Cup
This is for players with a handicap in the 12-18 range.
It should favour those playing off 12 or 13 and that proved to be the case.
Brian Mulholland (12) won with a gross 76. Brian deserves great credit for his tenacity. His first tee-shot finished in the trees right and unplayable. Brian had to return to the tee and he took a triple bogey 7 at the hole. He then proceeded to par practically all the remaining holes thanks to his magical short game.
James Wilson (14) was runner-up, also with a 76. James bogeyed 3 of the last 5 holes and that cost him.
The best nett prize was won by Joe Whiteside (16) with a nett 61.
Those who came close were John Redpath 78, John Gallagher 79, Alan McGowan 79, Cathal McNiff 79 and Barry Casey 79.
The Sam Mc Millan High Scratch Cup
This is for players with a handicap of 19 or over.
The winner, with an excellent gross 88, was Mark Hodgen (21). According to those who know Mark’s game, he will not be playing in this category next year. His handicap is certain to tumble.
The runner-up was veteran Harry Burnside (20), also with an 88. Double bogeys at both of the par 5’s cost Harry victory.
The best nett prize went to Clifford Gibson (20) with a nett 70.
The hard luck stories came from Dougie Stevenson 89, Cathal McAnarney 90 and Stanley Dickson 90.