After a week of poor weather meant course closures delayed the start of the golfing year, Sean McClean finally got 2018 off the ground with a fairway splitting drive just after dawn on Saturday morning.
It may have been the beginning of a new year but the leading players of the old year’s closing months continued to dominate. Terence Eagers assumed a now regular place on the podium by taking the first competition of the year with 32pts off 12. The two shortest holes on the course provided contrasting fortunes when he followed a birdie at 8 with an NR at 12, but although this may have signalled the beginning of a mini collapse there were no further slips on his way to victory.
The runners-up spot went to Canice McGivern whose name has become closely associated with golfing success in the past few weeks. He had 31pts off 8 despite the recently rare appearance of a pair of double bogeys on his card. His last 7 cards have seen twice as many birdies as double bogeys, a dramatic swing in the balance of his returns which he will be hoping continues.
Ronnie Bruce came third with 31pts off 21 for his fifth prize in his last 7 outings. But for an unfortunate run of double bogeys on the back 7 he could well have brought a run of near misses to an end with an overdue victory.
Neale McKinstry took 4th prize with 30pts off 8. There were 6 players finished on a similar total but Neale’s birdie at the last assured him of the pride of place among them.
Stephen Cordner, 10, came 5th for the last nett prize of the day leaving Francis Tallon, 2, Shane Magee, 2, Michael McMahon, 8, and Kevin McKavanagh, 6, out in the cold and thinking of what might have been.
The gross prize went to Nathan McCann after a 1 under par round for 29 gross pts. He had birdies at 1, 14 and 18, but recorded a double bogey at 8, his first at that hole in a very long time.