The last major of the year was held in mid-August when President Paddy Meehan played host to almost 250 golfers. Prior to this season Andrew Carville’s closest brush with a major had been when he opened Martin McCooe’s Captain’s Day with an eagle 2, but on that occasion the ‘brush’ was swept away within the next few holes. This time it all worked out for this big hitting player when he came good on the day to take top prize with 43pts off 9. He had played a couple of good rounds in the lead up to President’s Day and it will have been a bit like all his birthdays falling on the one day when he slotted home 5 birdies in one round. It then took him 6 weeks and a further 8 rounds to get another 5 birdies.
The best gross on the day went to Gary Clarke who shot a 67.
Lurgan Mail Trophy
The Lurgan Mail Trophy was won by young Daniel Pepper with 42pts off 12. Daniel is certainly a name for the future as his handicap this year has plunged from 16.7 to 7.7 and he is showing no signs of stopping there.
The lowest score of the day was returned by Gary Clarke who took the best gross prize for the second week in a row. Despite an early setback with a double bogey at the second, he went on to score 7 birdies on his way to a 66.
The Diamond Jubilee was won by Brian Robinson who played his best round of the year for 42pts off 9. Stephen Walter and James Hanratty Jnr had 40pts each with Stephen’s better back 9 giving him the runners-up spot. Two competitions were inaugurated 50 years ago, the McKeown Golfer of the Year and the Diamond Jubilee, and what a coincidence it was that James came first in one and third in the other.
The best gross of the day went to David Sutton with a 66.
J W Patterson Trophy
This was lifted in convincing fashion by Paul McConaghy with 43pts off 10. He had begun the season playing off 12.1 but his form took off midsummer and this score saw it fall to 9.1 for a welcome return to single figures. Brian Speers, Martin Scullion and Anselm Henry each returned level par rounds of 70. Brian took 2nd nett and Martin the gross.
Gents Open Stableford
Conor Downey had been knocking on the door for quite some time and eventually made the breakthrough to lift the Gents Open Stableford on 9 Sept with 43pts, one of the biggest Sunday scores of the year. Conor lamented on his string of near misses and recalled that the last thing he remembered winning was a colouring book when he was in P3. He could possibly finish that one off and put his winning voucher towards one of those adult colouring books which seem to be all the rage at the moment.
Colin Thompson came 2nd with a round of 68 while Robert Emerson took the gross prize with 37 gross pts.
Andrew Gates realised his ambition of making Category 1 when his nett 64, off 7, gave him the September Medal and reduced his handicap to 5.3. Robert Emerson took the gross after a round of 68, closely followed by Ronan McCrory on 69.
The Claret Jug was presented to the Club by the Ladies Branch on the occasion of the Club’s Centenary and is surely one of our most beautiful trophies. This year it was won by Sean Conlon with 42pts off 17, closely edging Garfield Bell, 11, into 2nd place on the back 9. This was yet another competition when the gross prize went to Gary Clarke with 38 gross pts.
You always know the Winter League is not far away when the Harvest Tankard appears on the fixture list and this year it saw two golfing buddies battle it out at the top. In the end Alex Denver came out on top after a level par round gave him 40pts off 4, just 1pt in front of Keith Percy off 5. The competition also saw the most unusual conclusion when the same two players came 1st and 2nd in both nett and gross sections. The gross prize went to Brian Scullion with 33 gross pts.
Brian Speers continued his impressive late season form by lifting the October Medal with a nett 65 off 5. Club Captain Barry Mulholland, 18, almost finished the season on a winning note but had to be content with the runners-up spot after being pipped on the back 9. The gross went to Gary Clarke who went round in just 65 shots, the best of his many impressive rounds this year.