The honours list on the Big Day Out was almost like a who’s-who of Winter League golf as so many of the prize winners have been lifting winter awards for more years than they would care to remember.
Louis Moore lifted his fourth prize in recent weeks and his 35pts, off 15, gave him his second outright victory. His easily distinguished swing has changed little over the years, and neither has his seemingly never ending ability to regularly find a podium position.
The runners-up spot was filled by Clive Johnston with 35pts off 17. This was Clive’s third runners-up spot in a row and he would seem to be the best each-way bet in the club at the moment.
Another regular winter winner appeared on the prize list when Stephen Cordner took 3rd place with 34pts off 10. His birdies at 1, 9 and 10 were the highlights of the type of steady, competent round we have come to expect from this experienced competitor.
The gross award went to Ronan McCrory whose 3 under par round was the best of 4 sub-par rounds on the day. Four birdies and a bogey went towards making his winning score. This saw his winter league weekly scores read: +1, -2, -2, +6, level, level, -3.
The low section provided one of the shocks of the Winter League when it was won by Roy Hanna Jnr with 34pts off 4. His previous three outings had seen him finish 97th, 99th and 144th, and that downward slide seemed set to continue. Roy has long been noted for retrieving impossible situations on the golf course however, and he dramatically reversed the trend with a brilliant 2 under par round which included birdies at 1, 8 and 9. Francis Tallon also had 3 birdies in a two under par round and he came 2nd in the section with 33pts off 3. Ryan Harbinson, 4, Olcan Kearney, 3, and Richard Budd, 7, had 32pts each to just miss out on the prizes.
Wilson Collins is seeing the year out with a dramatic return to form and he followed his overall runners-up finish last week by taking top prize in the middle section with 33pts off 12. Second prize in the section went to winter stalwart Martin McKinstry with 33pts off 11. This was his 4th prize in his last 8 outings and although he began his round with a birdie, a closing double bogey will have left him a little disappointed. The in-form Brian Hanratty also had 33pts, off 9, but finished among the also-rans.
‘In what year did Billy Leslie fail to record an outright victory in the first half of a Winter League?’ may well be a quiz question in years to come. This wily, experienced campaigner came within a whisker of breaking his duck, and playing off 18 was 4 over par with just 4 holes to play. In most uncharacteristic fashion he was to double bogey three of those holes and had to settle for winning the high section with 34pts. Maurice Turnbull added yet another prize to his impressive recent collection when he took second place in the section with 33pts off 13.