Brian McCabrey won just about every prize it was possible to win except the top spot in 2018, but he reached the pinnacle first time out this year by claiming the top spot in Saturday’s Club Sweep with 36pts off 14.
A birdie at 8 helped him reach the turn in just 1 over par for 20 outward pts, and despite a double bogey at 12 threatening to rock the boat a little, he steadied himself for the closing holes to take a very long overdue victory.Old Hand Derek Johnston returned his best score in some time to take second place with 35pts off 18. An opening pair of nett birdies were rather offset by double bogeys at 6 and 8, but a birdie at 12 got him back on track and he will no doubt be hoping that this is just the beginning of a hot streak which will stretch long into the New Year.
The technically minded Eric Allen has put a recent run of disappointing returns down to a few inexplicable glitches in his normally sound swing plane, but he got things perfectly into the groove on Saturday to take third place with 34pts off 11. An extremely steady 9 pars and 5 bogeys were in stark contrast to recent cards liberally sprinkled with NRs and double bogeys.
Fourth place went to long time winter specialist Stephen Cordner with 33pts off 10. Like Eric he had 9 pars and 5 bogeys and may feel a little disappointed that one or two of the putts which went tantalisingly close to the hole didn’t drop. He will be pleased however that he managed to avoid the NRs which have spoiled so many of his recent returns.
Ten other players will be similarly disappointed with a few shots as each of them came so close to a prize with 32pts.
Francis Tallon was the only player who managed to break par on the day and he took the gross prize with 29 gross pts. A bogey at 8 was followed by birdies at 9 and 18 for a 1 under par round, and his reward will help him swallow the pill of a few near misses this past few weeks.