The new season kicked off properly on Saturday with two 18 hole competitions being held over the weekend and bright spring weather attracting a seemingly endless stream of golfers to the first tee.
The last big winter event had been won by Canice McGivern when he lifted the Winter League Big Day out a couple of weeks ago, and he got his summer season off to the best possible start when he lifted the first trophy of the new season, The Fred Daly Memorial, with 43pts off 10. Four over after 7 holes, he then covered the remaining 11 in 1 under thanks to birdies at 9 and 14.
Tony Gallery had emerged from the winter season with his normal impressive collection of cold weather prizes and he too carried that form into the beginning of summer when he took the runners up prize with 41pts off 10. A pair of double bogeys at 5 and 6 looked very out of place in his first 12 holes which otherwise yielded 8 pars and birdies at 3 and 10. A very steady finish kept him in contention until the end and he must be beginning to feel confident that his current run of good form might never end.
Third place went to Davy Moore with 40pts off 12. An NR at 3 went along with 4 bogeys over his first 7 holes to leave this very speedy golfer hoping his round might quickly draw to a close. But he then surprised himself by dropping just one more shot, a bogey at 13, to claim his prize courtesy of 23 homeward pts.
The very consistent Peter Devlin, 6, took 4th place also with 40pts. Birdies at 1 and 8 balanced bogeys at 6 and 18 to leave him level par for 17 of the 18 holes. He had bad luck when he ran up a double bogey at 11, his worst score in the last 13 times he has played the hole.
The season’s first gross prize went to David Sutton with 37 gross pts. He had birdies at 7, 11 and 15 with bogeys at 2 and 8 seeing him sign for a one under par round, no doubt the first of many such rounds this year.
Four players had 38pts in the low section with Ben McKnight’s 20 homeward pts off 6 giving him the edge over Alex Denver, 5, Andrew Gates, 6, and Ian Cousins, 11. Alex and Ian will have particularly enjoyed their rounds as they were witness to a contender for shot of the day when playing partner Alistair McCaffrey found the green with his tee shot at 5. Alistair had hit the shot well but unfortunately for him the ball ping-ponged about among the trees for quite some time before coming to rest in the middle of the 4th green. It was good for Alistair that he was playing with partners who would neither laugh with him at his misfortune nor tell anyone else about it!
The middle section went to David Greene with 38pts off 16, and Brian McCabrey took the high section with 39pts off 20. David had 3 double bogeys in the first 6 holes and Brian had NRs at 7 and 13, so there is obviously much more to come from these two players in the future.