The McKeown Golfer of the Year was first played for 50 years ago and during that half century many of the club’s most notable golfers have claimed the prize.
This year was no exception as James Hanratty Jnr fought off a couple of determined challengers on his way to being crowned Golfer of the Year for 2018. When James wins he tends to win ‘big’. He won the Malcolm Trophy and was its youngest ever winner at the time, and now he has claimed Golfer of the Year on its half centenary with 112pts.
He began the season with a handicap of 18.7 but a relentless series of impressive performances have reduced that to 14.4. Although he never claimed an outright victory he appeared in the prizes on 7 occasions and it was this remarkable consistency which brought him to the top and kept him there.
Gary Clarke kept alive his hopes of catching James right up until the last day, the October Medal. He saved his best round of the year for the occasion and 7 birdies helped him to a round of 65 and third place on the day. Unfortunately for him this left him with 108 Golfer of the Year pts, just 4 short of the winner. Over the year Gary’s handicap plunged from 0.9 to +0.3 reflecting the remarkable consistency of this most impressive golfer.
Jim McKee began the year on 3.3 and must have been a little concerned when it both inexplicably and uncharacteristically rose to 4.0 in mid-season. Never one to be deterred, his very strong finish to the season saw that handicap drop to 2.9 and his eventual 96 Golfer of the Year pts saw him finish in 3rd place.