C W Neill Cup
The C W Neill Cup was played for on Saturday and it provided the last chance for some players to fine tune their game before the season reaches its climax with Captain’s Weekend, beginning on Friday. The competition was appropriately timed as C W Neill was the Club’s longest serving Captain, holding that position from 1938 until 1945 for the duration of WW2.
Eddie Girvan has long been threatening to climb to the top of the leader board, and he overcame the difficult conditions to lift the trophy with 40pts off 12. Although he is noted for long drives and accurate wedges, he has found it difficult to combine the two on the same day, but he did so on Saturday and treated his playing partners to a display of competent and exciting golf. It is unlikely, however, that they fully appreciated the treat when it came to paying out. A steady front 9 left him with 20 pts at the turn, and a birdie at 10 set him on the way to a similar total on the way home.
The runners-up spot went to Brian Scullion, who had given himself some work to do with a few slips on the front 9. Bogeys at 1 and 5 were soon followed with an NR at 8, and he reached the turn with a somewhat disappointing 16 pts. There were to be no more errors as birdies at 12, 13 and 18 brought him home in 3 under par for 23 pts on the back 9. This gave him a total of 39 pts, off 4, and that spectacular homeward run gave him the edge over 2 other players on a similar total.
Paul Lyness is no stranger to the podium and he claimed its last spot with 39 pts off 6. His birdies at 12 and 14 helped him to 20 homeward pts and left him tantalisingly close to outright victory.
Fourth spot went to the very consistent Gregory Crawford with 39 pts off 5. Four birdies matched four bogeys to leave him level par for 17 holes of his round, and it was only an unfortunate double bogey at 8 which upset the equilibrium and denied him victory.
The gross prize went to Andrew Cummins who had a round of 1 over par for 35 gross pts. He had four birdies which came at holes 1, 2, 7 and 18.
The low section went to Ciaran Toman with 38 pts off 9. He barely put a foot wrong during his round and birdies at 1, 10 and 14 left him in a very strong challenging position. His only loose shots came at 7 and 17, at each of which he could do no better than a double bogey.
Niall Robinson began his round in fine style and, despite an NR at 6, he reached the turn with 22 pts. He opened his back 9 with an NR and encountered further trouble with double bogeys at 13 and 17 but still managed to lift the middle section with 37 pts off 18.
The high section proved a very competitive affair with a tight duel between two wily veterans, Walter Simpson, 20, and Jim Farrell, 22, each of whom had 36 pts. Walter opened up with a pair of NRs and may have been hoping he had been heading home rather than to the 3rd tee. He was experienced enough to know that fortunes can soon change however, and he finished up with 36 pts to take the section’s prize, his 20 homeward pts proving decisive. Jim had 26 pts in the bag after 11 holes and possibly had set his sights set on more than just a section prize. An NR at 12, the shortest hole on the course, and 4 double bogeys over his closing 6 holes left him empty handed on the day.
Just 1pt behind came Peter Johnston who must surely return a big score very shortly. Playing off 19, this big hitting player was 10 over par for 14 of his 18 holes, but was also 10 over for the four holes in the middle of his round, from 8 to 11.