Sunday Shop Sweep (13th January 2019)
What a great start to the New Year by Gary Totton! Sunday was his third outing of the year and his 46pts, off 21, put him into the prizes for the third time.
After coming close to victory on the first two outings, he made no mistake this time as he easily claimed victory with 46pts off 21. An NR at 8 must have seen him entertain some thoughts about elusive victories, but a birdie at 13 dispelled those doubts very quickly.The computer was working overtime on Sunday as it strove to sort out the 10 nett prizes on offer. Three players returned 43pts with Billy Hughes closing his round in some style to take 2nd place. His birdies at 3 and 12 had put him into a strong position, and a further one at the last was just the finish he needed to claim that welcome runners-up spot. After a spell away from the fairways he will be delighted that his game is in such good shape. Such was the strength of his tee shots that he may well consider opening a different type of driving school. Third place went to Barry McDonald with 43pts off 25. In contrast to Billy’s closing birdie, Barry could only manage a double bogey at the last, a disappointing finish to a very steady round of golf.
Gerard Nelson took 4th spot with 43pts off 27. Victory looked almost assured until an NR at 16 was followed by a triple bogey at the last.
Iain Mulholland, 13, and Chris O’Neill, 17, had 42pts each with Iain getting the edge with a better closing 6 holes. Iain began with a birdie and coupled that with a steady closing run, while Chris will no doubt look back at his only slip of the day which brought an NR at 13. 7th, 8th and 9th places went to players who each returned 40pts, Martin Corey, 10, David Greene, 13, and Raymond McCrory, 11, in that order.
The last nett prize, 10th, was extremely closely contested. Kevin McKavanagh, 7, and Tony McCallion, 17, had each returned 39pts but these were reduced by 1pts due to previous prizes won. This meant there were no fewer than 11 players on 38pts but only one could lift a prize. There must have been smoke coming out of the computer’s ears when it eventually awarded the prize to Brian Scullion, 4. A couple of NRs going out had seen him slip down the pecking order, but three homeward birdies were just enough to put him at the top of a very large group. Kevin will be slightly bemused for a while as he tries to take in that he has played in a competition and not won a prize after a very impressive and lucrative run. Just one player managed to break par on the day and he certainly did it in some style. Ronan McCrory birdied 1, 3, 4 and 5 before an eagle at 10 moved him to 6 under par. Bogeys at 11, 12 and 16 came either side of a further birdie at 13 to see him end up with a round of 4 under par to lift the gross prize with 40 gross pts, a winning margin of 6pts. With father Raymond appearing among the nett prizes they can join the Bests and Harbinsons among the Club’s elite family groups at the moment.