Winter League Week 2
Saturday last could well turn out to be the pinnacle of Marty Rea’s golfing career.
It will certainly be one to tell his grandchildren about, although they may have to wait a little as he continues to tell everyone he meets first. Starting on the 10th tee he kicked off with a pair of birdies and he wasn’t too disappointed with a double bogey at 15. This left him level par on the 17th tee, and as he had started early, his whoops of delight while watching his tee shot find its way to the hole for a hole in one must have wakened a few neighbours enjoying a Saturday morning lie-in. He immediately followed this with a birdie at 18 to stand 3 under par as he began his homeward journey. He eventually finished with a level par round for 37pts, off 9, to easily win the day. His score actually qualified him to win both the best nett and best gross, but with just one prize permitted he took the day’s nett prize. A two, a hole-in-one, best nett, best gross, all on the same day!! You might just be advised to give Marty a wide berth for a couple of weeks! Well done Marty on a very special round indeed.Martin McCooe was on the course at the same time as Marty, but he didn’t let the echoing whoops and hollers disrupt his game as he strode to 34pts, off 13, and the runners-up spot. A double bogey at 3 and birdie at 17 were the respective low and high points of a very steady round, and his best score of the winter. Any other week he might have hoped for a victory, but even if he could have avoided his double bogey at the last, he would still have come up short.
Third place went to Arty McGlone, 12, who can thank a back 9 of just 2 over par for giving him the edge over 6 other players on 33pts. With 15pts at the turn, he began his homeward run with a birdie to set him on the way to the last podium spot. In the first half of the League, Arty had equalled or bettered his handicap almost every week and he will be hoping this sort of form continues for some time to come. The gross prize went to Paul Lyness after a level par round gave him 38 gross pts. His birdies at 8, 10 and 17 were balanced by bogeys at 1, 2 and 15, and he continued a little spell which has seen him appear frequently among the prizes over the past few weeks. He was one of 4 players to equal par on the day, the others being Marty Rea, Gary Clarke and Caolan McCann.
The low section went to Olcan Kearney with 30pts off 3. Beginning on the 10th tee, he was 1 under par with just two holes to go thanks to a birdie at 17. A double bogey at his penultimate hole saw him finish the round 1 over par. Olcan deserves great credit for keeping focussed on the job on hand as playing partner Marty Rea relentlessly bombarded players around the course with news of his hole-in-one.
Tony Henderson continued his run of lifting almost every prize except the top one when he took second place in the section with 30pts off 8. Surely that elusive win is not far away. Brian J Bassett, 8, Kevin McKavanagh, 5, and Stephen Walter, 8, also had 30pts but found no reward.
Last week’s winner Tony Gallery, 9, actually had 35pts, but this was reduced by 2pts on the winter handicapping scheme and he had to settle for the top prize in the middle section. Bogeys at 7 and 8 were the only deviations from par by this competent and competitive golfer. Ronan Smyth, 9, also had 33pts and he took second place in the section helped by a birdie at 17 and a back 7 of just 1 over par. Alan Harrison, 12, Henry McAreavey, 11, and Ciaran Toman, 9, came very close with 32pts.
The high section went to Philip Ward with 33pts off 13. This big hitting player reduced the course to drives and short irons, and brought each half of his round to a close with birdies. Gary Totton played his way into the prizes for his fourth consecutive time when his 34pts, off 16, gave him second place in the section. Those previous successes had reduced that total by a point.