Throughout the summer the most notable thing about Gerard Marner’s game was that a poor start was normally coupled with a strong finish or vice versa. If he ever feels himself slipping into this rhythm again he could do worse than whisper to himself, ‘Remember, remember the fifth of November’, for that was the day when he finally got everything together to lift the Shop Sweep with 41pts off 16. After 21 very competent outward pts a birdie at 10 gave him the perfect start to his back 9 and despite a closing double bogey he hung on for the narrowest of victories.
Iain Mulholland may also remember the date fondly as he too had his best score of the year to take the runners-up spot with 41pts off 12. A birdie at 10 helped him play the first 15 holes in just 3 over par but he went on to drop 4 shots over the last three holes to miss out on the top spot over the closing holes.
Billy Leslie is almost as familiar to winter golf success as Santa Claus is to Christmas and he assumed a familiar place on the podium when he finished third with 40pts off 19. A birdie at 10 began a run which brought 21 homeward pts and it was only a double bogey at the last which denied him outright victory.
John Hartnett regularly pops up among the prizes throughout the year and he took 4th place with 40pts off 6. He stood on the 15th tee at 1 under par after birdies at 1, 8 and 10, but immediately ran off three consecutive bogeys to drop out of contention for the major prizes.
Gary Clarke took the gross for the second Sunday in a row after a 2 under par round for 38 gross pts. He was 1 over par at the turn after a bogey at 6 but his birdies at 10, 12 and 18 brought him home in just 32 shots.
Playing partners Barry Magee, 16, and Daniel McGivern, 13, each had 39pts with Barry’s back 9 giving him the edge. Peter Devlin came next with 38pts off 6 after his closing stretch was stronger than 5 other players on a similar score.