The first half of the Winter League is quickly drawing to a close with just two weeks left to settle the final overall places.
The scores seem to get better as time goes on and Week 4’s biggest winner was the experienced and elegant Ian Montgomery with 35pts off 15. Beginning on the back 9 he closed his outward stretch with a trio of pars and went on to finish his round with a birdie and claim top spot.A birdie at 8 and bogey at the first were the only deviations from par on Dan McCool’s outward half and he went on to take second place overall with 35pts off 11. He will be a little disappointed with 4 homeward bogeys which saw him miss out on the top prize over the last 9 holes.
Mark Hughes had the best possible start when he opened his round with a pair of birdies. He actually went on to score 36pts off 11 but this total was reduced by 1pt due to previous success and he ended up in 3rd place.
Gary Clarke went one better than Mark by opening with a trio of birdies and began his homeward journey with another. He made no mistakes elsewhere and his four under par round gave this serial winner yet another gross prize. He now stands at 5 under par for the 4 weeks of the league and red hot favourite for the league’s overall gross prize.
Richard Budd displayed all of his considerable class in taking the low section with 34pts, off 7, a bogey at 8 being his only dropped shot on his round. He was followed by Pat Burke with 33pts off 5, a pair of closing birdies giving him the edge over two other quality players who also had 33pts. They were the John O’Neill, 5, and Mark Headley, 3. John had a level par round which included two birdies and two bogeys, while Mark had the misfortune of narrowly missing out on the prizes after a 2 under par round, one of only two under par rounds over the week.
The middle section went to David Herron with 35pts off 9, three homeward bogeys denying him a place on the podium. Gavin Smyth took the section’s runner-up prize with 33pts off 9, birdies at 10 and 18 helping him hold off the challenges of Martin McKinstry, 11, Artie McGlone, 12, and Keith Davenport, 9, each of whom had 33pts.
Kieran Walsh began his round at the 10th and threatened to rather spoil a great first half when he double bogeyed his 10th hole, the relatively easy first. He redeemed the situation in a manner befitting an experienced and determined competitor with a birdie at the hardest hole on the course, the 6th, and took the high section with 34pts off 15. Second place went to Brian McCabrey with 33pts off 14, closely followed by the very in-form Louis Moore on 32pts off 15.