Brown claims victory in opening Raceview stroke event

B Andrews, William Mckean and Paul Creevy preapre to tee off at Ballymena Golf Club. INBT13-262AC
B Andrews, William Mckean and Paul Creevy preapre to tee off at Ballymena Golf Club. INBT13-262AC

The first stroke competition of the year - sponsored by Walter Young Mazda - was played recently at Ballymena Golf Club.

The winner was John Brown who, playing off a handicap of 11, returned a nett score of 62.

John opened his round with five straight pars, followed by a dropped shot on the sixth, and he completed the front nine with three more pars.

Into the back nine with a par, which was followed by a bogey, bogey, double bogey sequence, he then completed his round with five more pars for a round of five over gross.

He had one shot to spare over six-handicapper Stephen Russell, who played the course in one over gross.

Stephen started his round in topsy-turvy fashion, going par, birdie, double bogey, birdie, bogey before completing the front nine with four pars to be out in one over gross.

The 10th hole provided him with his third birdie two and the rest of the second nine was played in seven pars and a lone dropped shot on the 12th for a level par back nine.

Third nett prize went to Kieran McGaughey (11) with a nett 64 which came via five pars and four bogeys on the front nine to which he added four pars, four bogeys and a birdie on he par four 15th on the back nine.

Fourth place was taken by another 11-handicapper, John Devlin, with a nett sixty five, having scored equal nines of 38 shots.

The outward nine was made up of five pars, two bogeys, a double bogey at the sixth and a birdie on the par five third.

The first three holes on the inward stretch claimed four shots of his handicap and he completed his round with five pars plus a dropped shot on the 17th.

John’s better second nine pushed the in-form Brian Reynolds into fifth place.

The 22-handicapper followed up his Tullymore Cup success of the previous week with another fine score of three under par 65 nett.

A front nine hole score of seven over par was followed by a wayward opening three holes on the back nine where he dropped a total of seven shots but he managed to steady the ship over the last six holes.

He still finished a shot ahead of sixth-placed Ciaran Martin, who had a shot on each hole on handicap and used that steadily.

The first nine holes accounted for eight straight bogeys and par at the ninth, while the second nine followed a similar trend, the only blip being a double bogey on the par three 10th.

The best gross was won by thee-handicapper Michael McGarry with a level par round of 68 shots.

A birdie, par, birdie opening helped him to a front nine total of two under gross and although he was two over on the back nine, it was enough for his first win for some time in this category.