Early starter Seamus claims the honours at Raceview

Felix McQuillan, Brian Casey, Lawrence Kerr and Paul Rodgers on the first tee at Ballymena Golf Club.
Felix McQuillan, Brian Casey, Lawrence Kerr and Paul Rodgers on the first tee at Ballymena Golf Club.

The Saturday stableford competition at Ballymena Golf Club, sponsored by JK Leisure, saw an early starter set the target for the day.

Seamus O’Boyle, playing off a 16 handicap, teed off at 7.30am but he showed he was certainly wide awake with a birdie at the opening hole.

By the time he had played the front nine holes, he had 21 points on his card and his back nine opened with six straight pars before ending bogey, double bogey, bogey for a further 22 points for a total of 43.

That back nine total was enough to pip WAH Montgomery for the overall prize.

Like O’Boyle, 12-handicapper Montgomery birdied the opening hole and went on to record six pars plus bogeys at the fifth and sixth for a one over par gross total and 23 points.

The second nine resulted in a trio of dropped shots, four pars, a birdie on the 14th but he will be haunted by the final hole where a double bogey meant he scored no points.

Third nett was Charlie Robinson (15) with 42 points and again the second nine hole total was the deciding factor.

Charlie scored 21 points on each nine with a par on the final hole proving crucial.

James McClintock Jnr (15) took fourth place, also with 42 points, only to lose out over that second nine hole total.

The fifth nett total came from Ferguson McKelvey (11) with 41 points and once again it was his back nine total of 21 pointst hat was the deciding factor.

That was enough to push Roy Warwick into sixth position, especially after the 22-handicapper posted a costly double bogey on the final hole.

Gary Black was back on track as he posted the best gross total after covering the 18 holes in one over par, 69 shots.

The two-handicapper parred the opening three holes only to drop three shots over the next two holes but birdies at the sixth, seventh and ninth, along with a par at the eighth saw him back to level par gross at the turn.

The closing nine holes commenced with a par, followed by two bogeys and a birdie at the 13th.

He went on to complete his round with five straight pars.

SUNDAY COMPETITIONS

The Sunday competition at Ballymena Golf Club, sponsored by Specsavers, provided some light in the scoring aspect of the game of golf.

The top score was delivered by Phil Alexander (14) who posted a total of 41 points, to win by a single point from George Horner.

Phil had a front nine of 23 points, having been two over gross.

His back nine was going nicely until he reached the final hole where he failed to add anything to the 18 points he had already amassed.

Horner (12) also played the opening nine in two over par gross for 22 points.

George’s second nine opened wit ha double bogey, bogey and he went on to complete the nine holes with four pars plus dropped shots on the 13th, 14th and 17th for an additional 18 points.

Mervyn Arbuthnot (14) claimed the third nett prize with an overall total of 39 points.

Twenty two of those came from the front nine but he was only able to add a further 17 points from a back nine played in eight over par.

The best gross card was provided by Stephen Penney (1) who covered the course with 11 pars, four bogeys plus birdies at the third, fourth and seventh for a total of 69 shots.

SUNDAY OPEN

Sean McLarnon (15) had a clear-cut win in the Sunday open stableford where he produced an impressive winning total of 44 points.

Having commenced his round with four dropped shots on the opening three holes, he then proceeded to play the next six holes with five pars plus a dropped shot on the fifth for 20 points.

The back nine was a case of four bogeys, three pars plus birdies on the 11th and 14th holes, while yielded a further 24 points.

Second place was taken by Paul Creevy (20) with an overall total of 42 points.

Of that total, 23 came from the front nine holes, which he covered in five over par.

The back nine opened with a pair of double bogeys but he managed to extract a further 19 points to add to his front nine total.

Third prize was won by Nigel Thompson (13) with a total of 39 points with a sound second nine hole total of 21 points making his score.

A new name, that of Philip Martin, appeared on the best gross category.

The 18-handicapper played the course in four over par 672 shots.

A front nine of six pars, two bogeys plus a birdie on the ninth was added to with the back nine of six pars, a bogey on the 10th followed by a birdie and six pars.

That took him to the final hole where he dropped three shots - an unfortunate ending but not enough to prevent him winning the best gross accolade.

MONTROSE OPEN

Jake Carson dug deep to claim victory in the Montrose Garden Centre-sponsored competition at Ballymena Golf Club.

The six handicapper notched up a total of 39 points to claim victory by a two-point margin.

Carson played the first nine holes in three over par.

His scorecard included five pars, two bogeys, plus a double bogey on the fifth, along with a birdie on the par five ninth.

The second nine holes contained seven pars and a dropped shot on the fourteenth, but against that setback he had a birdie at the twelfth, as he completed the nine holes with a total of 21 points.

Sean McLarnon recorded 37 points to finish in the runners-up position.

His first nine hole total of 17 points included a non-score at the eighth hole.

His second nine holes produced 20 points - that despite double bogeys on the par three tenth and fourteenth but a birdie at the thirteenth helped his cause considerably.

Third prize was won by Kevin Higgins, playing off a handicap of 11, who scored 34 points, of which a front nine of 15 points was boosted with 19 points on the homeward stretch.

The best gross card was returned by one of the club’s promising youth players, Richard Mark.

Playing off a handicap of seven, he played the Raceview course in seventy five shots.

An outward nine of three over par was added to with a tally of four over on the inward nine holes.

Richard’s card contained back-to-back birdies at the thirteenth and fourteenth but against that, he dropped two shots at the final hole.