Gareth claims marginal win at Raceview

Paddy Kearney, Felix McQuillan and Peter McCann at Ballymena Golf Club. INBT34-241AC

Paddy Kearney, Felix McQuillan and Peter McCann at Ballymena Golf Club. INBT34-241AC

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Ballymena Golf Club was blessed with good weather for Carl McAuley’s President’s Day recently.

Once again, a well=prepared course produced some remarkable scores, the best of which was a 43-point haul from Gareth McCullough.

The 11-handicapper had a magnificent start as he opened his round with eight straight pars before dropping a shot on the par five ninth, which equated to 22 points.

His second nine wasn’t bad either with bogeys at the 11th, 12th and 15th accompanied by six pars for an additional 21 points.

Second place went to Jonathan Law who, off a three handicap, posted 42 points, having played the course in three under par gross.

An opening nine holes of seven pars plus birdies at the first and third holes yielded 21 points, a total which he matched on the second nine after four pars, two bogeys and birdies at the 13th, 14th and 17th.

Third nett was Philip McMaster (21) with 42 points, only to lose out over the second nine holes.

Philip set a hot pace when he chalked up 25 points on the outward nine, where he was three over par gross.

But he couldn’t maintain that level of form on the inward nine, where he only picked up 17 points, after dropping seven shots over the last four holes.

John Brown (9) returned 41 points but he will be annoyed at a non-scoring triple bogey at the final hole, where a par would have seen him crowned overall winner.

John headed to the 10th tee one over gross and with 21 points in the bag. He was still one over on the penultimate tee but a bogey, triple bogey finish proved costly, even allowing for the fact he scored 20 points on the second nine.

Noel Kidd (13) took fifth prize by virtue of the fact that he had a better second nine total from sixth-placed Stephen Surgenor Jnr (14).

The best gross score came from John Robinson (2) who toured the course in 66 shots.

Robinson’s front nine made for some reading with seven threes on his card, while he parred the par five third and his only dropped shot came on the fifth as he reached the turn in four under gross. It was always going to be a big ask to match that on the back nine but he still managed five pars, three bogeys and a birdie on the last hole.

SUNDAY OPEN

Early starter Kieran McGaughey emerged victorious in the Sunday open stableford as he set a target of 42 points that no-one was able to better.

Chris McCrory (10) was second with a score of 40 points, while third nett was Philip McAllister (19) who, despite having lost two shots from his handicap from the previous day, scored 39 points.

John Robinson carried over his good form from the previous day by again winning the best gross prize, this time with a round of 71.