William wins first 18-hole competition of year at Raceview

Stephen Thompson, Bill Alexander,  Gerry Rafferty and Garry McMullan  in Saturday's Slemish Bowl qualifier at Ballymena Golf Club. INBT 10-177CS
Stephen Thompson, Bill Alexander, Gerry Rafferty and Garry McMullan in Saturday's Slemish Bowl qualifier at Ballymena Golf Club. INBT 10-177CS

The first 18-hole competition of the 2016 season took place at Ballymena Golf Club recently.

With winter rules still being used, the scoring for qualifying for the matchplay stages of the Slemish Bowl was low, with the leading total being a nett 59 from William McKean (19).

The fact that the scoring was stroke did not seem to cause a great deal of problems as the leading 32 returns were inside the par for the course.

McKean played the outward nine holes in four over gross, having scored four pars, three bogeys, a double concession on the fifth and he birdied the third.

The inward nine resulted in five pars, bogeys on the 10th and 11th and he double bogeyed the 15th and 17th for a gross total of 78.

His nett 59 from that was one shot ahead of Phil Alexander.

Although the 15-handicapper conceded a shot on the first hole, he then proceeded to play the next eight holes with six pars, a bogey on the seventh and a birdie at the third.

His back nine was made up of five bogeys, two pars, a double bogey on the 17th and a birdie at the 13th as he completed a round of nett 60.

John V Graham took third place with a nett 61 and on a better second nine by one shot from Eugene O’Dornan.

Fifteen handicapper Graham was through the first nine holes in four over gross, having scored five pars plus dropped shots on the third, fifth, sixth and eight holes.

The second nine was a repeat of the first nine where he had a dropped shot on the 11th, 12th, 14th and 16th for his nett total of 61.

O’Dornan (19) scored equal nines of 40 shots and having commenced his round with four straight pars, he then dropped four shots on the fifth and sixth and completed his front nine with two pars plus another dropped shot on the ninth.

The back nine opened with six dropped shots on the first four holes followed by four pars plus a bogey on the penultimate hole.

Fifth nett was George McCrea (15) with a nett 62, having had a front nine of two over gross, to which he added five bogeys, a double bogey on the 12th plus a trio of pars.

Brian McDermott (21) took the sixth nett prize with a return of 63 shots.

The best gross card came from John A Jamieson who had equal nines of 35 shots. The five handicapper scored seven pars, a dropped shot and birdie on the way out and then produced another seven pars, along with bogeys at the 10th and 16th for a round of 70 strokes.