Happy Halliday after Galgorm Castle success
AT the halfway stage in the Clarke Contracts sponsored Stableford at Galgorm Castle Golf Club, high handicapper Stephen McCooke, playing off 28, held a one point advantage from Keith Barkley (9) with David Halliday (9) hot on his heels another point behind, followed by Alan Coulter (15) a further two points adrift.
Through 14, Barkley led by one point from McCooke and Halliday with Coulter another three points down.
After 16 McCooke had fought his way back to lead by one point from Halliday with Barkley and Coulter at one point intervals respectively behind.
McCooke threw his chance of overall victory away when he failed to score up the last to leave the door open for the other three golfers in contention.
Barkley came home bogey, par, Coulter (par, bogey) and McCooke (double bogey, ‘ding’) to finish level but Halliday with a bogey, par finish took the Overall prize by one point with Coulter (better back nine) runner-up. There was consolation however for Barkley and McCooke (see later).
There were close and exciting finishes to all three Divisions. In Division 1 at the turn, Ricki Simpson (8) led Stephen Brown (10) by one point with Keith Barkley (9) another point behind and Billy Cull (7) two further points away.
After 13, Barkley moved ahead with a par on 10 and a birdie at 13. Brown was one point behind with Simpson losing out with a ‘ding’ on ten another point away. Cull, who was not making any inroads on the leaders, was still another two points adrift.
The front runners were closing up through 15, making for a close finish. Barkley still clung onto the lead after unceremoniously failing at Beechers by one point from Simpson (birdie at 16) with Cull closing (two pars and a birdie) to join Brown another point behind. Two points separating them with two holes to play.
Brown was the first to falter when he bogeyed the last. Cull finished strongly with two pars to join Simpson (par, bogey) but Barkley with a bogey, par finish held on by one point for first place. Cull with a better back nine claimed second place with Simpson third.
The closest finish of the day occurred in Division 2 where Jonathan McCart (17) held a commanding three point advantage from Joseph Barr (16) and Paul Sittlington (14) with Brian Watt (15) another point behind.
Through 14, McCart still had a three point lead from Barr with Sittlington and Watt another point away. With two to play McCart’s lead had been cut to one point by Barr and Sittlington mainly because of two double bogeys by the leader at 15 and 16. Watt was another point behind.
McCart finished with another double bogey and a bogey, Sittlington (par, bogey), Barr (two bogeys) and Watt (par, bogey).
The four golfers finished level but with a better back nine Watt took first place, Barr with a better back six finished second with Sittlington (better back nine) third.
In Division 3 at the turn William Wilson (19) led a chasing pack of three – Stephen McCooke (28), Malcolm Sharpe (19) and Ivan Graham (24) - by one point. Through 13, which McCooke and Wilson ‘dinged’, Graham took advantage to move into a two point lead from Sharpe and McCooke with Wilson another two points behind.
Three holes further on and with two to play McCooke with three pars had taken a three point lead over Graham who ran into bogey trouble and Sharpe with Wilson a further point away.
McCooke finished double bogey, ‘ding’ but held on to win by one point from Wilson (bogey, par). Graham and Sharpe both hit more bogey trouble but finished level another point behind and with a better back six Sharpe took third place.
David Kernohan (-3) won the Gross and David Martin (13) took the Seniors.
Twos were recorded by: D Halliday, L Reilly jnr (x2), G Henry, H Graham, S Logan, S Mailey, P McAleese, J McNeill, A Moore, P Sittlington, S Stirling, B Killough, S MacDonald, D McCarroll, P McDonald, A Wallace and K Barkley.