It was a busy spell for golfers at Ballymena Golf CLub over the Easter holiday period with no less than three competitions up for grabs.
The first of these was a midweek open stableford, which was kindly sposnored by Sunstart Bakery.
At the clonclusion of the day’s play, the winner was Sean McLarnon, who scored a total of 43 stableford points.
The 17-handicapper opened his round with a dropped shot on the opening hole and worse was to follow, with a ‘ding’ at the second hole.
However, Sean quickly recovered and got into his stride and the remaining seven holes of his front nine were completed in three pars and four bogeys as he reached the turn with 18 points on his card.
The back nine was a total transformation as he accrued an impressive 25 points.
They came from four pars, two bogeys and a double bogey at the last hole but his total was helped considerably by birdies at the 10th and 13th, which were worth four points each.
Sean had three points to spare over second placed Ken Herbison.
The 19-handicapper racked up 22 points on the front nine after carding four pars and five bogeys.
His back nine holes were worth 18 points and that included a non-event on the par four 12th, while he also had double concessions on the 13th and 15th.
Third place was taken by William Montgomery (22) who posted an overall total of 38 points. Twenty of them came on the homeward trip after scoring 18 points on the outward trip - despite failing to score at the par five third hole.
The best gross card was returned by John A Jamieson who had a gross round of two over par, 70 shots.
His front nine provided four pars, bogeys at the first, fourth and fifth. However, he retrieved two of those bogeys with birdies at each of the two par fives, which put him out in one over par gross.
His back nine amounted to six pars, two bogeys plus a birdie at the 13th for another nine holes of one over par gross.
New Lady Captain, Elaine Mark, made a successful start to her big year, after she combined with Jennifer Eagleson to win the Chapman Seating and B2-sponsored Australian Spoons Greensomes.
The pair completed their 18 holes at the Raceview course in 33 points to see off the challenge of runners-up, Sandra Lennox and Arlene McCartney, and will now travel to Portadown GC in July for the finals event.
The Saturday competition at Ballymena Golf Club was for the Tullymore Cup, which is scored on a versus par format, where a player’s score for a hole is scored as plus, level or minus against the par for that hole.
The winner was William Montgomery (22) who made it a second prize inside three days with a total of eight up on par.
The first nine holes resulted in Montgomery being three up on par, while he added another five upon the second nine holes.
However, his win was only secured by virtue of the fact he had a better second nine hole score from Paul Creevy, who was four up on par after the first nine holes.
The 19-handicapper scored five pars, three bogeys and a double bogey on the fifth hole.
Paul’s second nine resulted in a score of four up on par - that despite non-scores on the 10th and 14th.
He scored five pars on the other seven holes, only to lose out on that second nine hole score.
Third prize went to Brian McDermott (21) who returned a score of five up on par, having been three up after the first nine holes.
Brian used his handicap allowance very well where he scored five bogeys and the crowned that with birdies at the third and fourth.
The second nine was worth four up on par where he scored another five pars only to have a non-event on the 12th.
He double bogeyed the 11th and 15th but he had an allowance of two shots on handicap on these two holes and therefore he lost no ground, finishing seven up.
Neal Courtney (12) was fourth prize winner with a score of seven up, only to lose out on the second nine to McDermott.
Neal’s opening nine holes equated to seven pars with dropped shots apiece at the fifth and sixth to be four up.
The back nine produced four pars, four bogeys plus a birdie on the 13th for an additional three up.
Jim Munn (17) was fifth overall with a score of six up on par and he had a better second nine return from Michael Scroggie.
Munn opened his account wit ha ‘ding’ but then went on to score four pars, two bogeys, a double bogey on the eighth but he birdied the ninth to be two up on par.
The homeward stretch resulted in four more pars, three bogeys, a double bogey at 17 plus he birdied the 10th to be four up on par over the nine.
Scroggie (8) was three up after nine having played those holes in level par gross and his back nine was played in one over par gross, giving him equal nines of three up on par.
The best gross card was something else as Dermot McElroy, fresh from making a brave attempt to defend his West of Ireland open title, returned to Raceview and played his home course in five under par, 63 shots, made up of 10 threes, seven fours and a five at the par five ninth.
The Sunday open stableford at Ballymena Golf Club saw Adam Barr top the results table.
But the six-handicapper’s success came only by virtue of the fact that he had a better second nine hole total than runner-up Gavin Mark.
Barr’s front nine contained five pars, two bogeys and his eagle at the third was wiped out with a double bogey on the fourth as he reached the turn with 19 points on his card.
In the second nine he scored six pars, plus birdies at the tenth, thirteenth and eighteenth for an additional 24 points to his total, which overall was 43 stableford points.
Mark, who has been in good form in recent weeks, had the reverse situation where he produced 24 points in an impressive front nine performance, before adding a further 19 points on the homeward stretch.
The 26-handicapper will look back with regret at the 11th hole, where he failed to score any points, but on a more positive note, his card did not contain any single point entries on the other 17 holes.
Third nett prizewinner was John Canavan, a new name to the winners’ list.
Playing off a handicap allowance of 27 shots, John tallied a total of 42 points, of which 25 came from an impressive inward nine holes.
A front nine of 17 points contained a trio of sevens, while the back nine contained four bogeys, double bogeys on the 11th and 15th and pars at each of the last two holes.
He also recorded a birdie on the thirteenth, which helped boost his total considerably and he chalked up 25 points for those nine holes.
Gary Black got back on the winners’ rostrum when he recorded the best gross score of the competition.
The two-handicapper played the course in four over par 72 shots, having had a front nine of five over par, 40 shots.
He then added a back nine of one under par, 32 shots, which came via six pars, a bogey and birdies at the 12th and 18th.