The NI Open Corporate Qualifier sponsored by MD Motors at Galgorm Castle Golf Club proved an exciting day for the golfers in all Divisions.
In Division 1 at the turn Trevor Fleming (8) was leading by two points from Patrick Bamber (4) followed by Mal Bellew (7), Keith Clements (10) and Jonathan McNeill (1) a further two points behind.
Colin Anderson (9) was another point down. Through fourteen Fleming was still ahead but by only one point from Bamber who in turn was two points ahead of Clements and McNeill. Anderson was a further two points back followed by Bellew after a ‘ding’ at the Maple another point behind. Fleming gained a point at Beechers and approaching the Lowlands he was leading by two points from new challengers Clements and McNeill. Fleming came home with two bogeys and maintained his two point advantage to win from Clements (double bogey, par) and McNeill (par, bogey) who were joined by three fast finishers, Bamber (two pars), Bellew (two pars) and Anderson (par, birdie). With a better back nine the runner-up position went to Anderson.
There was a very close finish in Division 2 between three players – Graham Simms (13), Stephen Bashford (11) and Michael McAuley (12). Through halfway Simms was leading by two points from Bashford and McAuley. Through The Maple Bashford was one point ahead of Simms (‘ding’ at twelve) and McAuley. Over Beechers the three players were level and they were still level with two holes left to play. Bashford (par, bogey), Simms (bogey, par) and McAuley (bogey, par) came home together and with a better back three McAuley finished first with second place going to Bashford with a better back nine.
On the tenth tee in Division 3 Geoffrey Marshall (17) was one point in front of James Logan (16) with Alan Proctor (16) a further two points down. Through thirteen Marshall had increased his lead to six points over Logan. Up the Grove Logan after a run of birdie, par, bogey had closed the gap on Marshall (‘ding’ at the Grove) to within one point. Marshall finished with two bogeys and was joined by Logan (par, bogey) and Logan with a better back nine took first place with Marshall in the runner-up place.
In Division 4 entering the back nine Philip Magill (20) and Kevin Agnew (19) were vying for the lead two points ahead of Bill Hawthorne (26) and Raymond Strange (23) with James Campbell (21) another point behind. Through the Maple the lead had changed somewhat with Hawthorne emerging as the leader by one point from Campbell. Agnew (‘ding’ at the Fort), Magill (‘ding’ at the Fort) and Strange (‘dings’ at ten and eleven) were a further one, two and three points respectively further behind. Approaching two from home Hawthorne had increased his lead to the points over Campbell and Agnew. Hawthorne bogey, ‘ding’ and Campbell bogey, par finished together and Campbell with a better back nine first place went to Campbell with Hawthorne second. Michael Dallat (Scr) won the Gross and Timothy D’Arcy (16) won the Seniors.