Strabane Mourns The Passing Of Brian Patton

The death of Brian Patton this week has cast a long shadow across Strabane Golf Club.  Brian was not only the most gifted golfer Strabane has ever produced but he was also one of the town’s finest ambassadors.  His exploits on golf courses across the country are well documented but beyond those talents, for those who knew him well, his most enduring qualities were his warmth and good humour. He reached out to many at the club, from the hopeful to the hopeless, and shared his knowledge of the game he loved.  He took especial satisfaction from seeing those who availed of his advice fulfilling their potential.  He will be sadly missed.  Our sincerest condolences go to his wife Anna and family, with the assurance that Brian’s name will always be fondly remembered and inextricably linked with the history of Strabane Golf Club.

It is somehow appropriate that in the week of Brian Patton’s passing, the final of the Leo Kavanagh Memorial “Sperrin Springs” Winter Cup should be won by one of his protégé’s.  Freddie Patterson would be the first to admit that had it not been for Brian’s encouragement he would never have become involved in the game.  Yet on Sunday last Freddie, in partnership with Mark McDermott, claimed the Winter Cup after an epic battle with the gallant duo of David Mullen and Bernard McShane.  Both pairings had dominated their qualifying sections from the outset and the showdown between the two was always going to be a close run thing.  And it could not have been closer.  In a final that was nip and tuck for most of the way, Patterson and McDermott eventually put their stamp on it on the final green, winning by a one-hole margin. In the third place play-off, Roy Patterson and Brian Millar just edged out Paul McGarrigle and Sean McCrossan.

The league winners were:
Section A
1.    Foncie McNally and Anthony Brennan
2.    Martin Gormley and Matt Keyes
3.    Denis Porter and Jimmy Wasson

Section B
1.    John Maxwell and Francie Conwell
2.    Jonathan McGonigle and Brian Kelly
3.    Joe Elliott and Martin McCallion

The Winter Cup Committee would like to express their thanks to the sponsors of the competition, “Sperrin Springs”.  Their continuing support is much appreciated.

Last Saturday’s stableford was won in impressive fashion by Kieran Martin, his 36 point return (over 15 holes) giving him a one point advantage over runner-up Maurice Doherty. Terence McDermott carded 34 points to finish third while Fred McGavigan’s 33 points gave him the gross award.

The latest round of the Thursday Club series saw Denis Porter post a winning score of 37 points.  Keith Patterson took second place with 35 points, a couple of points better than third-placed Pat McAneny.

The JJ Team event last Monday produced the following result:
1. J. Arbuckle, P. McGillian, M. Harkin            69 points
2. J. Callan, H. McGarrigle, F. O’Kane, J. Coyle        65 points
3. F. McNally, P. McGarrigle, G. Quinn, M. Forbes        64 points

The entertainment programme for the festive season continues with:
Thursday December 17:     Christmas Table Quiz
Saturday December 19:         Winter Cup Dinner
Music by “T-Junction”
Door admission from 10.00pm
Sunday December 20:         Kids’ Christmas Party & Disco (4-6.30pm)
Strabane Concert Brass at 9.00pm
followed by the Jim Devine Karaoke Show.

Prize Draw Results

GRAND DRAW Prize Winner
1ST 1ST Prize CAR JOHN A DUFFY
2ND £ 3,000.00 HUGO MCHUGH
3RD £ 2,500.00 SELWYN TAYLOR
4TH £ 1,500.00 SUSAN ROARTY
5TH £ 1,000.00 EUGENE KEARNEY
6TH £500.00 KATHLEEN KENNEDY
7TH £400.00 MERVYN KING
8TH £300.00 DENISE MCCAY
9TH £200.00 PEARSE MCDEVITT
10TH £100.00 VERA O’GORMAN

Upcoming Final – Sperrin Springs Winter Cup

Freddie Patterson and Mark McDermott will meet David Mullen and Bernard McShane in the final of the Sperrin Springs Winter Cup at Strabane Golf Club on Sunday next.  Patterson and McDermott stormed to an impressive 5 and 4 semi-final victory over Roy Patterson and Brian Millar, while Mullen and McShane were taken to the seventeenth by Paul McGarrigle and Sean McCrossan before their berth in the final was secured.  Patterson and McDermott will go into the decider as slight favourites, but Mullen and McShane have shown good form throughout the league stage and could well spring a surprise.  Last week’s beaten semi-finalists will contest the third place play-off, also on Sunday.

While most of the focus is on the match-play stages the league race continues.  Standings at the penultimate stage are as follows:
Section A
1. Foncie McNally and Anthony Brennan        22.5 points
2. Martin Gormley and Matt Keyes            21.5 points
3. Keith Patterson and Joe Breslin            19 points
3. Denis Porter and Jimmy Wasson            19 points

Section B
1. Jonathan McGonigle and Brian Kelly        21 points
2. Michael Forbes and Seamus McPhilemy         20 points
2. John Maxwell and Francie Conwell        20 points

Saturday’s Stableford was played over 15 holes this week with the in-form Stuart McFeeters posting a fine winning tally of 37 points.  One point back in second place was Charlie Patton while Jonathan McGonigle took third place with 35 points.  Denis Porter had the best gross return of 30 points.

Stuart McFeeters was again at the head of affairs in last week’s Thursday Club, taking the top award on the break of a tie with 33 points.  Runner-up was Kevin Gallagher, with Jimmy Wasson in third place, also with 33 points.
Winners in last Monday’s JJ Team event were:
1. D. Porter, G. Turner, J. Wasson, H. Casey            79pts
2. F. McNally, P. McGarrigle, G. Quinn, M. Forbes        71pts
3. J. Callan, D. Cairns, D. Cairns, J. Coyle            69pts

The final of the John Duffy Junior Winter Cup saw Ryan McGowan and Ciaran Neeson pitted against Damian Roarty and Aaron Gillespie.  The match was played in a wonderful spirit and produced some golf of the highest quality.  McGowan and Neeson eventually got their noses in front and a superb tee shot from young Neeson at the sixteenth put paid to any hopes that of a comeback that Roarty and Gillespie might have harboured.  McGowan and Neeson took the title on a three and two scoreline.  Rachid Rihane and Ciaran Roarty came through the league stages to take third place, though only on countback from Brendan McCrory and Kevin Gallagher. The Junior Convenor, Kevin Neeson, and his Committee paid tribute to the competition sponsor, John Duffy, without whose generosity the tournament would simply not have happened.

On the entertainment front, this Saturday night promises to be one of the highlights of the festive programme with “The Bizz” providing the music for the Christmas Party Night.  There are still a few available bookings for the meal and entertainment, while door admission will be from 10.30pm.

A reminder also that the “twin ticket” can still be purchased from Tommy Forbes at the clubhouse, providing reduced fee admission to both the Boxing Night and New Year’s Eve entertainment.  It is on offer for £10 to members, and £12 to visitors.

Semi-finalists announced for Sperrin Springs Winter Cup

The semi-final line-up for the Sperrin Springs Winter Cup at Strabane Golf Club was completed last Sunday. In Section A, Freddie Patterson and Mark McDermott had already booked their place but, nonetheless, produced another excellent performance at the weekend by way of underlining their superiority in the group. The real battle was for the remaining place and it was Paul McGarrigle and Sean McCrossan who stepped up to the plate. Pitted against the strong pairing of Foncie McNally and Anthony Brennan in the final qualifying stage, McGarrigle and McCrossan produced their best golf of the campaign to snatch the runner’s-up position in the section and so book their place in the play-offs.
The top of Section A reads:
1. Freddie Patterson and Mark McDermott 24 points
2. Paul McGarrigle and Sean McCrossan 19 points
3. Foncie McNally and Anthony Brennan 18.5 points

In Section B, David Mullen and Bernard McShane duly made it through to the semis, the couple of points they gleaned from last Sunday’s match ensuring that they would top the group. Roy Patterson and Brian Millar put together a couple of spirited performances in the closing weeks to make sure that they too would figure in the deciding stages.
The top of Section B is:
1. David Mullen and Bernard McShane 21.5 points
2. Roy Patterson and Brian Millar 20 points
3. Jonathan McGonigle and Brian Kelly 18 points

The semi-final draw is:
Mullen/McShane v McGarrigle/McCrossan
F. Patterson/McDermott v R. Patterson/Millar

A combination of the recent atrocious weather and ongoing ground improvements meant that the Saturday Singles event last Saturday was reduced to eleven holes. Garvan Godfrey was in outstanding form as he amassed an impressive 29 points to win by one from Gerry Quinn. Albert McNally posted 27 points to finish third while Keith Patterson took the gross award with 26 points.

Latest results from the Monday JJ team series were:
1. J. Arbuckle, M. Harkin, P. McGillian, S. Diamond 74 points
2. Angus Callaghan, L. McCool, C. Doherty, D. McGinley 72 points
3. K. Keegan, P. Gallagher, E. McDonnell, N. Redden 71.5 points

This Friday night in the clubhouse (December 4) the ladies’ annual Club Dinner will be held. Music afterwards will be provided by “T-Junction”.

Strabane Golf Club Looks Forward To Play-Offs Of Sperrin Springs Winter Cup

Freddie Patterson and Mark McDermott booked their place in the play-off stages of the Sperrin Springs Winter Cup on Sunday last at Strabane Golf Club, their two point haul at the weekend ensuring that they are guaranteed to finish in one of the two qualifying places in Section A of the competition. Their task on Sunday next will be to pick up at least a point to make sure that they top the group.  The picture behind them is a little bit more complicated with three pairings vying for the other qualifying spot.  Foncie McNally and Anthony Brennan are currently in second place and will surely be favourites to go through.  However, they play third-placed Paul McGarrigle and Sean McCrossan this week and must win to be absolutely certain of making the semi-finals. Noel and Jason Kelly, who occupy fourth place, are not out of it and if they win and results in other matches go their way they can still qualify for the final rounds.
Current standings in Section A are:
1. Freddie Patterson/Mark McDermott    21pts
2. Foncie McNally/Anthony Brennan        17.5pts
3. Paul McGarrigle/Sean McCrossan        16pts
4. Noel Kelly/Jason Kelly            15.5pts

Key matches in Section A this upcoming week are:
Patterson and McDermott v Kelly and Kelly
McNally and Brennan v McGarrigle and McCrossan

In Section B, the battle for the coveted qualifying spots will be even more intense this week with any two of the top five pairs capable of progressing.  David Mullen and Bernard McShane are presently in the vanguard, but they are far from impregnable.  Should they slip up on Sunday next, they could well be overhauled in the final stretch.  Roy Patterson and Brian Millar put themselves right back in contention at the weekend, their maximum four-point haul taking them into joint second place, level on points with Jonathan McGonigle and Brian Kelly.
The top of Section B reads:
1. David Mullen/Bernard McShane        19.5pts
2. Roy Patterson/Brian Millar            17pts
3. Jonathan McGonagle/Brian Kelly        17pts
4. John Brolly/Niall Coulter            16pts
5. William Potts/Johnny Potts            15pts

All eyes will be on these matches on Sunday next:
Mullen and McShane v Potts and Potts
Patterson and Millar v Brolly and Coulter
McGonigle and Kelly v B. O’Neill and M. Keys.

In ladies’ golf, Shauna Patton won the first of the “Weekly Vouchers” events, her 20 point total just getting her home on the break of a tie.  Anne Sharkey topped the 0-24 category with 17 points, while Mary Casey’s 20 points was best in the 25-36 category.

With Christmas very much on the horizon, the club’s festive entertainment programme has been drawn up, including a generous two night package deal for Boxing Night and New Year’s Eve. The ‘twin ticket’ can be purchased for a reduced tariff (£10 members, £12 visitors) and is available from Tommy Forbes at the clubhouse.

Week 6 Of League Stages Of Sperrin Springs Winter Cup

The league stages of the Sperrin Springs Winter Cup reached Week 6 at Strabane Golf Club on Sunday last.  The domination of Section A by Freddie Patterson and Mark MeDermott is such that they now hold a massive five point advantage over the field.  Despite dropping a rare half point at the weekend they extended their lead at the top of the table and would appear to be well on their way to the play-offs.  Paul McGarrigle and Sean McCrossan picked up three points to move into a share of second place with Denis Porter and Jimmy Wasson.
The section A table reads:
1. Freddie Patterson/Mark McDermott    19pts
2. Paul McGarrigle/Sean McCrossan        14pts
3. Denis Porter/Jimmy Wasson        14pts
4. Foncie McNally/Anthony Brennan        13.5pts

Long time leaders in Section B, David Mullen and Bernard McShane, kept up their momentum by picking up maximum points on Sunday last.  Jonathan McGonigle and Brian Kelly maintained their strong challenge, moving into second place ahead of Sean MacIntyre and Chris Timoney.  The picture here, though, is far less clear-cut with a host of pairings capable of mounting a significant challenge. Indeed, a mere half-point separates the pair in third place from those in sixth position.
The top of Section B is:
1. David Mullen/Bernard McShane        17.5pts
2. Jonathan McGonigle/Brian Kelly        15pts
3. Sean MacIntyre/Chris Timoney        13.5pts

This weekend coming up has the look of a “Super Sunday” about it with the top two teams in each section pitted against one another.

The John Duffy sponsored Junior Winter Cup is nearing its final stages.  Damian Roarty and Aaron Gillespie have already booked their place in the final, even though there is still one qualifying round to be played. Barring a major upset they should be joined in the decider by Ryan McGowan and Ciaran Neeson, though they will look to pick up points this week to make sure of their final berth.
The league table reads:
1. Damian Roarty/Aaron Gillespie        17.5pts
2. Ryan McGowan/Ciaran Neeson        15pts
3.Brendan McCrory/Kevin Gallagher        12pts.

The JJ Monday team event produced the following result:
1. K. Keegan, S. Stirling, C. Patton, T. McDermott            91pts
2. H. McCusker, J. Shiels, E. Patton, J. Henderson            87pts
3. K. Gallagher, S. McFeeters, L. Doherty, M. McColgan        86pts

Brian Haughey’s 25 point return was good enough to take Week 8 of the Thursday Club.  He finished one point ahead of runner-up Liam Doherty, with Mark Sharkey a further couple of points back in third place.

Sperrin Springs Winter Cup Reaches Half-Way

The Sperrin Springs Winter Cup reached the half-way stage on Sunday last at Strabane Golf Club.  Though conditions were far from perfect after the rains of the past few weeks, players were able to complete the Week Five series.  Freddie Patterson and Mark McDermott are in a fairly commanding position at the head of Section A after taking their second successive maximum haul.  They lead on 15.5 points, with Foncie McNally and Anthony Brennan in second place with 13 points.  Noel and Jason Kelly moved into third place with 11.5 points. They could well benefit from the fact that the two leading pairings will contest the top match in the section this Sunday.

David Mullen and Bernard McShane have a slender advantage in Section B, their 13.5 total giving them only half a point to spare over Roy Patterson and Brian Millar, with a handful of other pairings very much within striking distance. Saturday’s Singles was played over a shortened course, yet winner Brian Cairns amasses an impressive 28 points to win by one from the consistent Foncie McNally.  Kieran O’Neill was a further shot back in third pace, with Enda Kennedy taking the gross award with 23 points.

Pat McDaid was a recent winner of the Men’s Singles, showing good form to hold off the challenge of Paddy Doyle and Declan O’Hare.  All three players posted excellent tallies of 34 points, while Danny Duffy took the gross prize with 33 points.

In Week 7 of the Thursday Club, the winners were:
1. Pat Sharkey         26 points
2. Cahir Doherty    26 points
3. Jim Arbuckle    25 points

The JJ Team event played on Monday last produced the following result:
1. K. Keegan, R. Wylie, R. Allen                    77 points
2. D. McGinley, N. McCrory, L. McCool, Angus Callaghan        68 points
C. Klam, Paul McGarrigle, J. Roarty`                65 points

Finally, players should note that from this week, the use of ‘mats’ is obligatory.

Saturday Singles at Strabane Golf Club

Despite the horrendous conditions which prevailed throughout last Saturday, a couple of dozen players braved the wind and rain to compete in the Saturday Singles at Strabane Golf Club. Jason Kelly produced a near-miraculous 38 points to take the spoils ahead of Denis Porter who mustered a creditable 35 points.  Stephen McCay posted 33 points to finish third, with the gross category prize going to Paddy Kennedy with 32 points.

The week began with the usual JJ’s Team competition on Monday last which produced the following result:
1. D. Porter, G. Turner, J. Wasson, H. Casey            83 points
2. F. McNally, M. Forbes, P. McGarrigle, J. Duncan        79 points
3. P. Doyle, P. McDaid, T. McGranaghan, P. McAneny    75 points.

Kevin Keegan won Series 5 of the Thursday Club with a steady 37 points, one better than runner-up Stuart McFeeters.  Brian Haughey was a further point back in third place.

In Section A of the Sperrin Springs Winter Cup, Freddie Patterson and Mark McDermott took maximum points from Sunday’s match to reclaim top spot in the league.  They took their tally to 11.5 points while Peter Doherty (Jun) and Barry Patterson moved into second place with 10 points.  Foncie McNally and Anthony Brennan are a point behind in third place, with Patrick McCrossan and John Tinney currently in a tie for fourth place with Chris McDermott and Michael Neeson.  Each of these pairings has 8 points.  The key match in this section next Sunday will be the match-up between the two leading contenders.

Things are a bit tighter at the head of Section B, with half a point covering the top four protagonists.  David Mullen and Bernard McShane lead the way with 10 points with the next three pairing all on 9.5 points.  They are: Roy Patterson and Brian Millar; Sean MacIntyre and Chris Timoney; Cathal McLaughlin and Noel O’Kane.  This coming Sunday should provide clarify the situation somewhat as the draw for Week 4 has thrown up the following duels:
Mullen and McShane v MacIntyre and Timoney
Patterson and Millar v McLaughlin and O’Kane.

There is a double bill on entertainment in the clubhouse this coming weekend.  On Friday night there is a special charity table quiz in memory of Joe Patton, with all proceeds going to the Foyle Hospice.  On Saturday, “T-Junction” will provide the music for the Hallowe’en celebrations.

The Chevy’s @ Strabane Golf Club

This Saturday evening (October 24) in the clubhouse promises to be one of the entertainment highlights of the year.  On stage will be the brilliant “Chevys” who will play their unique brand of Rock ‘n Roll. Tickets are available at the clubhouse throughout this week, though there may be a few available on the night.

Sperrin Springs Winter Cup at Strabane Golf Club

Though only into its second week, the Sperrin Springs Winter Cup at Strabane Golf Club has already thrown up clear leaders in each section. Current standings are:

Section A
1. P. McCrossan & J. Tinney        8pts
2. F. Patterson & M. McDermott    7.5 pts
3. P. Doherty & B. Patterson         7pts
3. C. McDermott & M. Neeson    7 pts

Section B
1. D. Mullen & B. McShane        8pts
2. R. Patterson & B. Millar        7.5pts
3. J. Maxwell & F. Conwell        6.5 pts
3. S. McIntyre & C. Timoney        6.5 pts

Despite the fact that the course was reduced to 17 holes due to essential maintenance on the par three seventh, the 40 point barrier was breached in Saturday’s Members’ Sponsored stableford.  Michael Neeson posted an excellent 40 point total to take the top prize. Ciaran Patton showed a welcome return to form in carding 39 points to finish second, with Noel McConnell a further point back in third place.  The consistent Paul McGill took the gross award with his 34 point tally.

Jason Kelly was the clear winner of the latest round of the Thursday club, his 37 point return giving him four points to spare over the field.  Kieran Doherty and Eugene Patton filled the minor places, each with 33 points.

JJ’s Monday team event is attracting its usual dedicated following.  The winning teams last week were:

1.    Team Captain: Ronnie Wiley        95 points
2.    Team Captain: Liam McCool        95 points
3.    Team Captain: Pat McAneny         94 points

The Donegal Senior Championship side just missed out on the title, losing a close encounter with Rosapenna.  Strabane will look back on an indifferent home performance when they laboured to build a slender 4-3 advantage, as perhaps their undoing.  In the away leg on Saturday on the north coast they showed great application but just missed on the final accolade.

This Saturday evening (October 23) in the clubhouse promises to be one of the entertainment highlights of the year.  On stage will be the brilliant “Chevys” who will play their unique brand of Rock ‘n Roll. Tickets are available at the clubhouse throughout this week, though there may be a few available on the night.

Patterson in dominant form in Saturday’s Hugh Harley Cup

11-handicapper Barry Patterson was in dominant form in Saturday’s Hugh Harley Cup at Strabane Golf Club.  Patterson dropped only a couple of shots to par in compiling a tremendous 45 point tally to win by six from runner-up Senan Roarty.  Danny Duffy took third place with 37 points, aided in no small measure by an ace at the par three sixteenth. Keith Patterson claimed the gross award with a steady 33 points while the nines went to Stuart McFeeters and Charlie Patton.

The Sperrin Springs Winter Cup got under way on Sunday at the club and, while it is early days yet, there would appear to be a number of formidable duos who will no doubt figure prominently as the league unfolds.

Last week’s JJ’s Monday Club produced the following result:

1. Angus Callaghan, C. Doherty, D. McGinley, L. McCool        89 points
2. P. Rouse, M. Forbes, Paddy McGarrigle, J. Duncan        84 points
3. T. McGranaghan, P. Doyle, P. McDaid, P. McAneny        84 points

Hugh Casey was the latest winner in the Thursday Club, his excellent 42 points getting him home by a point from Paul Armstrong and Mark Sharkey.

The final event of the regular season in the ladies’ section saw Mandy Coyne, Rachel Devenney and Donna Doherty post a winning 26 points to take the Closing Day Scramble.  A point adrift in second place were Adeline Shiels, Maeve Crowe and Mary Duffy, while Shauna Patton, Lorna Duffy and Lisa Patton finished third, also with 25 points.

The final of the Worchester Cup, the last of the season’s matchplay tournaments to be decided, lived up to its billing with the match being decided on the eighteenth green.  Freddie Wilson and Ann Duffy held their nerve to take the trophy by a slender ‘one up’ margin over the gallant pairing of Garvan Godfrey and Margaret Bonner.

Strabane’s Donegal Senior Championship side eked out a slender 4-3 advantage in the first leg of the final at home against a strong Rosapenna team.  The second leg will be played this Saturday at the north Donegal venue and the Ballycolman squad will have to be at their very best if they are to bring home the spoils.

Jim Devine will provide the music in the clubhouse this Saturday.  Tickets are currently available for the “Chevys Rock ‘n Roll Night” on Saturday October 24, an event which promises to be one of the highlights on the club’s entertainment calendar this year.

Strabane Golfers Battle The Elements in Dunfanaghy

One hundred and thirty six Strabane golfers headed off to Dunfanaghy on Saturday last for Mr Eamon McCay’s Captain’s Outing and encountered some of the worst conditions of the year.  Gale force winds swept across the north Donegal course ensuring that scoring would be far removed from the 40 plus tallies that have been the norm throughout the summer season.  Only a handful of scores struggled into the low thirties, with three players posting respectable totals of 33 points.  Best of these on countback was Freddie Patterson who duly collected the top award. Johnny Potts and Jim Callaghan finished second and third respectively, also with 33 points, while the consistent Jason Kelly took fourth place, a point adrift of the leading trio. Not unexpectedly, Ben Corry had the best gross return of 26 points. The categories went to Barry Patterson (30 points), Eddie McBrearty (32 points) and William Potts (31 points), while Odran McGettigan (20 points) and Patsy Wilson (19 points) picked up the nines.  Only three players managed two’s – Mark McColgan, Sammy Devenney and Stephen Alexander.

The weekend’s double header was completed on Sunday with the final day of the mixed pairs season.  There was an excellent entry of 30 pairs for the competition which featured both a flag and stableford format.

The winners were:

Flag Format
1. Lisa Patton and Ben Corry        19th green
2. Maeve Crowe and Liam Curry    19th fairway
3. Lorna Duffy and Karl Barr        19th fairway

Stableford Format
1. Sharon Haughey and Martin Roarty    36 points
2. Laura McCay and Liam Doherty        35 points
3. Ann Duffy and Sean MacIntyre        35 points

JJ’s Monday Club finally got off the ground last week after the abandonment of play the previous week. The results were:
1. K. Gallagher, M. McColgan, S. McFeeters, C. McGrath        86 points
2. H. McCusker, E. Patton, J. Shiels, J. Henderson            85 points
3. D. Porter, J. Wasson and H. Casey                    84 points

Week Two of the Thursday Club produced high quality golf with George Turner just getting home ahead of Danny Duffy, with both players carding excellent scores of 42 points.  One point back in third place was Noel Redden.

In ladies’ golf, Rosemary Wilson was the top performer in the O2 Challenge, her 32 points giving her a couple to spare over the field. Mandy Coyne posted 30 points to take the 0-24 category prize, with Maeve Crowe (28 points) the leading player in the 25-36 category.

While the men were battling the elements in Dunfanaghy on Saturday, the ladies enjoyed a “Men Away – Ladies Play” stableford event at the Ballycolman course. It produced the following result:

1. Dympna Doherty    27 points
2. Lorna Duffy    25 points
3. Mary Casey        25 points

The last of the mid-week pairs events was held on Wednesday last.  The top three pairings all finished on 16 points with Philomena Cooke and Sammy Devenney declared winners on the break of a tie. Bernie and Brian O’Kane finished second, Imelda Doherty and Denis Porter taking the third spot.

This Friday night in the clubhouse there is a charity “Knockavoe’s Got Talent” evening.  Music will be provided by Jim Devine and the event kicks off at 8 o’clock.

Finally, there are bridge lessons for beginners in the clubhouse every Monday evening at 8 o’clock, with everybody welcome.  The weekly bridge games are on Thursday evenings, also at 8.00pm.

Club championship proves fitting finale at Strabane

The Club Championship brought the official golf season at Strabane Golf Club to a conclusion.  And what a fitting finale it proved to be!  Star man on the day was Darren Crawford who was in imperious form as he claimed the title with an outstanding sub-par round of 68.  The round really took off at the start of the back nine, Darren clocking up two birdies and an eagle from the tenth to the twelfth.  The eagle was, in fact, an ace at the par three twelfth, the winner cutting an exquisite five iron onto the green, the ball tracking unerringly into the hole.

Runner-up was Paddy Kennedy with a fine level par round of 69, two shots better than third-placed Mark McColgan. In the nett section of the event, Kevin McGinley produced a sensational 62 nett to win by one from Eddie McBrearty.  Also on the 63 nett mark was David Mullen while the category winners were:
Category One        Frankie Devine    67 nett
Category Two        Joe Elliott        66 nett
Category Three    Johnny Potts        67 nett

The Thursday Club got under way last week and will run right through the winter months.  Pat O’Neill got off to a successful start, his steady 40 points proving to be best of the day.  Paddy Doyle and David Mullen posted 39 points apiece to take the minor placings. Wednesday’s mixed team competition went to the quartet of Caroline Connolly, Adeline Shiels, Mark Donaghey and Frankie Connolly.  Their combined total of 26 points got them home on countback from Angela Houston, Laura McCay, Sammy Devenney and Eric Reid. Next Sunday (October 4) brings the mixed season to a close.  A timesheet will be in operation for the “flag” event, commencing at 1.30pm.

In ladies’ golf, Ann Sharkey and Teresa Logue carded 32 points to win the Daily Mail Fourball stableford.  Norma Brogan and Adeline Shiels were a couple of points adrift in second place.  The ladies’ singles competition, the Foyle Hospice Charity, was won by young Lisa Patton with a fine 36 point return.  Mandy Coyne posted 32 points to take the 0-24 category, with Caroline Connolly showing good form in taking the 25-36 category with 35 points.

The final team event of the year, the Owen Roes Classic, produced the following result:

  1. Mark McColgan, Pat O’Neill, Paul McGarrigle, Peter O’Neill .. 97pts
  2. Oliver Cresswell, Seamus Foley, Francie Conwell, Liam McCool .. 97pts
  3. Paddy Doyle, Terence McGranaghan, Danny McGinley, Pat McAneny .. 96pts
  4. Pat Corry, Sammy Devenney, Patsy Wilson, Eric Reid .. 94pts

The best all-ladies team, with a score of 88 points, comprised Adeline Shiels, Betty Kelly, Geraldine Masterson and Donna Doherty.

Sunday last was set aside for the finals of the various club matchplay tournaments.  In the Jones Cup, Freddie Patterson was in tremendous form as he overwhelmed Cathal Patton, the match finishing at the thirteenth.  Equally emphatic was Oliver Cresswell’s victory over Kevin Neeson as he claimed the Gallagher Cup by 5 and 4.  In the Lawson Cup, Tommy Sharkey held his nerve to edge out William Potts.  The match went all the way to the eighteenth with Sharkey eventually getting home by a two up margin.

The prestigious “Golfer of the Year” title proved to be something of a season-long duel between Martin Rouse and Ben Corry.  Both players have shown exemplary consistency over the summer, with first one and then the other edging ahead in the race.  Rouse finally managed to put a bit of daylight between them as he ran out the victor with a tally of 127 points.  The gallant Corry compiled 120 points to take second place, with Cathal Patton finishing third on 107 points.  David Friel deserves a mention also, being the only other player to break the 100 point barrier.

Strabane teams have taken a couple of titles in recent weeks.  The Roberts Cup team saw off the challenge of Enniskillen in the final, while the O’Haire Cup squad completed the double by defeating Castlehume GC.  The other outstanding final involving Strabane is the Senior Donegal Championship and the two-leg decider has been pencilled in for the 10th and 17th of October.

As the summer season concludes, we move seamlessly into winter golf.  Players intending to participate in the Sperrin Springs Winter Cup should note that entries close on Thursday October 1. Entries for the Junior Winter Cup close on Wednesday October 7.  The event will commence on Sunday, October 11.

This Saturday (October 3) is the Captain’s Outing to Dunfanaghey.  Players are requested to place entry fees in the competition box at Strabane before departure to the north Donegal venue.  On return, it should be noted that a beautiful set of irons will be available to one lucky player present in the clubhouse.  Music on Saturday evening will be provided by “Sharon and Gary Nixon”.

Another notable entertainment date for the diary is Saturday October 24, when the fabulous “Chevys” will be on stage headlining a Rock ‘n Roll night.  Tickets are available at the club.

Finally, it should be noted that there will be no more Saturday timesheets until the spring 2010.

Bank of Ireland Stableford

The Bank of Ireland stableford was the feature event at Strabane Golf Club last Saturday.  In conditions which were probably as good as there has been this summer, Keith Patterson posted a superb winning level par round of 41 points.  Young Ryan McGowan was just a point adrift in second place, while Garvan Godfrey claimed third place with a solid 38 points.  The gross prize went to Sean Forbes with 37 points.  James Harron, with 36 points, topped Category One, John J. Duffy was best in Category Two with 35 points, and Gerry Casey’s 36 points gained him the Category Three award.

Whilst Saturday’s competition was played in ideal conditions, the same could not be said of the early week events.  After Sunday’s torrential rains, the course was heavy as play got under way for the Monday Open.  Cahir Doherty, though, seemed to revel in the testing conditions, his excellent 37 points assuring him of the top prize. Jason Kelly claimed the runners-up spot with 36 points, just edging out Castlehume’s Seamus McGranaghan on the break of a tie. Keith Patterson took the gross prize on this occasion with 27 points.

The ladies held their “Golfer of the Year” competition (The Bertie Colhoun Cup) on Tuesday.  Norma Brogan was in outstanding form, her winning return of nett 66 giving her a comfortable cushion over the field.  Olive Turner was next best, her 70 nett giving her the 0-24 category prize.  The 25-36 category went to G. Masterson with a nett 73.
The regular ladies’ weekly competition was won this week by Maeve Corry with 30 points.  One point back, and topping the 0-24 category, was Lorna Armstrong, while Rosemary Wilson was best in the 25-36 category with 27 points.

With the nights closing in, there are only a few Wednesday mixed pairs events left.  However, there was a very good entry of 19 pairs last week, the best of these being Ann Sharkey and Karl Barr who won with 24 points.  Caroline Connolly and Freddie Wilson finished a point back in second place, with Mary and Noel McCrory a further point adrift in third place.

The Thursday competition this week was sponsored by Kirk’s Bar and Off Sales.  Martin Patton and Martin McCallion tied at the top with marvellous scores of 42 points.  Patton was declared winner after countback, with John Etherson finishing third with a fine 41 point tally.  The ever-consistent Ben Corry took the gross prize with an excellent two-over par return of 37 points.

With Autumn upon us, the popular JJ Team event makes its seasonal reappearance on Monday next, September 21, and will run right through the winter months.

September Round up, Irish Mixed Foursomes team and Club’s centenary reach a climax

The Daly’s Service Station stableford at Strabane Golf Club was played in difficult conditions on Saturday last.  A stiff breeze and a course playing to its full length conspired to ensure that not one player from a field of 175 managed to break the 40-point barrier.  Francey Conwell came closest, his fine 39 point tally earning him the top prize.  One point off the pace was runner-up Jim Malcolm who go up on countback from third-placed George McCay.  Kieran Doherty is probably playing the best golf of his life at the moment and he took Saturday’s gross award with a solid 36 point return.  Martin Rouse continues to impress and on this occasion he claimed the Category One prize with 37 points.  Category Two went to Mark McDermott with 36 points, while Frankie Connolly topped Category Three with 37 points.

By Sunday the weather had, unsurprisingly, taken a turn for the worse.  However, the scheduled “Foyle Hospice” Open Team event was still able to proceed and produced the following result:

1. Denis Porter, Kevin Keegan, Joe Doherty, George Turner  – 93 pts

2. Paddy O’Kane, Senan Roarty, Frankie Connolly, Stephen Alexander – 93 pts

3. Gerard Duffy, P McCafferty, Brian McAteer, Denis O’Donnell  – 92 pts

4. Kevin McGinley, Shane McLaughlin, Pierce McLaughlin, D. Toland – 92 pts

Ladies: Mary McCrory, Annette Patton, Geraldine McCrory, Noreen McNally – 79pts

In total, there was a tremendous entry of 43 teams.

Kieran Doherty posted 38 points to win the “Golf Club Shop” Open on Thursday last, beating off the challenge of second-placed Cahir Doherty on the break of a tie.  Paddy Kennedy took third place with a two-over par offering of 37 points, while Paul McGill won the gross category with 32 points.

Wednesday’s Mixed Foursomes was won by Rachel Devenney and Eric Reid, their 23 point return giving them a five point cushion over Rosemary and Patsy Wilson.

The Irish Mixed Foursomes team failed to make it through to the all-Ireland final, going down by three matches to two against a strong Mullingar unit.  The Ulster champions got off to a flier, winning the first two matches and at one stage leading in two of the other three.  However, Mullingar came back strongly, finally clinching victory on the seventeenth green of the final match.  Whilst there was an element of disappointment in the Strabane ranks, they can look back with pride on a season that saw them sweep all before them in claiming their Ulster title.

Celebrations of the Club’s centenary reach a climax with a gala entertainment weekend – the “Marquee on the Tee”.  On Friday, local bands will be on stage, followed on Saturday by ‘John McNicholl & his Band’. On Sunday it will be the turn of the ‘Robert Mizzell Band’.  There are also a couple of bonus appearances when, from three o’clock until five on Sunday afternoon, there will be a 5-piece jazz band live on stage, followed immediately by the ever-popular Strabane Concert Brass playing “swing” until 7.15pm.  It promises to be a feast of high quality entertainment.  Tickets can be purchased at the club (Tel. 02871382271), or patrons may pay at the door.

Click here to download the Flyer – 100 Yeas Golf SGC July 2009 (.pdf)

Pat Kirk Open produces close finish for Strabane

Despite the incessant rain which fell throughout the week the late summer schedule at Strabane Golf Club has survived relatively unscathed. Much credit must go to Paul McFadden and his team of greenkeepers for the sterling work that they do in maintaining the Ballycolman course in a pristine state, often in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds.

Participants in Saturday’s Pat Kirk Open found the course in excellent shape, though playing to its full length given the soft underfoot conditions. The competition produced a close finish with the top three players each carding scores of 40 points. Conor Sharkey (13) was declared the winner on a tie-break, with Mark McCrea (11) and Hugo McCusker (12) filling the second and third place berths. Category One was headed by David Friel with 39 points, one better than the Category Two winner David Mullen. Aiden McCrossan was best in Category Three with 36 points, while the gross prize went to Enda Kennedy with a fine level par 36 points.

The second part of the weekend’s double-header saw a talented field of players do battle for the Frylite Open Scratch Cup. Local favourite Enda Kennedy carried the good form of the previous day into the event as he posted a winning 29-hole tally of 116, three shots better than runner-up Conal Cooke. Given their scoring record over the past few months, it was no great surprise to see these two fine players at the head of the leaderboard. Stephen McCay’s game has been in great nick throughout the year and he was again in the shake-up, taking third place with a 120 shot aggregate, two shots less than fourth placed Paddy Kennedy. Also figuring prominently were:

5th Gordon Forbes (Newtownstewart GC) 122
6th Aidan Boyle 124
Round One Martin McDermott 71
Round Two Karl Barr 47

In the nett section, Ronan Foley and Ben Corry tied on the 113 mark with the former getting up on the break of a tie. Barry Patterson took third place with 116 nett, while Conor Sharkey (68 nett) and Ballybofey’s Lee Caldwell (43 nett) topped round one and round two respectively.

The Monday Open proved to be the only serious casualty of the week’s rains, though it was able to proceed, albeit shortened to a 10-hole event. Stuart McFeeters posted 25 points to take the top award, with Pat McDaid and the in-form Conor Sharkey finishing in the minor places, each with 24 points. Ben Corry took the gross prize with 21 points.

Tuesday’s ladies’ competition was the Knockavoe School stableford. Bernie O’Kane had the best return of the day, her 35 points giving her a couple to spare over the field. Philomena Cooke topped the 0-24 category with 33 points, while Maeve Crowe’s 32 points was best in the 25-36 category.

Teresa Casey and Damian McGranaghan were in imperious form in Wednesday’s mixed foursomes event, their superb 40 point tally seeing them well clear of the pursuing pack. Mary Gallagher and Patsy Rouse carded 33 points to finish second, with Lorna Duffy and Karl Barr a couple of points further back in third place.
Billy Doherty led the way in Thursday’s “TBF McElholm & Co” open stableford. In testing conditions, his 39 points was a marvellous effort. Mind you, he was pushed all the way by second-placed Terence McDermott and James Patton who both had fine cards of 38 points. Martin McDermott won the gross category with 33 points.

In representative golf, Strabane teams have given a good account of themselves in a couple of finals. Brian Patton’s Roberts Cup team played the first leg of the final at home to Enniskillen and have established an impressive 10-2 lead. In the O’Haire Cup final, Strabane were also at home in the first leg and lead by 13.5-2.5. The Juniors played the semi-final of the Fred Daly Plate (first leg) at home against Warrenpoint and have taken a 4-3 advantage, a result which keeps them in with a chance of making it through to the latter stage. Winners for Strabane were Plunkett Langan, Ryan McGowan, Ciaran Doherty and James Bradley.

All eyes this week are on Bandon GC in Cork where Ulster Mixed Foursomes Champions Strabane will play in the all-Ireland deciders. On Thursday, they face up to Leinster champions, Mullingar, while Portumna and Tramore contest the other semi. The winners will meet in Friday’s final. Our best wishes go with Liam Curry, Philomena Cooke and their team.

Congratulations to young Jordan Arthur on his selection to the Ulster U-15 training panel at Greenmount, a deserved recognition of the rapid progress made by this dedicated young golfer over the past couple of years.

The upcoming “Centenary Marquee Weekend” is now only a couple of weeks away and is sure to be one of the major entertainment events in the town this year. Over a three-day period, the club will host local bands on Friday September 11, John McNicholl and his Band on Saturday September 12, and will end with the Robert Mizzell Band on Sunday September 13. Tickets for all events can be purchased (02871382271) or payment will be accepted at the door.

Scratch Cup Draw

Find below the draw for Frylite Scratch Cup on Sunday August 30th:

Frylite Scratch Cup Draw (.xls)

Ulster champions title for Strabane mixed foursomes team

image_02_smallSTRABANE Golf Club’s Irish Mixed Foursomes team travelled to Cookstown on Thursday last to contest the provincial final against a much-fancied Castleblaney squad and came away with the title of Ulster Champions.

To say that Strabane upset the odds would be an understatement as they completely overwhelmed their Co Monaghan opponents, winning the first three matches to put themselves in an unassailable position. Enda Kennedy and Angela Houston set the tone from the outset by inflicting a heavy seven and six defeat on their opposite numbers. That sensational result was followed by impressive victories for Aidan Boyle and Ann Duffy, and Darren Crawford and Caroline Connolly. Both of these matches ended on a three and two scoreline.

image_01_smallSuch was the dominance of the Tyrone outfit that they also led in the matches that were still on the course: Martin Roarty and Mary McCrory led by three holes and were on the verge of closing out their match, while Conal Cooke and Bernie O’Kane were quite comfortable at one up. After the nail-biting climax to their semi-final victory which saw the contest go to extra holes, this was Strabane at the peak of their powers and much credit must go to Liam Curry and Philomena Cooke for the astute manner in which they have handled their resources.

Their task is far from complete, though, as their motivational skills will be tested to the limit when the team moves on to Bandon in Co Cork for the all-Ireland finals on September 4 and 5. On the basis of last week’s performance, this team is well equipped to go all the way.

image_04_smallOn the domestic scene, Brian Cairns was in tremendous form in the Felix’s Bar Medal on Saturday last, his winning score of 61 nett leaving him a clear three shots to the good. Paul McLaughlin and Joey Roulston both carded excellent scores of 64 nett to finish second and third respectively. Paddy Doyle’s nett 66 was best in category one. The category two prize went to Martin Elliott with a nett 67, while Eddie McCrea finished on top of category three with a round of 70 nett. Ben Corry has been a formidable figure in competitions this year and he again found himself among the prizes, taking the gross award this time with a round of 74.

Ciaran Duffy has run into good form of late and his victory in last Monday’s Open was no great surprise. He posted 41 points to win by one from Letterkenny’s Fergal Callan. Ben Corry took third place on this occasion with a one over par return of 39 points, while Paddy Kennedy claimed the gross prize with a typically solid level par 69. Ballybofey’s A Fullen won the visitors’ category with 35 points.

image_03_smallThursday’s Northern Confectionery stableford went to James Patton with a best-of-the-week tally of 43 points. Gavin Reilly from Ballybofey and Stranorlar carded 40 points to occupy the runners-up berth, holding off third-placed Keith Patterson on the break of a tie. Ben Corry took the gross prize with a two over par 71. Ballybofey’s Bryan Reilly had the pleasure of seeing his tee shot a the second hole finish in the bottom of the cup.

Visiting players outgunned the locals in last Tuesday’s ‘Donna’s Flower Box’ ladies’ open event. Michelle Glasheen from Rathbane GC took the top award with a superb 39 points, a full five shots clear of the field. Marilyn Henderson from Castlerock GC and City of Derry’s Brenda Chauhan each posted 34 points, with the former claiming second place on countback. Maeve Corry finished fourth with 34 points, with Omagh GC’s Rachel Elliott taking the gross prize with 22 points.

Other winners were: category 0-18, Helen McGaughey, Newtownstewart GC, 32 points; category 19-28, Elizabeth Allen, City of Derry GC, 32 points; category 29-36, Teresa Logue, 32 points. Norma Brogan and Catherine Neeson took the nines, with Ballybofey’s Christine Lynch topping the visitors’ category.

image_05_smallThe Fir Trees/St Vincent de Paul Scramble on Sunday produced the following result: 1, Kevin McGinley, Shane McLaughlin, Pearse McLaughlin, Daniel Toland, 50 nett; 2, Paul McGill, Stephen Kennedy, Raymond Allen, Clark Klam, 52 nett; 3, Frankie Houston, Gerard Walsh, Anthony Brennan, Kieran McBride, 55 nett.

The club’s juniors bowed out of the Donegal League after suffering a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Portnoo, but they have gained much in terms of experience and hopefully will put that to good use in their upcoming Fred Daly Plate match this weekend.

Fixtures: Saturday, Pat Kirk Open; Sunday, Frylite Open Scratch Cup; Monday, Bank Holiday Open.

Testing conditions for Fir Trees Open in Strabane

Saturday’s Fir Trees Open at Strabane Golf Club proved to be one of the stiffest tests of the season. A stiff southerly breeze, which whipped across the Ballycolman course ensured that good scoring would be at a premium.
It transpired that not one player managed to break 40 points, one of the few occasions that this has happened this season. Best round of the day was posted by 11-handicapper Senan Roarty, his winning score of 39 points giving him a point to spare over runner-up Paul Duddy.

Darren Crawford produced a superb round of two over par to card 38 points in finishing third. Category one went to Noel McConnell with 37 points, while Frankie Houston went one better in taking category two. Cecil Kerr topped category three with 36 points with Cathal Patton claiming the gross prize with a four over par tally of 36 points.
Conditions for last Thursday’s Nugent’s Stableford were much easier and in a close finish which saw the top dozen or so players separated by only a couple of points Cathal McLaughlin emerged as the victor with an excellent 42 points.

Conal Cooke, playing off a two handicap, had a brilliant three-under par round of 41 points to take second place on the break of a tie from third placed Ronnie Wiley. Kieran Doherty continued his fine run of form to take the gross award with 40 points.

Top points tally of the week was posted by Declan Lynch in the Monday Open, his excellent 43 points getting him home ahead of Karl Barr who dropped only one shot to par in compiling 41 points. Terence McGranaghan took third place with a typically solid 39 points, while Stephen McCay had the best gross score – a two over return of 39 points.
Mary Duffy won the ladies’ Georgina Gregg Cup on Tuesday, her gritty 74 nett giving her a one shot advantage over the field. Jean McGinley’s nett 77 gained her the 0-24 category award, while Mary Casey was best in the 25-36 category with a 75 nett.

Wednesday’s mixed foursomes, sponsored by Murphy’s on the Green, went to Dympna Coyle and Declan Lynch ahead of Mary Duffy and Patsy Rouse. Both pairings carded scores of 36 points, one better than third placed Kathleen Hoynes and Liam McDevitt.

Patterson enjoys welcome return to form at Strabane

image_02_13_08_09_smallBARRY Patterson had a welcome return to form in the Highland Bakery stableford at Strabane Golf Club on Saturday. Playing off a 12 handicap, Patterson compiled an excellent 42 points to win the event by a point from rapidly improving George McCay. Paul McGill continued his current fine run of form by dropping only a shot to par in posting 40 points to take third place.

Noel McConnell’s game has been in a bit of a lull recently but he got his season on track again by taking fourth place, also with 40 points. Fifth place, again with 40 points, went to Stephen Alexander, while Conal Cooke produced a brilliant sub-par 68 to take the gross prize. Other winners were: category one, Ben Corry, 40 points (level par 69); category two, John Langan, 39 points; category three, Seamus Walsh, 39 points; first nine, Damian Roarty; second nine, Liam Curry; best visitor was North West Golf Club’s Delwyn Montgomery.

image_01_13_08_09_smallLast Monday’s Open went to Freddie Patterson who, after a long sabbatical from the game, has quickly regained his optimum form. Off a handicap of seven, Patterson conceded only a couple of shots to par in carding a winning 41 points. Runner-up, with 39 points was Foyle Golf Club’s John McDowell, with Paddy Kennedy in third place, his level par round of 69 gaining him 38 points. Stuart McClelland, also from Foyle GC won the visitor’s prize with 38 points, while Karl Barr took the gross award with a four over par return of 38 points.

It was the turn of the ladies on Tuesday as they turned their attention to the Lady Herdman Cup. Anne Sharkey has been on a run of decent form lately and she finally made it to the top of the leaderboard, taking the top award with plenty to spare. Her winning score of 72 nett gave her a three point cushion over Geraldine McCrory who settled for the category 25-36 award. Norma Brogan’s 78 nett was enough to assure her of the 0-24 category prize.

image_03_13_08_09_smallThe Tommy Forbes sponsored mixed teams competition on Wednesday went to the quartet of Aidan Boyle, Mary Duffy, Conor Sharkey and Theresa Casey. Together they amassed 44 points to comfortably win by three points from Denis Porter, Mary Gallagher, Frankie Houston and Eleanor McMorran.

The best scoring of the week came in Thursday’s Doherty’s Fuels stableford with no fewer than eight players smashing the 40 point barrier. Martin Rouse is undoubtedly the most improved player in the club this year having lowered his handicap by an amazing seven shots over the past five months. His marvellous 43 point return on Thursday saw him home by a point from Ciaran Duffy, who dropped less than a handful of shots to par in posting his best score of the season. Paul McGill was again in the mix, his 41 point return (one over par 70) giving him third place. Enda Kennedy took the gross prize with a one-under par round of 68.

In inter-club events this week, Strabane’s O’Haire Cup team made it through to their final at the expense of Newtownstewart. Having dominated the earlier home leg, Strabane soon racked up the necessary points to ensure their participation in the decider. The Ballycolman club will play host this week to the Ulster Final of the Jimmy Bruen tournament, with Killymoon and Foyle locking horns tomorrow (Friday).

One of the highlights of the entertainment year will take place in the clubhouse this Saturday night when Gary Gamble takes to the stage. Doors open at 9.30pm.

Olive Turner takes the honours on Lady President’s Day at Strabane

image_03_06_08_09_smallCONDITIONS were far from ideal for last Tuesday’s Lady President’s Day at Strabane Golf Club, with heavy and persistent rain never far away. Nonetheless, players turned out in force to honour Eleanor McMorran who has been such a driving force behind ladies’ golf at the club for many years.

Top performer on the day was Olive Turner, her 74 nett winning score giving her a shot to spare over Geraldine McCrory and Adeline Shiels who finished second and third respectively. Ann Sharkey was a close fourth with 76 nett, with the gross prize going to Shauna Patton with a gritty 92. Other winners were: category 0-18, Norma Brogan, 78 nett; category 19-28, Mary Gallagher, 78 nett; category 29-36, Oliver Reid, 80 nett; senior, Rosemary Wilson, 77 nett; committee, Catherine Neeson, 82 nett. Betty Kelly and Ann Duffy won the nines with Newtownstewart’s Ivy Humes taking the visitor’s prize.

image_01_06_08_09_smallSaturday’s ‘Bureau Express’ stableford was won in emphatic fashion by Foncie McNally, his 42 point tally giving him an impressive three point cushion over the field. Runner-up, with 39 points, was Michael McColgan, with Freddie Patterson a point adrift in third place. Neil Alcock carded 38 points to take the category one award, Martin Elliott topped category two with 36 points, and Mickey O’Neill’s 34 point return gained him the category three prize. Paddy Kennedy’s three-over par return of 35 points was the best gross score of the day.

The Monday Open produced a photo finish with Dougie Patterson just edging out Martin McDermott, as each player posted excellent scores of 42 points. Letterkenny’s Marty Quinn took third place with 40 points, while Conal Cooke dropped only one shot to par in taking the gross prize. Ronan Brennan of Foyle GC headed the visitor’s category with 35 points.

The husband and wife pairing of Frankie and Caroline Connolly took the honours in Wednesday’s Mixed Foursomes, their total of 39 points getting them home by a point from Peter Doherty and Lorna Duffy. Stephen Curry and Annette Patton finished third with 36 points.

image_02_06_08_09_smallStephen Quinn’s form over the past few weeks suggested that there might be a victory on the horizon and that proved to be the case on Thursday last as he amassed a fine 41 points to take the Quinn’s Spirits Open. Runner-up Pat Gallagher pushed him all the way only to lose out on the break of a tie. Conor Sharkey was a point back in third place, with in-form Ben Corry’s round of 71 assuring him of the gross prize.

The St Patrick’s GAA team event on Sunday produced the following result: 1, Keith Patterson, Barry Patterson, Cathal Griffin, Roy Patterson, 96 points; 2, Kevin McGinley, Shane McLaughlin, Pearse McLaughlin, Danny Toland, 94 points; 3, Foncie McNally, Michael Forbes, Brian Forester, Seamus McPhilemy, 91 points; 4, AT Moore, C Neff, N Allen, A Neff, 91 points.

The club’s representative teams were in outstanding form during the week, notching up a trio of notable successes. Pride of place goes to the Irish Mixed Foursomes squad who have made it through to the provincial final after a titanic tussle with Foyle GC at the City of Derry course. Enda Kennedy and Angela Houston got the team off to a dream start winning the opening encounter by an impressive seven and six margin. Darren Crawford and Caroline Connolly lost their unbeaten tag in the second match out, losing out on the final green by one hole.

Things took a turn for the worse when Martin Roarty and Mary McCrory lost the third match four and three. At this stage, even experienced team captain Liam Curry was looking decidedly twitchy. However, Aidan Boyle and Ann Duffy levelled matters with a steady four and three victory, so all attention was on the last match out.

After 18 holes the match was still all square and, with tension almost tangible, the combatants set off down the 19th. After halving the first extra hole, Conal Cooke and Bernie O’Kane seized their opportunity at the 20th and struck the vital blow to take Strabane through to a final against either Castleblaney or Greenisland. Also through to the final is the Donegal Senior League team which travelled to Ballybofey on Thursday evening needing three matches to progress. Those three necessary points were duly racked up and Strabane will meet Rosapenna GC in the decider, a match which will be interesting to say the least.

Brian Patton’s Roberts Cup team had an excellent 7.5-4.5 victory in the away leg of their match against Killymoon, a result which will make them hot favourites to take the tie overall with the home leg still to come.

McGinley tops the field on President’s Day

presidents_day_04_smallMR Michael G Kennedy’s President’s Day at Strabane Golf Club attracted an entry in excess of 200, a fitting tribute to a president who has worked tirelessly throughout the year. With his enthusiasm for local history, the president’s efforts have been most conspicuous in highlighting the glorious hundred years of the club’s existence.

Saturday’s event produced a popular winner in Liam McGinley who posted his best score for some time in topping the leaderboard with a fine 41 points. Runner-up Ben Corry has been in tremendous form over the past months. On Saturday the accomplished four-handicapper posted a level par round of 40 points, with birdies at three of the five par threes.

presidents_day_03_smallThird-placed Terence McDermott matched Corry’s score but was edged out on the break of a tie. Garvan Godfrey and Mervyn Moore each carded 39 points to take the category one and two awards respectively, while category three went to Gerard Doherty with 37 points.

Enda Kennedy’s putter let him down badly but he still managed a one-over-par 70 to take the gross award. Best visitor was City of Derry’s John McCormack who amassed a marvellous 41 points off a 19 handicap. Thursday’s Signal Signs (Omagh) open stableford went to Ballybofey and Stranorlar’s Gavin Reilly who compiled a magnificent one-over-par round of 44 points to gain a two point cushion over gallant runner-up Barney Vaughan. John Doherty was a point further back in third place, with Martin McDermott’s 38 points being the best gross return of the day. Mark Cocks, from North West GC, posted a fine 39 points to take the visitors’ prize. Unlike the rest of the week, nobody managed to break the 40 point barrier in last week’s Monday Open. Winner Paul McGill came close, his 39 points giving him a one point victory over improving Stephen Quinn. Noel O’Kane carded 37 points to take third place, while the gross award went to Conal Cooke with 34 points.

presidents_day_01_smallThe violent thunderstorms that raged for much of last Tuesday put paid to the ladies’ scheduled event. However, they did manage to team up with their male counterparts for Wednesday’s ‘Oyster’s Sausage Sizzle’ mixed foursomes. From the 34 pairings that participated, Mary and Hugh Casey came out on top, their 33 point tally getting up by a point from lady president, Eleanor McMorran and Mark Sharkey. Norma Brogan and Paul McGill finished third with 29 points. Congratulations to Rachel Devenney and Frankie Connolly on being adjudged best dress female and male as an adjunct to the event.

Sunday’s Marie Curie charity team event was contested by 26 teams-of-four. It produced the following result: 1, Fred McGavigan, Adrian Nelson, Patrick McCrossan, Cathal Griffin, 93 points; 2, Paddy O’Kane, Chris McDermott, Senan Roarty, Frankie Connolly, 91; 3, Denis Porter, Kevin Keegan, Joe Doherty, George Turner, 90; 4, Declan Lynch, Martin Rouse, Eamon McCay, Brian O’Kane, 89; 5, Connor Sharkey, Marc Brolly, Conal Cooke, Mark Sharkey, 88. Strabane teams fared well in inter-club events this week. The O’Haire Cup team had a resounding 15-1 victory at home in the first leg of their match against Newtownstewart GC, while the Senior Donegal League side beat Ballybofey 5-2 in the home leg of their tie.

With the holiday season upon us, entertainment at the club is at a bit of a lull. Patrons should note, however, that Gary Gamble will be on stage on August 15, an appearance that is sure to prove popular.

Holes-in-one and a close finish at Strabane

SATURDAY’S Ulster Bank Open at Strabane Golf Club provided one of the season’s closest finishes with only two shots separating the top eight players. Plunkett Langan (12) and Maurice Doherty both fired excellent scores of 63 nett to top the leaderboard, with the former adjudged the winner on the break of a tie.

Pat McGuigan carded a nett 64 to take third place, while Ben Corry’s three-over-par 72 was the best gross score of the day. Nicky Patton was best in category one with a nett 65. Billy Doherty had a second successive par-busting round to take category two with a nett 64, while Raymond McDermott’s 65 nett assured him of the category three award.

Congratulations to Ben Corry and Cahir Doherty on recording holes-in-one during Saturday’s play. Corry aced the second hole, while Doherty’s came at the eighth.

Thursday’s Mitchell Meats Open was just as tight with the first three players home all producing marvellous rounds of 42 points. Billy Doherty had the best of the back nines and was declared the winner ahead of Frankie Devine and Jim Potts. Paddy Kennedy picked up the gross prize with a fine one-over par 70.

In difficult conditions, it was no surprise that scores in last week’s Monday Open were harder to come by. Cathal Griffin compiled a steady 37 points to take the top prize, with George McCay and Ben Corry finishing second and third respectively, both with cards of 36 points. Brian McCarthaigh, playing out of Bundoran GC took the visitor’s award, with Aidan Boyle having the best gross return of the day, 32 points.

Tuesday’s Member’s Cup for ladies went to Catherine Neeson, her nett 67 easily being the best return of the day. Mandy Coyne was best in the 0-24 category with a nett 76, while Mary McGuigan’s nett 70 gained her the 25-36 category award.

Heavy rain

Heavy rain on Wednesday threatened to wash out the scheduled mixed pairs event, but thankfully the elements relented long enough for the competition to be completed. Oliver McNally and Teresa Logue posted 39 points to fill the top spot, a couple of points ahead of second-placed Patsy Rouse and Annette Patton. Denis Porter and Noreen McNally were third with 34 points.

The second mixed pairs event of the week was Sunday’s President’s Mixed Foursomes, a prelude to Michael G Kennedy’s President’s Day on Saturday coming. Top performers on Sunday were Angela Houston and Charlie Patton who posted a winning 63 nett. Annie O’Hagan and Nigel Houston carded a 65.5 nett to take second place with Philomena Cooke and Foncie McNally in third place with a nett 69. The best gross score of the day was the round of 82 by Bernie O’Kane and Freddie Patterson.

It was a week of mixed fortunes in representative golf. The Barton Shield team bowed out of the competition after suffering defeat at the hands of Dungannon in Murvagh.

The Irish Mixed Foursomes squad, though, fared much better as they put up a battling performance to see off the challenge of Dunmurry. The Strabane outfit got off to a flier, notching up victories in the first two matches completed. Things turned decidedly sour after that as they lost the next two matches and appeared to be heading for defeat in the fifth and final rubber.

At one stage Martin Roarty and Mary McCrory were four holes down and seemingly on their knees. However, they staged a remarkable comeback reeling off hole after hole until they eventually clinched the tie with an unlikely two and one victory, to set up a semi-final encounter with Foyle GC. The match has been pencilled in for City of Derry, though a date has yet to be arranged.

Upcoming fixtures: Saturday, Mr Michael G Kennedy’s President’s Day; Sunday, Marie Curie Cancer Care Open.

There will be entertainment in the clubhouse on Saturday night as part of the President’s Day celebrations.

Bernie clear winner as ladies turn out in force for Lady Captain’s Day

lady_captains_03_smallSATURDAY at Strabane Golf Club was Mrs Imelda Doherty’s Lady Captain’s Day when, not surprisingly, the ladies turned out in force to pay tribute to a most popular and industrious lady captain who has worked tirelessly throughout this centenary year to raise the profile, not just of the ladies’ section, but of the club as a whole.

The Lady Captain’s Prize was won by Bernie O’Kane who produced by far the best round of the day, her nett 68 off a handicap of 20 giving her a four shot advantage over the field.

lady_captains_02_smallRunner-up was Shauna Patton (12) with a 72 nett, one better than third-placed Mandy Coyne. Rachel Devenney took fourth prize with a 75 nett, while the gross award went to Lorna Armstrong who carded a score of 89.

Dympna Doherty’s nett 76 gained her the 0-18 category prize, Mary Gallagher topped the 19-28 category with 75 nett, while the 29-36 category was won by Noreen McNally with 76 nett.

lady_captains_01_smallOther winners on the day were: first nine, Patricia Kelly; second nine, Lorna Duffy; nearest pin (at second hole), Philomena Cooke; longest drive (at hole 18), Adeline Shiels; putting, Aileen Shortt; non-qualifiers prize, Kathleen Hoynes; committee, Ann Sharkey; granny prize, Mary Casey; senior, Loretta Coyne; category one, Lisa Patton; category two, Eilish McCay; guest, Frankie Corr; visitor, Sylvia Hamilton-Allen; men (10 holes); 1, Declan Lynch (22 points); 2, Terry Doherty (20 points).

Congratulations to young Abbey Maxwell on her hole-in-one at the sixth hole (junior tee), while competing in the junior section of the Lady Captain’s Prize.

The ladies were also in competition for the Gallagher Cup this week, the winner being Shauna Patton with an excellent 66 nett. Catherine Neeson took the 0-24 category prize with a nett 70, with Mary McCrory going a shot better to take the 25-36 category award.

It was a significant week for the junior golfers, as they held their first ever Junior Captain’s Day on Friday. In the boys’ section (Damian Roarty, captain), Michael Etherson posted a great 44 points to take the Captain’s Prize.

The section winners were: A, 1, Eoin O’Neill, 42 points; 2, Lee Hannigan, 41 points; B, 1, Ciaran Roarty, 40 points; 2, Shay Callaghan, 36 points.

Lauren Patton’s Junior Captain’s Prize for girls produced the following result: Section A, 1, Ellen McCullagh; 2, Lisa Patton; Section B, 1, Abbey Maxwell; 2, Orlagh Neeson.

Thunderstorm

In men’s golf, the club’s Open Week got off to a stuttering start on Sunday when a violent afternoon thunderstorm caused the abandonment of play. It should be noted that the Frylite Open Team event has been re-scheduled for this coming Sunday, July 12.

The Sion Swifts Open team event produced the result: 1, Freddie Patterson, Denis Porter, Foncie McNally, Brian Forester, 94 points; 2, Peter Doherty, Barry Patterson, Roy Patterson, Barney Vaughan, 94 points; 3, Mark Neely, Alwyn Donnell, San McCrossan, Paul McGarrigle, 93 points; Ladies: Angela Houston, Laura McCay, Lorna Duffy, Donna Doherty; Juniors: 1, Jordan Arthur, 46 points; 2, Plunkett Langan, 41 points.

Vincent Bradley (16) won last week’s Monday Open with a fine round of 42 points. Paul McLaughlin was just a point adrift in second place, while Aidan Coyle took third place, also with 41 points.

The gross prize went to Paul McGill with 34 points and Portnoo’s Kevin Patton won the visitors’ prize, also with 34 points.

Oliver Cresswell posted a huge tally of 46 points to comfortably take Thursday’s India House Open. Kieran Martin’s 42 points gained him second place, a point ahead of third-placed Mervyn Reid. Enda Kennedy took the gross prize with a one-under par return of 68.

The Red Pepper Restaurant (Castlederg) sponsored mixed pairs event on Wednesday produced the following result: 1, Angela Houston and Nigel Houston, 43 points; 2, Karl Barr and Mary Duffy, 42 points; 3, Oliver McNally and Norma Brogan, 40 points.

In representative golf, the Roberts Cup team progressed at the expense of Omagh, while the Donegal Senior Championship team had a resounding victory over Murvagh, winning the tie 9-5 on aggregate.

The Fred Daly Plate squad had a good first leg result in their tie against Omagh, winning the away match by 4.5-2.5.

In the Donegal Youth League, Strabane beat Letterkenny 2.5 – 0.5 to progress. They will meet either Murvagh or Portsalon in the next round.

Where Are They Now?

Strabane Golf Club was formed in 1909 and this year celebrates its centenary. Strabane boasts a repertoire of golfers, who competed at senior level golf. In an interview with Enda Kennedy, Irish and UK post office champion, former Ulster representative and winner of 14 senior scratch cups, Enda was quick to reveal that Brian Patton was the capitalist of all senior golf in Strabane.

Brian, also an Ulster player and runner up in 2 North of Ireland amateur events was the role model for many young golfers. Liam McCool, is club professional in Slieve Russell, Co. Cavan and one the most famous golf courses in the world, The Belfry. Liam’s sister Lynn Mc Cool, a former Irish representative and amateur winner is head professional in Irelands prestigious K-Club. Seamus Duffy, is a coach for the Golfing Union of Ireland and is now based in the epicenter of golf coaching in Greenmount agriculture centre. Geff Loughrey, former coach of Irish superstar Rauri McIlroy is currently head professional in Roganstown, Dublin. Shaun Devenney, had an illustrious amateur career, winner of an Irish boys tournament and several scratch cups, Shaun is now head professional in Roe Park, Limavady. Noel Callan is golfing professional in Roe Valley, Rossapena, Hill Valley and Letterkenny.

Although these people have made it to the status of professional golfer, Strabane Golf Club has had talented amateurs. Helen Jones, Irish and Ulster representative has won many woman events over Ireland. John Callan, a former Irish and Ulster player and winner of an Irish Boys pallet. In this hundredth year of Strabane Golf Club, it is important to recognize the success of the past, but it’s also important to encourage success for the future. The Herald would like to wish Strabane Golf Club good luck in their centenary year.

Centenary Inter-Pub Golf Challenge

After the success of the Derry pub league in 2008, two enthusiastic Strabane golfers decided that an Inter Pub League Challenge would be a great asset to the clubs centenary year. Brian Brolly and Bernhard Vaughan campaigned endlessly to make the competition as successful as possible. Over 20 teams from Derry, Omagh, Limavady and Strabane competed in tough qualifying conditions. The automatic qualifiers were Haugheys, Felix’s, All Star Pool Bar and Sweeno Mc Ginty’s.

Some fantastic golf saw the automatic qualifiers progress to the semi finals, beating on the way Fox Lodge, McGuigan’s, Joe’s Bar and The Bowling Green. The Pool Bar beat Sweeno Mc Ginty’s in what seemed like the typical underdog fairytale, but the big shock came when Haughey’s elite crashed out to the experienced Felix’s.

The semi-final offered some epic golf, with 4 of Haughey’s and Felix’s matches going to playoff holes, pure persistence and excellent putting in the dark, from Gary King, Adrian Nelson, Mickey and Dermot Kelly, saw
Gerard Mc Gill’s Felix’s run out winners.

The final takes place on the 28th of June, the Herald would like to wish both Felix’s and The Pool bar all the best on the final day.

Captain’s Day

captains_day_06_smallTHERE was a huge entry for Mr Eamon McCay’s Captain’s Prize at Strabane Golf Club on Saturday, a fitting tribute to a most popular and progressive club captain. Eamon’s diligence and innovative thinking has proved to be a great boon to the club throughout the year and the acclaim which he received at the weekend was testimony to the esteem in which he is held by the members.

The golf event was played in conditions which were far from easy and the fact that less than a dozen players from a field of over 250 managed to break the par of the course was a fair indicator of the difficulties that were experienced. Top performer on the day was Aidan Boyle who posted a superb 66 nett to capture the elusive Captain’s Prize for 2009. A couple of birdies early in his round undoubtedly gave the four-handicapper the momentum which was to carry him through to victory. Though those opening birdies were offset by a pair of bogeys in the first nine, Boyle reached the turn on level par. Another bogey at the 11th was cancelled out by a birdie two at the 16th and though he stuttered to a five at the 17th, a solid par at the last gave him a one over par winning return.

captains_day_04_smallRunner-up was Foncie McNally (13) who played excellent golf on the back nine to compensate for an indifferent first half to his round. He eventually signed for a fine 67 nett to edge out Pat O’Neill who likewise shot a nett 67 to finish third. Pat will rue running up a triple-bogey seven at the 13th, but five straight pars to finish put some gloss back on his round. Martin Rouse continued the improvement which he has shown throughout the season, his nett 67 on Saturday assuring him of fourth place, while Freddie Patterson confirmed that he has fully recaptured his form of old by taking fifth place with a 68 nett.

Three birdies in the opening five holes suggested that Enda Kennedy (+1) would produce something sensational. By the turn he was two under and still in excellent shape, but three consecutive bogeys, starting at the 11th set him back on his heels. He would finally sign for a level par 69 to take the gross prize. Declan Lynch (68 nett), Patsy Rouse (68 nett) and Martin McCallion (69 nett) took the category awards with Chris McDermott and James Callan claiming the nines.
Enda Kennedy had the longest drive at the 17th, Freddie Patterson was nearest the pin at the 18th and Sylvester Kirk was the most successful of the captain’s guests.

On Thursday, the Captain’s Fourball produced high quality golf. On 46 points and in first place were Kevin McGinley and Shane McLaughlin. A point adrift in second place were Martin McDermott and Freddie Patterson, with Enda Kennedy and Kieran O’Neill third on 43 points. The gross prize went to Paul McGill and Aidan McDermott. Seamus McGranaghan, now playing out of Castlehume Golf Club, won last Monday’s open. The talented six handicapper conceded only one stroke to par in compiling a marvellous 41 points. On the same mark, and just beaten on the break of a tie, was Cathal McLaughlin, with Peter Doherty a point further back in third place. Brian Devlin’s four over par return gained him the gross prize.

On Tuesday, the Captain’s Prize for ladies was won by Heather Mitchell with a tremendous 68 nett. Ann Duffy was a couple of shots back in second place with Caroline Connolly in third place on 71 nett. Shauna Patton took the gross award with a round of 86. The men were back in action on Wednesday, teaming up with the ladies in the Rosapenna Hotel sponsored mixed foursomes. The experienced duo of Liam Curry and Philomena Cooke took the honours with 39 points, a point better than the second-placed pairing of Billy Doherty and Mary Duffy. Paul McGill and Dympna Doherty also returned 38 points to finish third.

The club’s Barton Shield team had a series on fantastic results this week beginning with victory over Killymoon in the preliminary round of the tournament on Thursday. They followed that up on Sunday with a couple of sensational performances at Murvagh. First, they saw off the challenge of Dunfanaghy and then added the scalp of Rosapenna to wind up a most satisfying few days. Earlier in the week and also at Murvagh, the Donegal Senior Championship team went down in the first leg of their tie, the home team winning by four matches to three. Strabane, though, will be quietly confident that they can turn that around in the home leg at Ballycolman.

The O’Hare cup team travelled to Blacklion and came away with an excellent 12 points. Junior golfers should note that there are two entry sheets currently posted in the clubhouse. One is for the Junior Captain’s Prize which will take place on Friday, July 3, the other is for entry into a singles matchplay event which will run over the summer holidays. This Saturday in the clubhouse the first of this year’s draws will take place.  It should be noted that only fully paid-up members will be entered for the special £500 draw.

Fixtures: Today (Thursday), India House Open; Saturday, Haughey’s Costcutters Open; Sunday, Sion Swifts FC Open; Monday, Monday Open; Tuesday, Gallagher Cup (ladies); Wednesday, Mixed Pairs.

Strabane Golf Club Centenary 2009 Inter-Pub Golf Challenge

Play-Offs Results / Fixtures
McGuigans Bar beat Radisson, 4-1
(Sat 09/5/09 @ 3.00)
Fox Lodge beat Craigs , 3-2
(Sun 10/5/09 @ 1.00)
Joes Bar beat Strabane Golf Club, 4-1
(Sat 16/5/09 @ 2.30)
Bowling Green beat Shantallow House, 3-2
(Mon 25/5/09 @ 5.00)
Quarter-Finals
A: Sweeno McGintys beat Fox Lodge, 3-2
(Sun 31/5/09 @ 3.00)
B: All Stars Pool Bar beat McGuigans, 31/2-11/2
(Sun 31/5/09 @ 3.40)
C: Felixs beat Joes Bar, 3-2
(Sun 31/5/09 @ 4.20)
D: Haugheys beat Bowling Green, 3-2
(Mon 01/6/09 @ 6.00)
Semi-Finals
All Stars Pool Bar beat Sweeno McGintys, 3-2
(Mon 08/6/09 @ 5.00)
Felix’s beat Haugheys, 3-2
(Mon 8/6/09 @ 6.00)
3rd & 4th Place Play-off
Sweeno McGintys v Haugheys
(Sun 28/6/09 @ 1.30)
Final
All Stars Pool Bar v Felix’s
(Sun 28/6/09 @ 2.00)

A Strabane Golfing Legend

brian_patton_01While the world of golf is currently singing the praises of young Irish golfer Rory McElroy, Strabane Golf Club’s Brian Patton has had a life-long sparkling career in the sport and has played with and against many of the world renowned professional and amateur golfers.

A measure of the high esteem Brian Patton is held at Strabane Golf Club is echoed by club captain Eamon McCay. “Brian Patton has been a tremendous ambassador for Strabane Golf Club and his high octane performances over many, many years have put us on the golfing map.” McCay told the Strabane Herald. “He has also been a role-model for the young players and has passed on his golfing expertise to many a young hopeful. He has won everything that can be won in the sport and represented Strabane C.C. and Northern Ireland with distinction in many important tournaments over the years. “Brian is a real gentleman as well as a very competent golfer and he would go out of his way to help anyone in any way he could. “It would be fair to say that Brian Patton graduated from a raw golfing recruit to an experienced and highly skilled scratch player.”

Patton, now 60 years-of-age tells the Strabane Herald how he got started in the sport, his role-model, the tournaments he played in and how he made so many friends in a sport that so many people take up to just relax. “It all started for me in 1958 and I was just nine years of age. My father Francie was a keen golfer in his heyday and he gave me the inspiration and motivation to take up golf myself,” Patton told the Strabane Herald. “My father is 88 now but still has a keen interest in the sport that has been very kind to both of us and opened up a lot of avenues where competitors became firm friends and those friendships were for life.”

Recently, Brian Patton helped to organise a tournament in aid of MacMillan Cancer Trust and raised £1,500 for this very worthwhile organisation. Many well known golfers took part. “Bob Walton, the Ryder Cup player, Leslie and David Robinson, Seamus Duffield and Sean Devenney were just some of the big names who joined members of Strabane Golf Club to raise funds for McMillen Cancer Trust, said Patton.  “It was a hugely successful event and every single player taking part really enjoyed giving of their time and golfing expertise for such a worthy cause.”

The Strabane golfer plays under a handicap of four and won so many Scratch Tournaments that he’s actually lost count of the number. He’s also rubbed shoulders with some of the finest Irish golfers. “I’ve played with Darren Clarke, Paul McGinley, Gareth Gimpsey and many more of the leading golfers. There’s always something special when you compete against the very best. The skill and uncanny judgement of these men is something to behold. “I’ve also discovered that the best golfers around are real gentlemen and willing to help in any way.”

Brian Patton is one of Strabane Golf Club’s finest. In 1985 he was beaten in the final of the Northern Ireland Amateur Cup and took part in the Irish Championships in 1986, 77, 88 and 89. He also represented Ulster against Denmark in 1987 and made firm friends with a number of Danish players he competed against and those friendships have also lasted the test of time. “That’s one of the things I love about the sport of golf. I have made friends galore wherever I played and I have played all over Ireland and further a field too,” he confessed. “Golf is the most relaxing sport in the world and that’s why so many people take it up. It also keeps you physically fit, alert and ready for the next challenge.”

Strabane Golf Club will be celebrating its Centenary this year. The club was formed in 1909 and has grown in strength ever since. “Our Centenary will be a real milestone for Strabane Golf Club and we’ll be inviting golfers from the past, various celebrities, and a number of top professionals and amateurs alike. “For me, golf has played a big part in my life and I wouldn’t have missed a minute of it. I haven’t got the strength anymore to play the sport I have loved since I was only a wee boy but the memories and the friendships I’ve made over the years, I will always cherish.”

Brian Patton has been one of the finest golfers ever to emerge from Strabane Golf Club. He’s been there, wore the tee-shirt and done it! What he wants now is for another couple of promising youngsters to emerge from his club and hit the big stage of the sport. “Irish great, Noel Carroll, is currently coaching the youngsters at the club and who knows, we could have one or two of them coming through to become prominent in amateur and professionals circles. “I would recommend the sport of golf to any aspiring sports person. The rewards are great not just in monetary terms but also in the friends that you make and make for keeps too.”

Neil Murray, Strabane Herald

JJ’s Team Event

Final Mixed

Club Championship

Thursday Club

Mambo Jax’s

Closing Day Scramble

JJ’s Team Event

Frylite Sratch Cup

McHugh Oils

Modern Tyre Services Strabane Ltd

Medicare

Members Weekly

Monday Open

Bank of Ireland

Kirks Bar & Off Sales

Central Hotel Donegal Town

Local Charity Foyle Hospice

Monday Open

Foyle Hospice Teams Open

Daly’s Service Station

Club Shop