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.

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