Hot Curry on top in Sports Centre Open

The Sports Centre Open at Strabane at Strabane Golf Club invariably proves to be one of the stiffest tests that players have to face in the course of a season.  With the course set up to play at its longest, competitors have to be at the top of their game to meet the challenge.  Joe Curry was certainly at his best as he compiled a superb 41 points to top the leaderboard on Saturday last.  It was no great surprise that Roy Patterson was also in contention as he has been in tremendous form of late.  He matched the winning score on this occasion, only losing out on the break of a tie. Damian Carey posted a solid 39 points to finish in third place, with John Etherson and Mark patton filling the minor placings with good scores of 38 points apiece.  Cathal Patton retained the rich vein of form he showed the previous week by taking the gross prize with a two over par round of 71. The category awards went to Danny Duffy (Category One – 38 points, John J. Duffy (Category Two – 37 points) and Pat McGuigan (Category Three – 37 points). Eugene Corry carded 35 points to claim the visitors’ award, while Gerry Glover was best in the guests’ category with 34 points.

The Riversdale Otters Open team event which was held on Sunday produced the following result:

1. Kevin McGinley, Shane McLaughlin, Pearse McLaughlin, Daniel Toland – 92 points

2. Aaron McGinn, John Brolly, Niall Coulter, Michael Baldrick – 92 points

3. Garrick Wood, Sean McCrossan, Paul McGarrigle, John Tinney – 90 points

Thursday’s JD Print Open provided two of the main talking points of the week at the club.  That Jude O’Neill won the event was no great shock, but it was the manner of his victory that caught the eye.  As he stood on the tee at the par four fifteenth it looked for all the world that his round was a good one, but hardly a great one.  One shot later that assessment had changed dramatically, as his magnificent drive sailed towards the green and found the bottom of the cup for one of golf’s rarities – an albatross. Buoyed up by that remarkable occurrence, O’Neill pressed on to eventually post a winning 42 points.  Michael Neeson and Club Captain Seamus Friel finished second and third respectively, each carding 41 points.  The second incident of note on Thursday last was the brilliant four under par 65 shot by Enda Kennedy which naturally gave him the gross prize, and by some distance at that!  Following on from his victory in the Frylite Scratch Cup the previous weekend, it seems safe to say that Kennedy is now back to his very best.

Last Monday’s Open was dominated by Sean Lamberton from Foyle Golf Club.  Playing of a 16 handicap, the Derry man compiled a hugely impressive 44 points to put himself on a different plain from the rest of the field.  Kieran O’Neill was second, though a long way back on 37 points, with Barry Patterson third on a similar score.  Portsalon players Eamon McConigley and Shane Sandilands took the remaining honours, the former having the best gross return (75) with the latter claiming the visitors’ prize with 34 points.

In ladies’ golf, Maeve Crowe came out on top in the Georgina Gregg Cup, her winning score of 72 nett just getting her home on countback.  Many Coyne headed the 0-24 category with another nett 72, while Olive Reid was best in the 25-36 category with a nett 74.

The Wednesday Mixed Pairs event continued to attract a healthy entry.  Kieran O’Neill and Lorna Duffy were the top pairing last week, their 35 point tally giving them three to spare over Oliver and Noreen McNally who had spent the previous couple of weeks honing their skills in sunny Florida.  Nigel Houston and Mary O’Reilly finished third on 31 points.

Players should note that next Wednesday’s competition is the qualifying round for the Worchester Cup tournament, and will be played over 18 holes.

In representative golf, the plaudits this week go to Joe Doherty and his Ulster Cup squad.  Drawn at home in the first leg of their tie with Green Acres GC, Strabane produced an imperious display in building a flawless 7-0 margin which, barring complacency, should see them through to the next round.

The Irish Mixed Foursomes squad came through the qualifying round successfully and will meet Newtownstewart in the first matchplay round, the tie to be played in Omagh.

Fixtures:

Thursday May 20        Tennents Open

Friday May 21            Ballyduff Teams Classic

Saturday May 22        Strabane/Finn Valley Herald Open

Sunday May 23           Senior Cup Qualifying

Monday May 24         Monday Open

Tuesday May 25         Eileen Devine Memorial Cup (Ladies)

Wednesday May 26    Mixed Competition – Worchester Cup

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