Callan Claims Captain’s Prize

Despite the bright, dry conditions which prevailed on Saturday at Strabane Golf Club, a keen northerly breeze ensured that players were tested to the full as they set out for the season’s “holy grail” – Mr Seamus Friel’s Captain’s Prize.  A huge entry, in excess of 230 competitors, spoke volumes for the esteem in which the Captain is held by all at the club.  His boundless enthusiasm and commitment to all facets of club life are recognised and appreciated by the membership and, accordingly, they turned out in their droves to express their appreciation of his work on their behalf.

Don Callan, playing off a handicap of 23, produced a sensational back nine to post a superb winning score of 63 nett.  Thirteen over par at the turn, Don fired four pars in his next five holes to thrust himself into contention.  A steady finish, which included a crucial par four at the last, saw him seize an early advantage, one that he retained to close of play.

Terry Doherty, playing off 12, was only beginning his round as Callan finished, and he also found scores on the opening half more difficult to come by, somewhat surprising given that the breeze was much more prevalent in the back nine.  But, like the winner, he improved his score on the inward half, conceding only two shots to par as he too returned a marvellous 63 nett.  That par on the final hole that Callan conjured up became critical as, on count-back, it relegated Doherty to second place.

Third place went to Liam Curry who underlined his consistency as he shot nines of three over par apiece to take third place with an excellent nett 65, highlighted by a closing birdie as the gallery looked on.

A pair of nett 66’s, posted by Pat Cooke Jun. and Dermot Corry, gave them fourth and fifth places respectively.  Enda Kennedy, playing off a +1 handicap, was two under par at the half-way stage but bogeys at 11 and 18 meant he signed for a level par 69 to take the gross prize.  Aidan Boyle (67 nett), Oliver McNally (68 nett) and Pat McGuigan (67 nett) took the category awards, while Maurice Doherty and John Brolly had the best nines. Kevin Neeson topped the Guests Category with a nett 68, Patrick McCrossan had the longest drive, and Donal Cairns was nearest to the pin on the eighteenth.

On Tuesday last the “Captain’s Prize to Ladies” was won in tremendous style by Jennifer Rouse who spread-eagled the field to win by an astonishing eight shots. Her nett 62 put her out of sight as the rest of the field struggled in vain to break 70.  Runner-up was Lisa Patton on 70 nett, a score matched by Category 0-24 winner Heather Mitchell.  Annie O’Hagan took the 25-36 category with a nett 71.

To complete Mr Seamus Friel’s week, the Captain’s Betterball, played on Thursday produced the following result:

1. Dougie Patterson and George Hunter                        47 points

2. Jason Kelly and David Mullen                                      47 points

3. James Callan and Jimmy Coyle                                    46 points

Gross: Damian McGranaghan and Liam McDevitt     67

Last week’s Monday Open was won by Castlehume’s Garvin Greene.  Playing off a 10 handicap he conceded only four shots to par in compiling a highly impressive 42 points.  One point adrift was newcomer Ryan Patton, a player who will certainly figure in future events.  On 40 points, in third place, was Martin McDermott who dropped only one shot in an otherwise flawless performance. Kieran Doherty took the gross award, also with 40 points, while Bundoran’s John Wolfe topped the visitors’ category.

Wednesday’s Mixed competition finished thus:

1. Damian McGranaghan and Lisa Patton      46 nett

2. Patsy Wilson and Rachel Devenney           46 nett

3. Ciaran Kelly and Donna Doherty                 46 nett

The Sports Centre Junior Open was held on Sunday and show-cased some of the best young talent in the North-West. Kevin Gallagher was in sparkling form and emerged as the comfortable winner with a spectacular score of 47 points.  Runner-up was Lisa Patton who seems to improve with every round she plays.  On this occasion she amassed a brilliant 43 points, one better than Liam Callan who finished third to round off an auspicious weekend for the Callan family. Caolan Crawford took fourth place with a solid 40 points.  The gross award went to Shane Bonner from Foyle GC with a 29 point return.  The category prizes were claimed by Jordan Arthur (36 points), Ronan Haughey (39 points) and Pearse Toal (36 points).  Denim Rowan posted a fine 40 points to top the visitors’ category.  Other winners were Judith Corbett (best girl), Rachel McNally and Garbhan Roulston (beginners).

Congratulations to Mark Sharkey who found the NI Drapers Championship tailor-made to his talents.  After countless years of striving without success, Mark (of “Mark James Menswear”) finally made the breakthrough at Malone GC, emerging victorious after a highly-charged final few holes at the Belfast venue.

In representative golf, Strabane had a couple of good wins over Killymoon.  In the Conway Cup, they won 11.5 – 4.5 at home, while the O’Haire Cup team fared even better, winning by 10.5 – 5.5 away from home.

Fixtures:

Thursday June 24:       India House Open

Saturday June 26:       Mrs Dympna Doherty’s Lady Captain’s Day
                                       (10 hole competition for men starting at 5pm)

Sunday June 27:          Senior Cup Qualifying, 2nd Round

Monday June 28:        Monday Open

Tuesday June 29:        Members’ Cup (ladies)

Wednesday June 30:   Mixed

Patrons should note that for Mrs Dympna Doherty’s Lady Captain’s evening, admission to the main function area will be at 10.30pm.  Music will be provided by “Splitz”.

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