Masterful Masterson

On one of his visits to the Ballycolman course, new US Open champion, Graeme McDowell, once ranked Strabane among the very best inland courses in the north of Ireland. How much more would he be impressed now with the many improvements and upgrades that have changed the face of the course in the intervening years?  On Saturday last, the lady golfers who turned out in their dozens to honour a most popular and highly esteemed Lady Captain, found the course in absolutely pristine condition and all credit for that goes to Paul McFadden and his green-keeping staff for their dedication and commitment to excellence.

Lady Captain's winner Geraldine Masterson receiving her prize from Lady Captain, Dympna Doherty. Check out more photo in the Gallery.

In total, there was an entry of 63 for Mrs Dympna Doherty’s Lady Captain’s Prize, a fitting tribute to a lady who has worked tirelessly for the ladies’ section in a variety of roles over the years.  The winner, Geraldine Masterson, was in sensational form as she produced a stunning round of 61 nett to tower above everyone else in the field. A measure of her dominance can be gauged from the fact that she won by a colossal margin of nine shots.  Runner-up was Teresa Logue whose nett 70 score would have been very close to the winning round on any other day. Betty Kelly was just a shot further back in third place, Lorna Armstrong was fourth with a nett 72, while Shauna Patton was another shot adrift in fifth place. The gross award went to the in-form Mandy Coyne who posted a fine round of 82.

Jean McGinley was best in the 0-20 category with a nett 77; Rachel Devenney topped the 21-28 category with a nett 73, while leading the way in the 29-36 category with another nett 73 was Angela Houston. Winner of the first nine was Annette Patton, while Dympna Coyle picked up the award for the second nine.

Other winners were:

Madeline McColgan – nearest the pin at the 2nd hole

Lauren Patton – longest drive at the 18th hole

Collette Kelly – putting

Alice Houston – non-qualifiers

Mary McCrory – committee prize

Mary Casey – granny prize

Rota MacLochlainn – Senior

Rose McGuigan (Roe Park GC) – first visitor

Patricia McDaid (Portnoo GC) – second visitor

On Tuesday last, the regular weekly competition – on this occasion the “Eileen Keery Memorial Trophy” – was won by Mandy Coyne who is undoubtedly in her best ever form at the moment.  Her excellent winning score of 66 nett gave her three shots to spare over Lorna Duffy who guaranteed herself the 25-36 category prize.  Maeve Corry returned 71 nett to top the 0-24 category.

To complete a busy week for the ladies, they were again on the course on Wednesday for a mixed scramble which saw the top award going to Norma Brogan, Kathleen Hoynes, Rory Doherty and Joe Elliott.  Their tally of nett 44 gave them a fraction to spare over Lady Captain Dympna Doherty, Philomena Cooke, Denis Porter and Oliver McNally who finished less than a shot shy of the winners.

The men have had to take something of a back-seat this week, though on Monday last Seamus McPhilemy showed something akin to his form of old as he stormed to the victory podium in the Monday Open with a great 41 points.  Father and son, George and Stephen McCay, fought it out for second place with George striking a blow for the seniors as he eased into the runners-up spot with 41 points, one better than third-placed Stephen. Sean Forbes won the gross category with a solid 73, while Sean Callaghan (Portnoo GC) won the visitors’ prize with 38 points.

Thursday’s India House Open was won in outstanding fashion by 11-handicapper Mark McCrea who conceded only three shots to par on his way to a superb 44 points.  A couple of shots back in second place was Eddie McBrearty, with Killymoon’s Trevor Crooks in third place with 41 points.  Fred McGavigan compiled a typically flawless level par round of 69 to claim the gross prize.

In representative golf, Strabane’s Senior Cup squad, playing at home, had a tremendous couple of victories on Sunday last. Taking full advantage of local knowledge, Strabane saw off the challenge of a determined City of Derry outfit in the first of two morning matches, winning by three matches to two.  Portstewart, meanwhile, were recording a victory over Foyle GC to set up an afternoon shoot-out against the host club.  As it turned out, Strabane were far too strong and recorded a comfortable 4-1 victory to progress to the Ulster finals to be played a Belvoir Park in August.

The annual Strabane Golf Club Open Week begins on Saturday, July 3.  The full list of events is as follows:

Saturday July 3           Haughey’s Costcutters Stroke

Sunday July 4             Frylite Teams Open Stableford

Monday July 5            GMG Logos Betterball Stableford

Tuesday July 6            Ladies’ Open Stableford

Wednesday July 7      Open Mixed Stroke

Thursday July 8          Munchies Singles Stableford

Friday July 9               Open Greensomes Stableford

Saturday July 10        Pat O’Neill Singles Stableford

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