'Eagle' swoops to President's Day win

A FIELD of 216 competitors teed off in Des McCartney's President's Day at Ballymena Golf Club, in what could be classed as the final 'Major' of the season at Raceview.

With overhead conditions good for scoring, the end result was a win for 10-handicapper Henry Eagleson, who posted an early-morning total of 43 stableford points.

Henry's opening holes in no way suggested it was going to be his day as he commenced with a dropped shot on each of the first three holes.

Sign up to our daily NorthernIrelandWorld Today newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

After that, he got his game together with birdies on the fourth, sixth and seventh and with the front nine completed in one over, he had 22 points on the card.

The good run continued into the second nine where he parred the first six holes and then completed his round with bogey, bogey, par for a further 21 points.

Runner-up was Warren Overton (23) who notched up 42 points from two completely contrasting nine hole scores.

The opening nine total was unbelievable for a relatively high handicapper as he was through the nine holes with four pars, four bogeys plus a birdie on the third for a stunning total of 26 points.

The back nine was so much different, where he scored two pars, two single bogeys, three double bogeys, while triples bogeys on the 12th and par three 16th produced no points. This left him with 16 points - 10 less than his opening nine.

Ian McCully (13) was one point behind in third place having played each nine in four over gross for 41 points.

The first nine saw him drop a shot on the first, third, sixth and eighth for a total of 20 points and he then added a further 21 points on the second nine.

This was made up of pars on the 11th, 12th, 14th, 17th and 18th with a dropped shot on each of the other four holes but he still managed to pip Ian Lecky by one point.

Ian, off a 13 handicap, had a sound opening nine hole score of two over gross, which equated to 22 points. The closing nine was somewhat topsy-turvy as he had three pars, five bogeys plus a double bogey on the 12th but he still played the nine to his handicap for an additional 18 points.

The final three places were all gained with a total of 39 points and having gone to the tie-break, David Wilson collected the fifth prize from Kevin McGarry, who in turn edged past Paul Francey over the last three holes.

Wilson (21) managed to score 19 points on the outward nine and although he dropped three shots on the last two holes, he still added 20 points to his outward nine total.

That second nine total saw McGarry off by three points as Kevin's best nine was the front nine, where the nine-handicapper amassed 22 points from nine straight pars. However, proving once again that golf can bit back big time, his second nine of six bogeys and three pars could only produce 17 further points.

Francey (9) had a similar round to McGarry, having played the outward nine in level par. That included a double bogey on the second and a dropped shot on the seventh but these were retrieved with birdies at the first, third and ninth en route to 22 points.

The inward nine amounted to four pars, a double bogey at 11 and single bogeys at 12, 15, 17 and 18 - those last two proving expensive.

Nigel Getty (4) took the best gross prize with a score of three over 71. His card was made up of 11 pars, five bogeys plus a birdie on the second and 15th. The second nine saw him have six pars with his only birdie sandwiched between dropped shots at 14 and 16.

NSPCC CHARITY EVENT

The NSPCC charity competition resulted in a single point win for Gary Scott (15) who notched a grand total of 42 points.

A superb front nine total of 23 points came from three pars, four bogeys and birdies at the third and seventh. The back nine was a series of fours and fives for an additional 19 points, which was one better overall than past captain John V Graham.

John had 21 points on the way out, including a non-event on the fourth, but the 12-handicapper added a further 20 on the inward nine, despite dropping four shots over the final three holes, directly after six straight pars.

He was still one point ahead of third placed William McCartney (19) who had two contrasting nines with 17 points from the first nine, including ‘dings’ at four and five. The second nine produced 22 points from four pars, four bogeys and a double bogey at 17.

SUNSTART BAKERY

The Wednesday open, sponsored by Sunstart Bakery, saw Adam Brady post a total of 41 points from his four handicap.

A cracking outward nine of three under was worth 23 points and included five threes, one of which was an eagle on the par five third. He was still three under playing the 16th, only to finish bogey, par, bogey for a one under gross 67.

Aaron Lemon (10) notched up 40 points and on a better second nine total of 21 from John Lorimer (10) who had 18.

Aaron’s first nine was made up of five pars plus four bogeys and the second nine saw him play the first seven holes in level par but he shed a shot at 17 before parring the last.

Lorimer had eight pars with a bogey on the sixth for 22 points out and the inward nine contained five pars, three bogeys and a double bogey at 16.

LADIES’ SECTION

Margaret Heaney won this week's Ladies competition at Ballymena Golf Club with a tremendous haul of 37 points.

The gross prize was won by in-form Denise Harper, with 18 points, while Paddy Rea (36 points) claimed the Visitor's prize.

The Sectional winners were: A - Hazel Kernohan (30); B - Nadine Bain (33); C - Jenny McCooke (36).