All the news and happenings from the local golf clubs
A massive score of 48 points gave Charlie Mooney victory in Rathmore GC’s Winter League on Sunday.
Charlie was out in six over par and that gave him 25 points and belied his 25 handicap. He hit two four pointers including a birdie three on the fifth in that front nine.
Charlie’s day out continued into the back nine holes as he lodged a further 23 points into his account to finish the day with 48 scored.
That kept Charlie five in front of second placed man David Bellingham on 43. The thirteen handicapper was four over after eight but rolled in a birdie three on nine to boost his points tally to 22 at the turn for home.
No more birdies were found coming back but very few errors were made as David added 21 to get his total up to 43 and keep him one ahead of third placed Trevor Stewart.
The seven man got a two on the third and followed that up with a three on the par four fifth then undid that good work when a nasty seven appeared on eight to leave him with 21 scored after nine.
Trevor’s back nine started with an eagle three and finished with a birdie two, in between there was just one shot dropped, a five on twelve, and all of that gave Trevor a good 23 for the inward nine holes.
Fourth place went to James Martin for his effort of 41 points from his mark of eleven.
His double bogey six at the second was eased by some steady scoring thereafter as the front nine gave up 21 points to the card.
James birdied ten in four and twelve in three but slipped at the last hurdle to record his only blank on eighteen. 21 back got James to 41 for his fourth placing.
Ian Kettyle grabbed another Best Gross by getting round in 69 shots. On the outward nine his only departure from par golf came with a double bogey five on the short sixth to see him out in 37.
The long tenth and the short eleventh gave him two birdies and a third was nabbed with a three on thirteen for good measure.
With one shot being lost on twelve Ian’s back nine score was 32, two under par and meant a level par gross of 69.
CASTLEROCK TOPS AT
The top five placings at the recent NE Golfing Alliance at Castlerock GC were taken by home players.
Stevie McCarron was the main man, scoring 41 points off his eight handicap over the eighteen holes in increasingly wet conditions.
Jimmy Henry took second place on the better of six 39 pointers in front of Reggie Dallas, David Mulholland and Ronan Higgins.
The first “outsider” in the rankings was Portstewart’s Jim Lenfesty, sixth on countback with his 39.
Bushfoot Captain Kenny Gault produced 37 points for his place and added in another visiting prizewinner.
Such was the standard of scoring other 37 pointers did not get into the prizes.
The next meeting will be on 27 March at RPGC (Valley).
KENNY ON HIS OWN AT THE PORT
The weather took its toll on the Portstewart GC Sweep on Saturday and Kenny Woodrow produced the best score from the intrepid bunch that faced up to it.
He hit 27 points over the fourteen holes in play. His four over par for the first seven gave him 14 points but the signs were good even into the back seven too.
A three pointer at eleven helped and his birdie four on fourteen did so as well.
Unfortunately the short fifteenth gave Kenny nowt so he was restricted to 13 back for 27 which proved to be one better than the rest.
STUART TROPHY AT ROYAL PORTRUSH
Paddy O’Donnell and JJ McElderry teamed up to play in the Stuart Trophy on Saturday and came out on top by six points.
They scored 33 points for the opening nine with birdies coming their way with a brace of twos, on two and eight, helping.
That proved to be the end of the birdie collection but the pair covered the back nine in three over par to get another 29 logged to finish on 62.
This was six better than the runners up, Eamon Hughes and Gary Stevenson, could muster.
Their two on the sixth was the only birdie scored on the way out.
They drew a blank on ten but made some amends with another two on the fourteenth and ended the abck nine with 25 points scored.
Matt McAlister and Eddie Carson matched that 56 score but lost out on countback to take third place.
They hit birdie fours on two and nine for 34 out but, even with a two on eleven, the blank on fifteen proved crucial in the tie break.
BUSHFOOT WALKERS GET RIGHT OF WAY
Des and Brian Walker strolled to victory in Bushfoot’s Jubilee Cup with a better ball score of 37 points.
They had 20 carded at the turn, helped by a birdie two on seven, before slipping to a double bogey six on the tenth.
A steady finish was called for and the Walkers replied by dropping just three shots on their way in to add 17 back nine points to push their tally to 37.
This edged out Bill Howard and David Millar by a single point.
Their birdie three on the eighth evened up the two shots dropped on four to see them out with 17 points scored.
They grabbed another birdie on the back nine but unfortunately added in two double bogeys as well and mustered just 19 back leaving them one short on 36.
Martyn Freeman and Ken Caskey took third spot another point back on 35.
Their seven over par front nine gave them 16 points but the pair rallied on the inward leg and dropped in birdies on the short eleventh and the par four twelfth to push their score along to 19 back and 35 overall.
LADIES FIRST AT BUSHFOOT
Marie Hamilton scored 41 points at Bushfoot to secure the Fleming Cup for the ladies.
Even with blanking the fourth hole she still gathered 20 points from the front nine.
Marie’s good form kept going through the back nine and although a wee wobble developed late in the round she held on to add 21 to the card and finished with 41, one better than Kenny McKillop on 40.
Kenny performed well after an opening bogey, hitting birdie threes on three and nine to get to the turn on 22 points.
The birdies did not return coming back and Kenny played to his six handicap to take 18 points from the nine holes which proved to be one light on the day. Adrian Hutchinson scored 39 for third place.
He had an unfortunate time with blank holes, one, three and ten giving him nothing, but scored well between to get 17 out and 22 back for his placing.
Clarke teams up with top Sicily resort
Darren Clarke’s win at the 2011 Open Championship was one of the most memorable Major victories in recent years and the European Tour star is set to inspire a new generation of golfers by opening a new golf coaching centre at Sicily’s five-star Donnafugata Golf Resort & Spa.
The Darren Clarke Centre of Excellence at Donnafugata will be the first facility of its kind in continental Europe when it opens early this month.
Available to golfers of all ages and abilities, the new centre will offer expert teaching under the guidance of the resort’s head professional Davide Terrinoni through individual and group lessons, and specially created two, three and seven-night tuition packages.
Clarke, winner of 22 tournaments worldwide, said he was delighted with the link up.
“Italy is one of Europe’s up-and-coming countries when it comes to golf after the success of Matteo Manassero and the Molinari brothers in recent years, so I’m particularly delighted to be opening this new coaching centre at Donnafugata Golf Resort & Spa,” said the former Open winner.
“The resort has some of the best facilities in Europe and, combined with the great climate that Sicily enjoys, is the ideal venue for players from all over Europe to learn from our expert team of coaches.”
The Darren Clarke Golf brand has gone from strength to strength since opening its first full-time school in Antrim, Northern Ireland, and has achieved great success developing players such as Allan Dunbar and Paul Cutler, who have now progressed onto the European Tour.
Gavin Hamlyn, general manager of Darren Clarke Golf, said: “Following the success we’ve enjoyed in Ireland, we were looking for a base to expand into Europe and the resort fits our requirements perfectly.
“The golf and hotel facilities are excellent, it is a great location for golfers to experience our varied range of tuition programmes and is an ideal fit for our brand.”
Featuring two 18-hole championship courses and extensive practice facilities – the Parkland and the Links – Donnafugata Golf Resort & Spa has won widespread acclaim across the golf industry since opening in 2010 and was the venue for the 2011 Sicilian Open, won by Frenchman Raphael Jacquelin.
Guy Roberts, the resort’s director of golf, added: “Darren Clarke has been one of the world’s top players for the last two decades and it’s fantastic news for us to have the chance to team up with him on this new project.”