Black magic lands third ‘major’ at Raceview

GARY Black landed the prestigious Harry Harper memorial title at Ballymena Golf Club.

The competition - often dubbed Raceview third ‘major’ behind Captain’s Day and President’s Day - is played over a 54-hole format which often proves to be to the benefit of a low handicapper and that once again proved the case.

Three-handicapper Black set out chasing John Jamieson, who was the leader after two rounds, but alas, John fell by the wayside, which left Black to determine his own destiny.

Commencing his round with three pars, he shed a shot on the fourth but followed that with three more pars, only to double bogey the eighth and his handicap was gone.

The ninth was a par and he started the back nine with two more pars, followed by another dropped shot.

That proved to be the final concession, however, as he completed the last six holes with straight pars, which was enough to see him declared the winner.

Second place went to Sean McGarry (4) who completed the course in one over gross, 69 shots.

The front nine saw him through in one over gross, whereas the second nine was completed in level par 33 shots.

Third placed Albert Craig (10) was on the same score as McGarry but the latter had a better third round as Craig finished with a nett 68.

Albert had equal nines of five over and in total he had six pars, 11 bogeys and a birdie on the 13th.

Played in conjunction with the Harry Harper, there was a sweep and here the winner was Sean McElroy (18), who played each nine in 40 shots for a nett 62.

Second place went to Eddie Gilmore (15) with a nett 63, despite having commenced his round with a double bogey, to which he added four single bogeys plus four pars.

The back nine was a series of fours and fives, with the exception of the last hole, which resulted in a valuable birdie.

Third nett was Richard McCrea (18) who had a nett 65, with a better second nine from Sean McGarry (4).

McCrea played 43 shots on the way out and then came home in seven over par 40, while McGarry played 69 shots for a nett 65, which was one shot ahead of Neal Courtney who, off 11, returned a nett 66 and on a better second nine from Charlie McCooke (14).

Courtney had not the desired start as he had three bogeys plus a double in the first four holes but he then got matters under control as he played the next five holes in level par.

The second nine was sound with the exception of the 15th where he dropped two shots but he parred the final two holes for a four over par second nine.

Charlie McCooke took the final nett prize with a nett 66 of which he was six over on the front nine and he repeated that on the second nine despite finishing his round with three pars but that double bogey on the 13th was a spoiler.

The best gross went to Nigel Getty (4) who played the course in level par 68 shots, of which 14 were pars, two bogeys and two birdies, one on the ninth and the other on the 10th.