A flock of birdies swoop in at Ballycastle scramble contest

There were birdies galore in the scramble competition at Ballycastle Golf Club on Saturday with the top three teams making a staggering thirty birdies and one eagle between them!

Top spot on the podium went to the team consisting of Patrick McIlroy, Eamon McIlroy, Terry McNamara and Club Captain Robin McHugh who burst out of the blocks with an eagle three at their opening hole and added a further eight birdies to record a winning score of 54.2 nett.

The fourball of Ciaran Mort, Edgar Dornan, Trevor Thompson and Liam McLean had a great run of seven birdies in a row on the front nine and made ten in total to finish in second place on 54.9 nett.

The quartet of John Higgins jnr, Simon Lynn, Dessie Donnelly and Ivor Torrens had more birdies than anyone on Saturday with twelve in total but a bogey at the 17th hole proved costly and they ended up in third place with a score of 55.2 nett.

The Mary Peters Trust charity stableford competition on Sunday was the first handicap qualifying event of the season and with over 40% of the field recording 37 points or better on the day, the competition scratch score was actually reduced by one shot, making it 39 points instead of the standard 38 points for white markers.

First prize in the competition went to Lawrence McQuillan, who carded an impressive total of 44 points to book his place in the Grand Final at Lisburn Golf Club later in the season.

Lawrence, playing off thirteen, picked up a birdie at the 5th hole in a front nine score of 23 points and added further birdies at the 10th and 16th holes to help him record a crucial 21 points over the back nine.

Second place on Sunday went to Gerard Waide, also off thirteen, who birdied the opening hole on his way to carding 23 points for the front nine before adding a further 20 points over the homeward stretch.

The third prize went to Patrick Coyles, playing off twenty, who made an inauspicious start to his round; failing to score points in either of the opening two holes. Once Patrick did get going, however, there was no stopping him and he finished with 42 points including an incredible total of 27 for the back nine alone!

Hugh Sayers completed the back nine in one under par to help him finish fourth on Sunday with a total of 42 points and Francis McGinn had the best gross score of the day with a level par 71.

The club would like to thank all those who took part in Sunday’s competition with £150 being donated to the Mary Peters Trust on your behalf.

Raymond Browne was the winner of the midweek open competition at Ballycastle with a score of 42 points. Second place went to Paul Devlin with Seamus Killough finishing in third after both golfers recorded 40 points on Wednesday. Liam McLean picked up the fourth and final prize on offer ahead of Aaron McAuley on count-back after both members recorded 39 points in the competition.

The Easter weekend competitions at Ballycastle begin with the Dunrainie Open Mixed Foursomes on Saturday 7th April.

An open stableford competition will be played on Easter Sunday with the traditional Glandore Cup open stroke competition being held on Easter Monday. Open stableford competitions will also be played at Ballycastle on Tuesday 10th and Wednesday 11th April.

The Glandore Cup will be the first of approximately twenty stroke competitions to take place at Ballycastle over the next five months.

In a change to the way prizes are allocated in these competitions, this year the match and handicap committee are introducing a couple of stableford prizes in each of these events.

The top three prizes will continue to be awarded to the golfers with the best nett scores on the day but the winners of the fourth and fifth place prizes will now be determined by stableford score.

The idea behind this change is to try to encourage all members, whether their handicaps are low, medium or high, to take part in and enjoy these summer events.