Father and son combination lead the charge with splendid score of nett 63

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The qualifying round for the Silver Mounted Golf Ball took place at Ballycastle on Saturday with a total of 68 pairs vying for a top 32 finish and a place in the match-play stages of this coveted competition.

This year’s top seeds will be the father and son combination of Liam and Rory Gallagher who led the qualifiers with a splendid score of nett 63.

Four pairs recorded nett 64’s on Saturday and count-back over the last nine and last six holes was required to determine their seeding in the draw. Second place was eventually awarded to Aiden Higgins and Michael Kearns with Patrick Dallat and Tony Norris picking up the third place prize ahead of the pairings of Ryan Brewster/Jonathan McBride and Ivor Torrens/Dessie Donnelly.

The top 32 cut line fell amongst the nett 68’s this year with three pairs on that score missing out on count-back.

The match-play draw can now be found on the club website and notice-board with matches to take place throughout the summer months.

Two handicapper Francis McGinn produced a flawless round of five birdies and thirteen pars to win the stableford competition on Sunday with a total of 43 points.

Twelve handicapper Stuart Nevin matched Francis’s total of 43 points but couldn’t quite match his back nine of 23 points and had to settle for second place. Paul Surgenor, playing off eleven, won the third prize with a score of 42 points.

Gerry McConville, playing off fourteen, won first prize in the midweek open stableford competition at Ballycastle with a total of 41 points.

Twenty-one handicappers Seamus Hegarty and Gerald McGuckian finished in second and third places with scores of 38 and 37 points respectively.

Next Saturday is the qualifying day for the Valencia (0-11), Tieve Tara (12-16) and Culfeightrin Cups (17-28) with the top sixteen stableford scores in each handicap section qualifying for the match-play rounds.

The Alphy McCaughan Cup is scheduled for Sunday 29th April. This will be the third event to count towards the Golfer of the Year and Winchester Challenge Bowl competitions.

In-form golfer Rory Gallagher currently sits at the top of both leader-boards courtesy of his victory in the April Medal and his top three finish in the Glandore Cup.