Mernagh’s strong finish delivers victory

Countback was needed to separate the four golfers who returned best of the day scores of 32pts in last Sunday’s 13 Hole Singles Stableford competition.

Last week’s winner Kenneth Cairns (17) was among the quartet but he failed to make the podium and had to settle for winning Category 2. However, two prizes from the opening two weeks of the year isn’t a bad return.

Sean Hession, now playing off five after a very consistent 2016, was the man who edged Cairns off the podium with a score of 17pts for the final nine holes played, which because of ongoing course improvement work was the fifth to the 10th and the 16th to the 18th.

John McKeever (11) is a player who was starting to get the measure of the course towards the end of last year and was an overall winner in November. He went close to a second victory on Sunday but came up short as his countback score of 19pts was three less than Brian Mernagh’s 22pts.

Mernagh produced an almost flawless round. He scored on each on the 13 holes and only once, when he had a bogey four at the par three ninth, did he have to settle for a solitary point.

His opening four holes yielded 10pts thanks to three point pars at third and fourth holes and he picked up another three points at the seventh when he parred the par five. Mernagh covered the opening nine holes in 20pts but finished his round with flourish over the four holes on the back nine that were in play.

At the par five 10th, a birdie four yielded four points and he picked up another three by parring the 16th. A par at the 17th, where he didn’t have a shot, got him another two points and he then parred the 18th for three points.

That return of 12pts from the final four holes proved crucial and gave Mernagh his first win of 2017.

In addition to Carins, the other category winners were Conall Mudock (8) and Ray Pepper (20) while Maurice Murphy (3) took the gross prize with 26pts, the equivalent of level par.

The Tournament Committee will run a Winter League team event from February 5 to April 2. The entry fee is €5 and the entry box is located in the bar. The closing date for entries is January 29 at 6pm.

Sunday, January 22 – 13 Hole Singles Stableford – Overall: Brian Mernagh (12) 32/22pts, John McKeever (11) 32/19pts, Sean Hession (5) 32/17pts. Gross: Maurice Murphy (3) 26pts. Category 1 (0-11): Conall Murdock (8) 31pts. Category 2 (12-17): Kenneth Cairns (17) 32pts. Category 3 (18-28): Ray Pepper (20) 31pts.