Early pace-setter Hanratty hangs on

Early starter Eugene Hanratty was proof that the early bird gets the worm when he posted a score that wasn’t bettered by the other 115 competitors in Sunday’s Singles Stableford competition which was played over 15 holes due to the ongoing course improvement work.

Playing off 10, Hanratty opened up with 10 points from the first four holes courtesy of pars at the first and fourth. With the fifth closed, he then took seven points from the next four holes to turn with 17pts.

Despite 17 and 18 being closed, Hanratty had run up another 18pts by the time he walked off the 16th thanks mainly to a three point birdie at the 10th, a four point birdie at the 15th and three point par at the 16th

That set the score to beat and several players did come close with Brendan Keane and John McLaughlin matching Hanratty’s 35pts but losing out on countback. McLaughlin (25) had to settle for the Category Three prize while Keane (13) finished second overall after an impressive round.

Last year’s Club Captain stormed through first four holes collecting 12 points thanks to three point pars at holes two and four and a four point birdie three at the tricky third. He picked up another eight points from the sixth to the ninth which included a superb birdie three on the eighth after he had messed up the par five seventh and walked off with just one point.

That left him on 20pts for the opening eight holes and over the final seven he picked up another 15pts thanks to three point pars at 12, 13 and 16. But he was left to rue one point returns from the 11th and 14th which ultimately saw up come up short by the narrowest of margins.

The other category prizes were claimed by Paul Morrison (Cat 1) and Aidan Gaughran (Cat 2).

Sunday, March 13 – Overall: E J Hanratty (10) 35/21pts, Brendan Keane (13) 35/20pts. Category 1: Paul Morrison (10) 34/22pts, Pat Donaghy (12) 34/20pts. Category 2: Aidan Gaughran (13) 34/20/14pts, David Cairns (17) 34pts. Category 3: John McLaughlin (25) 35pts, Caoimhan O’Callaghan (21) 34pts.