Rogers prevails in tough conditions to win Professional’s Prize

Professional’s Prize 2020 Winner Eddie Rogers (left) receives
his prize from Club Professional Leslie Walker

Eddie Rogers produced a near flawless round in tough conditions to win Leslie Walker’s Professional Prize.

The popular four handicapper had only one blank on his way to carding a round of 39pts which included five three-point holes and three birdies.

It was enough to pip long-time leader Martin Cairns (17) who had set an early target of 38pts while Josh Mackin, who will shortly head to the USA on a golf scholarship, took the gross prize with an excellent score of 39pts which was enough to see him drop to an all-time low of plus two.

A total of 276 golfers teed it over the two days and the scoring reflected the test provided by a very long white course with slick greens.

They were the type of tough conditions that club stalwart Rogers has always embraced and after parring the first he birdied the second when, after a big drive, he left a sand wedge inches from the flag, which was tucked in behind the front right bunker, for a tap-in birdie and three points.

Pars at the third and the fifth and a two point bogey at the index one fourth added another six points to bring is total to 11pts after five holes.

He then hit a purple patch over the next three holes as he picked up nine points with a birdie on the sixth, a three point par on the index three seventh and another tap-in birdie on the  eighth when another fairway splitting drive was followed by a precision wedge to within inches of the flag.

Another two points from a par at the ninth gave him 22 points for his outward journey and in a position to strike for victory. Three more pars, included a three-pointer at the index two 11th, yielded another seven points to leave him on 29pts with six holes to go.

At that stage it was just a matter of getting home safely but disaster struck on the index 16 par three 13th. Rogers’ tee shot found a greenside bunker but he totally misread his par putt and left himself a slippery putt for bogey which he missed to record his first blank of the day.

However, he drew on his many years of experience and regained his composure quickly to rattle off four two point pars and a two point bogey on the index four 16th. That 10 point haul brought him to 39pts and that was enough to secure the 2020 Professional’s Prize.

Edmund Sheridan (14) shot 37pts to take the Veteran’s Prize on countback while Tom Dunne (10), Martin Byrne (13) and John McErlean (22) took the category prizes with Juvenile Captain Padraig Grennan (16) claiming the juvenile prize with a tremendous score of 42pts.

Despite the difficult conditions the competition managed to produce a hole-in-one when John Morrison recorded the first ace of his career as his tee shot with a six hybrid found the hole.

Saturday, July 25 and Sunday, July 26 – Leslie Walker’s Professional’s Prize – Singles Stableford – Overall Winner: Eddie Rogers (4) 39pts, Second Place: Martin Cairns (17) 38/21pts. Gross Winner: Josh Mackin (+1) 39pts. Veteran’s Prize: Edmund Sheridan (14) 37/21/12/7pts. Cat 1 (<11): Tom Dunne (10) 38/20/14pts, Conor Murphy (7) 38/20pts, Vincent Conlon (9) 38pts. Cat 2 (12-17): Martin Byrne (13) 37/19pts, Patrick Dunne (16) 37pts, Michael Mc Dermott (16) 36/18/11pts. Cat 3 (18+):  John McErlean(22) 37/21pts, Seamus Kelly (18) 37/20pts, Hugh Reilly (22) 37pts. Juvenile Winner: Padraig Grennan (16) 42pts. Hole in One: John Morrison (13th). CSS: Saturday – 35pts, Sunday – 35pts.