GOLF: AM-AM competition this weekend at City of Derry

Friends of Prehen who this week installed a new sign on the sixteen hole at Prehen in memory of popular and renowned recently deceased ember Mr Robbie Kennelly.
Friends of Prehen who this week installed a new sign on the sixteen hole at Prehen in memory of popular and renowned recently deceased ember Mr Robbie Kennelly.

Competitions at City of Derry continue this week with the Thursday Open and, on Saturday and Sunday, the eagerly awaited 2-Day AM-AM Sponsored by Bishop’s Gate Hotel.

Visitors paying £25 entry, which includes a practice round on Friday, demand has been high and, as only a few time slots available at this stage prospective teams need to contact Mr Sam Smallwoods on 02871 311496 to check availability.

While after the frustrations of Saturday, when Clive Brolly’s Captain’s Prize had to be abandoned as torrential rain cascaded from the Derry skies, it was welcome relief to see a good field play in the Open Stableford on Sunday.

The popular winner was Eamon McCourt(10) who toured the course in a sprightly 76 shots for his total of 40 points.

The highlight of his day was Mr McCourt’s birdie at the difficult Par 5th, ‘Dermot’s’ but his total could have been much better but for the bogey efforts at ‘The Quarry’ and ‘Robbie’s Way’, as the tricky sixteenth is now being called.

Three players got within a shot of Mr McCourt and a break-of-tie was needed to decide the prize positions.

The Break of Tie blade fell in favour of David Smyth (14) by virtue of his superior back nine with Paul McIntosh (13) claiming third spot.

On this occasion Paul McIntyre missed the prize circle despite a superb front nine of 25 points.

Aaron Taylor (1) took the Best Gross of the day with his 35 points and Martin Mailey’s 33 points was the best of the visitor cohort.

The Thursday Open at City of Derry was dominated by young players this week, with James Lindsay coming out on top.

Lindsay showed all his golfing prowess to post a winning score of 40 points.

Mr Lindsay started the round quiet enough and even managed to bogey the tough 2nd Hole, ‘The Valley’.

But a bounce-back birdie at the Par 5 third, ‘Longfellow’ righted the ship allowing him to post a string of pars before firing an electrifying eagle at the difficult 460 metre Par 5, “Dermot’s’.

Eight pars and an impressive birdie at the 18th closed out Lindsay’s fine round of 66 that also captured the accolades for Best Gross Score on the day.

Luke Hasson (5) and Ralph Hamilton (13) chased Lindsay all the way but both came up just a point short on 39 and, when the Break-of-Tie fell in favour of Hasson, by virtue of his superior back nine total, he was able to claim second prize while Mr Hamilton had to be content with third spot.

A point further back on a 38 point total came the ever-present two handicapper Lester Moore.

The Thursday Open series continues each week of the summer and visitors are welcome to book their round, for a very reasonable £15, by phoning Head Professional Sam Smallwoods on 02871 311496.

Meanwhile Saturday’s Sphere Global Sponsored Open Stableford competition played at Foyle was well supported with the competitors having to endure some heavy showers.

Despite the terrible weather the Ballyarnett course was in remarkable condition after all the heavy and consistent rain.

As three handicapper Shane McClean negotiated the Ballyarnett layout from the back tee’s in one under par for his excellent winning score of 40 points.

Another single handicapper Cormac McGeady (5) finished runner up on 38 points after a break of tie finish.

The Gross winner was Stephen Martin after he scored an impressive 33 points.

Fintona golfer Pauraic McNelis (5) with 35 points won the visitors prize and Kevin O’Kane’s (16) 19 points helped him secure the back nine accolade.