LIAM McGinley, playing off 20, was a resounding and very popular winner of Mr Frankie Houstons Captain’s Prize at Strabane.
A superb day was organised from start to finish and the weather certainly played its part too!
Liam had got off to a fantastic start and had put himself in strong contention with an excellent opening eight holes. The dreaded ninth, when it’s a stroke event, always has to be respected with little margin for error left or right. Liam played what looked a tidy tee shot but it leaked slightly to the right and seemed to catch in the heavy growth.
Again he teed it up, but no luck, two further balls later he found the fairway having played eight shots, including penalties off the tee. The Gods, however, were looking down on him as the very first tee shot had made its way from the sloping rough to the drain so incurring only a one penalty shot. Liam went on to make a seven at the tricky hole and from there he used his good fortune to the ultimate and went on to post a record winning score on Captain’s Day – an eye-catching 58 nett, which was a total that never really looked in any danger of being surpassed.
The runner-up on the day gave it a great go however. Denis Porter too had his bothers at the ninth hole, posting an ugly eight on an otherwise sublime scorecard that included two 2s and a great birdie three at the 18th to sign for an excellent 62 nett.
Jim Harley (19) is a player who has featured regularly this season and his fine total of 64 nett was good enough on multiple break of tie for third place.
Brendan O’Neill (22) took fourth spot, again with 64 nett, with club vice-captain Declan Doherty (17) in fifth on the same total. The category prizes on Frankie’s big day went to Paddy O’Kane (9) with 67 nett in category one, Foncie McNally (15) with 65 nett in category two and Rodney Dolan (19) with 65 nett in category 3.
The Captain’s Day gross prize is always keenly contested and this year’s winner was Peter Doherty (5). He made a brilliant comeback after a lost ball at the first where he made seven followed by a bogey four at the second, but went on to complete the rest of the course in one-under-par, giving him a winning total of three-over and 72 gross.
In the special student rate and other categories on Saturday, there were again some brilliant scores, the best of which was Mark McAneny (16) with nett 60!, the runner-up was Conor Doherty (26) with 64 nett. The nines went to Seamus Friel and to Dermott Corry.
There was a great night’s entertainment after the meal and presentations when captain Frankie thanked all at the club who had helped this year, especially with the new club constitution and all the convenors, who had excelled in their various roles. He went on to thank the bar and catering staff for their dedication to the club during his tenure.
As a prelude to the big day, the Captain’s Better-ball was played. The winners with 47pts were club secretary Terry Doherty and Kieran McBride, the runners-up were Pat and Mark McAneny with 44 pts with Patrick McCrossan and Glenn Roulston in third with 42 pts.