I write this missive while Day One scores are being returned in the Ulster PGA Alliance (sponsored by PING) meeting at Narin in which several local golfers are featuring prominently on the electronic scoreboard. Mr. Naughton is wearing the grin of a man who feels good about his game (at least I hope that’s what it means) while Connor Mallon has the hand-dog expression of a guy who’s left something out on the course! More of that next week, but it’s nice to see the likes of two-time Narin and Portnoo Pro-Am champion, Damian Mooney back to test himself against the course when the weather is not clad in its summer finery.
Last Wednesday’s open fundraiser saw one of the stars of yesteryear rediscover the magic which brought him victories in the Dr. McCloskey singles matchplay in 2001 and 2002. Tony Dooley was unstoppable back then, with a unique putting action which made him one of the best with the straight-faced club. Tony looked at the hole instead of the ball while he struck the putt and he had the method down to a fine art. Somewhere along the way, he abandoned this style and the wins dried up. A few weeks ago, he reverted back and lo and behold, he won his first tournament of 2009. His nines were equivalent in a round of 40 points, with a little birdie gracing the card at the 16th. The Tony of old is back!
The Golfer of the Year competition sponsored by PGA Professional, Connor Mallon has reached the semi-final stage where Alan Elliott will face Seamus Gildea, while Charlie Tully matches up with Bart Whelan. It’s hard to pick a winner out of that lot and I wish them all well.
The Ladies versus Gents match had to be cancelled a week ago due to the bad weather, as was the Charael Catering stroke event on Sunday.
The draw has been made for the Winter Pairs Matchplay and details may be found in the Pro-Shop.
October 28: Wednesday Open
1. Tony Dooley (16) 40; 2. Aaron Bennett (15) 39 b.o.t.; 3. John Simpson (16) 39 b.o.t. C.S.S. 72; Twos: 5 balls each
November 8: Value Centre Cash & Carry & B.G.W. single stableford, open
November 11: Wednesday Open, ladies and gents, single stableford, 20 euro entry for G.U.I. visitors including green fee;