In keeping with the September weather, it was raining prizes at the AJC Group Open at Ardglass Golf Club on Saturday last.
The event, sponsored by the AJC Group, the Newcastle-based electrical company, featured an amazing array of prizes, providing a great opportunity for members and visitors alike.
One unusual feature of the event was the Washing Machine Challenge, where competitors were challenged to repeat a young Rory McIlroy’s feat on the Kelly Show some years ago when he accurately chipped balls into a washing machine. Playing from a range of ten yards, only six out of over 150 players succeeded in knocking their ball into the drum opening. The six successful players then went into a draw later that night and local golfer Sheamus Agnew was the lucky winner of – a washing machine!
Back in the main competition, the top prize was won by 11-handicapper Mark Cunningham. The Downpatrick man had six pars on the front nine and another four pars and a birdie on the homeward leg, for a gross round of 77 and a score of 40 points.
Close behind were three players on 39 points, led by Adam Millar. The 6-handicapper was out in two-over, then birdied 11 and 12 to go back to level. The only blemish in an otherwise excellent round was a triple-bogey at the 16th, which was ultimately to cost him the top prize. His gross round of 73 was third best of the day.
Third place went to local Ardglass man Andrew Curran. Standing on four-over at the turn, the 10-handicapper put himself in excellent position as he birdied 10 and then eagled 11, but a triple-bogey at the 13th was to cost him dear also. A steady finish brought him home with a commendable gross 77 and a total of 39 points.
Newcastle man Peter Allen was the third of the trio on 39 points. Playing off a 25 handicap, the Newcastle man had a strong outward half of 21 points and a steady back nine saw him into fourth place.
In fifth was current club champion Gary Hamill, the best of a group of six players on 38 points. Scoring 16 points to the turn, Hamill stormed back in two-under, with birdies at 11, 13 and 17, and his strong finish was too good for the others.
However such was the selection of top-class prizes that all the next five finishers also went home well rewarded. Next in the prize-winning line-up in finishing order were Anthony King, Kyle McGreevy, Sean Laird, Paddy McEntee and Peter Mulhall.
Best round of the day was Gerard Copeland’s one-under par 69. Level par at the turn, the returnee from Clandeboye dropped shots at the start of the homeward track but finished with three birdies in the last four holes to clinch the Best Gross prize.
The prizes didn’t stop there as Nearest the Pin and Longest Drive awards went to Gerry Rowan, Trevor Long, Paul Fitzsimons from St Patrick’s, Paul Bell and Daniel Fitzsimons.
The AJC Group in Newcastle provides a wide range of services for the building trade, facilities management, and a number of specialist services such as festive lighting, fit-outs, construction, outdoor LED screens and electrical and wholesale goods. They provide a 24/7 service 365 days a year.
tel. no: 028 43722202.