April 22, 2024

Mourne Golf Club News

By Paul Gallagher

It has been a period of low scoring in the early part of the season at Mourne Golf Club where Stephen Barker and Gerard Finlay came to the fore in recent weeks to win the respective April and Spring Medals with 65s.

On a day when the sun shone and the scoring was hot on the Championship Links at Royal County Down, no one could catch Barker as he landed his first win of the season. An opening eagle set up the ‘dream start’ for the scratch golfer, who hit a drive and five iron onto the green before holing out from 50 feet

With a hot putter, Barker went on to make three consecutive birdies from 10 feet from the fifth to turn in four under 31. His back nine offered up another birdie at the par five 12th before a dropped shot at the 14th where a par putt narrowly slid by.

Barker’s winning nett six-under 65 (67 gross) equalled his best round in club competition and was good enough to win the April Medal by two from Daniel Cunningham in second. Cunningham’s 67 edged out John Murphy (Jun) and Darryl Northrop who both returned 68s, one ahead of Karl Brannigan and Kieran O’Connor.

In the Spring Medal earlier in April, it was Finlay’s turn to put on a show with his equally impressive 65. Finlay might have more shots to play with than Barker, but he still had to get the job done on a day when many Mourne members went low.

The highlight of Finlay’s round came with an eagle three at the par five 12th to boost his back nine efforts. It meant Finlay narrowly won the medal by one from Kevin Flynn (66) in second and Harry Thompson (67) in third.

Next up was Jack Keenan, Michael McKenna and Michael Keane, who all returned impressive 68s. Keenan’s gross 72 looked to have done enough to secure the overall gross prize, but Noel Crawford had other ideas and his four-birdie round of level par 71 was good enough to claim the gross.

In the Thursday Stableford competition Connor Cunningham was the runaway winner with 40 points. The seven handicapper enjoyed a great finish with birdies at 17 and 18 to sign for a 74. The strong finish was needed because James Maginn was in fine form again with his level par 71 to take second with 37 points, the same mark as Ryan Brannigan in third.


An aerial view of the Championship Links at Royal County Down

(Photo Courtesy Harry Thompson/Thompson Visuals)