Mourne Golf Club News

By Paul Gallagher


A sensational eagle finish was telling for Michael McKenna as it moved him to the top of a packed leaderboard to land the PGA Tankard at Mourne Golf Club last Sunday.

McKenna’s closing eagle at the par five 18th left him signing for 39 points. That was the same mark as Tom Crudgington, Kieran O’Connor and Colm O’Higgins. However, it was McKenna who won the PGA Tankard by virtue of a countback.

The seven handicapper might have made a slow start at the opening par five, but he moved through the gears and was in top form in the latter part of the round. The rare eagle came at one of the most difficult holes on the course, but it was crucial for the win. McKenna also picked up birdies at the 13th and 16th.

“After a great drive, I had 265 (yards) to the front and I hit three-wood, I couldn’t have hit it any better. It rolled up just short of the green. Honestly, I just wanted to get the putt close to make a tap-in birdie, but obviously I got it bang on and it dropped,” said a delighted McKenna recalling his winning eagle.

Crudgington continues to improve with each outing and his overall sporting prowess is now spilling into his golf game. Like McKenna, O’Connor had a difficult opening hole but quickly regrouped and picked up birdies at the third and ninth before playing a steady back nine. O’Higgins also steered consistent course to get himself into the mix at the business end of proceedings.

On a day of sensational scoring, there was none better than Stephen Barker who once again returned a four-under 67 on the Championship Links at Royal County Down. Just days after recording a 69, 67 combination in one week in Mourne competitions, the plus four handicapper was back for more.

The Railway Street owner’s card was riddled with red dots indicating birdies. He had four in all at the first, third, 15th and 16th plus and eagle three at the par five 12th. The only dropped shots came at five and seven. In the stableford format, his efforts still only managed 10th, but it was the deep dive under par that was the win for Barker.

Last Thursday’s stableford competition was abandoned as heavy rain and the threat of thunder closed in during the afternoon. Paul O’Kane was one of the early starters and was on song with 35 points, however, he will have to keep his game fine-tuned for his next outing.

This Wednesday also sees the start of the Junior Summer Camp co-ordinated by the Royal County Down Ladies’ Golf Club. This is a great opportunity for younger players to get into golf and learn more about the game.

Kevan Whitson and his PGA team at Royal County Down are also running a Junior Golf Academy in July and August with three different camps: July 19/20, August 2/3, and August 23/24. For further information, contact the Professional shop at Royal County Down via email at