Browne finishes third at Custume Scratch Cup

John Browne receiving his Third Place prize from sponsor Davy Reddin

John Browne receiving his Third Place prize from sponsor Davy Reddin

John Browne recorded an excellent third place finish in last Sundays Custume Scratch Cup. Browne has been in good form recently, qualifying for the National Matchplay finals as well as beginning the Westmeath trails in the top three positions. He carried this form to Custume to a scratch cup that he traditionally performs well at. Last Sunday he matched his best performance in this competition by achieving his second, third place finish at this venue.

The early pace setters were the two course specialists from Custume, Martin Kenny and Pat Malone. Martin had a superb 93 on the board before most of the competitors arrived at the midlands course. Pat Malone was not intimidated one bit by this though and recorded a 94 himself which included a brilliant second round 44. There was a gap of then to the rest of the field with the next nearest player, Willie Prendergast – again from the host club, on 97. Johnny Ferry from Kilbeggan, a two-time past winner was on 98 with defending champion and six-time winner Alan Hanlon from Collinstown on 99. The rest of the qualifiers were between 99 and 101 with the cut being declared at 101 – a relatively low cut considering the difficulty of the conditions. John Browne was among this group on a score of 100.

In all honesty, no one really expected the winner to come from anywhere outside the leading and second place contenders. Martin and Pat are too experienced and on their own course, were never going to let anyone catch them. Even so John Browne made a valiant effort from well back in the field. After paring his opening 3 holes in the final round, he then made seven birdies out of the next 10 holes to go to 15 under total with 5 holes still to play. But the Custume lads were having none of it. Martin himself had moved to 21 under at this stage and Pat had moved to 18. Browne made very decent efforts at birdie on each  of his remaining five holes but despite going very close on every occasion, nothing fell into the hole for him and he had to be content in the end to finish on 147. Kenny was keeping Malone two or three shots at bay at all times and so it ended with the same margin – Martin on a winning score of 140 with Pat finishing on 143. Willie Prendergast was unlucky on the final green as he three putted which cost him third place in the end. And Collinstown’s John Browne was the beneficiary of this error. Larry Maher jnr from Erry birdied the final three holes to finish with a 48 and pick up the Last 18 prize. Other Collinstown players that made the cut was the above mentioned Alan Hanlon, Michael Buckley and Noel Comiskey snr – all on 99.

Willie Prendergast did win the Intermediate prize so he had some consolation and Tommy Naughton, also from Custume, with a superb 99 won the Junior prize. Margaret Hogan from Tullamore won the Ladies prize. 80 players turned out to compete on the day and a big well done must be said to Custume club for a well-ran competition.

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