Last weekend we held the opening major of the season in Collinstown. This competition was the prestigious President’s Prize. Our President this year is the esteemed Michael Flynn. Michael very kindly sponsored all prizes for the competition which was way above and beyond the call of duty. For this the club sincerely thanks him. Indeed we also thank him, his good wife Geraldine and daughter Michelle for all the goodies provided over the weekend and for their continued presence throughout the weekend – it was indeed a wonderfully enjoyable few days for all members of Collinstown Pitch and Putt club.
As for the competition itself – well it was of the highest standard. It began on Friday at 2 pm with the President himself hitting the opening tee-shoot of the 2013 President’s Prize. The weather was cold, windy and showery – not very conducive to low scoring rounds. This however did not stop excellent scores early on from John Browne and Rene Bloem. John had a bogie free 47 while Rene was close behind with a 48. As day one ended it became clear however that the Friday scores would be bettered as the weekend progressed if the weather improved at all. At the end of day 1 Stuart Tarleton led on -13 with John Browne a shot behind on -12.
As day 2 began though, it became apart that this was the scoring day. The sun had come out and the wind had dropped. Rene Bloem shot an early 46 to take the lead in the competition on -15. The hugely improved Michael Scally was one shot back on -14. The rounds got continuously better as the day progressed with Rene Bloem shooting a 44 and then closely followed by a 45 to go to -20. This was a score that many thought would not be beaten but Clive Byrne hadn’t read that script. Clive picked a fine moment to better his personal best score by 3 shots to shoot a 45 gross. This coupled with a 53 and his 10 handicap meant that he joined Rene on -20. Clive was unavailable on Sunday so was then under pressure to improve his total as the evening sky drew in, Saturday evening. Indeed in his final round of the day he shot a very credible 50 to move to -23.
Sunday morning saw conditions returning to similar to Friday. This indicated that barring a miracle, Clive’s score would not be beaten. And indeed this was the case. Michael Buckley managed a 45 to move to -17 and nick the Gross prize from Alan Hanlon. Stuart Tarleton also shot a 48 to go with his earlier 50 to move to -26 Nett and nick the Nett prize from Michael Scally on the break of a tie. But the leader and runners-up spots remained the same as they were on Saturday evening, namely Clive Byrne from Rene Bloem.
In the Ladies event we had a full turnout from our 6 competing ladies. Moira Nugent and Ena Clinton were locked in the lead on +3 until the excellent Liz Bloem made here appearance on Sunday morning. It didn’t take Liz long to get into the groove and in the end she recorded rounds of 54, 52 to win comfortably. Ena took the runners-up spot on a break of a tie.
Michael had added a couple of novelty prizes for the weekend too. The first of these was a prize for a hole-in-one. There were 8 in total over the weekend (two each by Watty Kenny and Stephen Ruane). After the draw was made, Willie Ayers name came out of the hat for the hole-in-one prize. The second novelty prize was for the most birdies on hole 7. This was won by John Browne who had 5 birdies on that hole in his 12 rounds.
The Presentation ceremony was very well attended and Michael thanked everyone for their attendance over the weekend and thanked his own family for their support and help in the preparations. Chairman Michael Buckley then thanked the president for his prizes and for his sponsorship over the past number of years of various competitions within the club. Collinstown Pitch and Putt is lucky to Michael Flynn as a member and it is fitting that he is honoured with the Presidency of the club this year.