The major golfing event of 2013 at Rossmore Golf Club the Captain’s Prize took place over the bank Holiday weekend and this eagerly awaited competition attracted a field of over 200 entrants. Captain Seamus Meehan and his committee had set a stiff but fair challenge for this 45-hole marathon. Captain Seamus was on the first tee early on Friday morning to greet every player before they set off on their round and he was ever present until the last putt was sunk late on Sunday evening when the Captain’s Prize winner was known.
The first 18 holes produced some great scoring with the experienced Paul Treanor clear of the field on a score of 44pts. Close behind in second place on 43pts was Adrian Trappe, Jim Keogh many peoples idea of the likely winner was nicely placed on 41pts as was previous winner John Heffernan also on 41pts. Malachy and Seamus Deery, James Creighan and Patrick Macklin were all well placed in the chasing pack. Following Friday and Saturday’s initial 18 holes the top 64 scores returned to play another 18 holes. In ideal conditions scoring was once again very good with the leaders from day one all going well out on the course. An early starter Paul Bennett had shot up the leader board with a fantastic 44pts and he was the leader in the clubhouse for a long period with a total of 76pts. Of the first round leaders Paul Treanor was going along steadily as was Jim Keogh. Of that group it appeared the John Heffernan was making inroads into the leaders and was making a move towards the top of the leader board. Alan Finnegan another of the pre tournament favourites then posted a 2 round total of 81pts and assumed the lead in the clubhouse. Patrick Macklin and Seamus Deery posted solid two round totals of 80pts to leave them well placed to make a big push over the final nine holes. Previous winner John Heffernan was putting all his experience to good use as he moved clear of the field after 36 holes with a total of 84pts adding a very solid 43 pts to his first round 41pts. The leaders from round one Paul Treanor came in on 81pts but the consistent and battle hardened Adrian Trappe moved into second spot on 82pts.
All was now set for an exciting 9-hole play off with a number of experienced campaigners at the head of the field the question was if anybody outside the first four could make a decisive move.
The field was now down to 18 players who would play off for the right to be crowned Captain’s Prize winner 2013.
First off was Brendan Casey, Malachy Deery and Damien Martin next up was Kevin Maguire, Cathal McGuinness and Craig Connolly followed by Dermot McMahon, Paul Mallon and Paul Bennett. Of these early groups Dermot McMahon scorched round the nine holes with 24pts to set the early total in the clubhouse of 100pts. A decisive move but it was unlikely to be good enough to claim outright victory. The 3 ball of James Creighan, James Keogh and Declan Murphy all failed to beat the target of 100pts. The real action appeared to lie with the final two groups and the winner was likely to come from this sextet. Patrick Macklin continued to play steady golf and finished off his weekend on 97pts. Seamus Deery looked to be mounting a serious challenge out on the course and he was matched by the first round leader Paul Treanor who was now back to playing top quality golf similar to his first 18 holes. Both finished on 102pts with Seamus now the leader in the clubhouse with just one group out on the course.
The final group of Alan Finnegan, Adrian Trappe and John Heffernan were playing very well under the pressure of the occasion and it was clear from a long way out that the winner would come from this group. After 2 holes of the playoff nothing had changed but at hole 3 Adrian Trappe lost some ground when he failed to chip and putt and he fell a further point behind John Heffernan who was playing solid and looked in no mood to let his advantage slip. Hole 5 of the playoff the ninth hole proved decisive as John Heffernan was the only one of the leaders to secure a par which saw him move a further point clear of the field and with 4 hole to play he was now 3 shots clear of the chasing pack. As we entered the final 3 holes of the playoff holes 16.17 and 18 on the course any one of the three could win but Adrian and Alan needed the leader Heffernan to make some mistakes. The Par 3 sixteenth saw Heffernan take a bogey 4 and Trappe pounced to close the gap with a fine par. Here we all but lost Alan Finnegan from the race to the winning line as a double bogey put paid to his chances. We were now down to two highly motivated and determined players who had provided the large gallery with some excellent golf as both strived to claim outright victory. Closing pars from John Heffernan saw him claim victory over a gallant and game runner up Adrian Trappe who had put up a great struggle but Heffernan proved best on this occasion. The final outcome saw John Heffernan finish on a very good score of 106pts having scored 22pts in tense playoff 9 holes. Adrian Trappe closed with a score of 103pts, which on another day could have been enough. The golf was of a very high standard but it was played in a most sporting and competitive atmosphere with the game of golf the real winner. Captain Seamus Meehan was on hand to congratulate the winner of the Captain’s Prize for 2013, John Heffernan and to also offer his congratulations to all the competitors for the fantastic weekend’s golf.
Before a packed clubhouse the Captain with his wife and family at his side presented all the prize winners from the weekend with their prizes before finally pronouncing that the winner of his coveted prize was John Heffernan In his acceptance speech John paid tribute to the other competitors especially Alan and Adrian who had put up a great battle and pushed him all the way. He complimented the captain on his array of prizes and for the excellent weekend of high quality entertainment. He also paid a special thanks to his wife Marian who could be forgotten on occasions like this but had provided great support as golf can at times be a selfish game but day’s like this when one wins a major will forever live in the memory. It is an honour and a great feeling to win a Captain Prize. All the other prize winners were high in their praise for the great competition we had just witnessed.
The full list of prize winners was:
1st and Captain Prize winner 2013, John Heffernan 106pts
2nd Adrian Trappe 103pts
3rd Seamus Deery 102pts
4th Paul Treanor 102pts
5th Dermot Mcmahon 100pts
6th Alan Finnegan 100pts
Committee Prize; Cathal McGuinness
Past captains; Malachy Deery
Senior Prize; Val Mohan
1st 18; Jim Keogh
2nd 18 ; Paul Bennett
Long Distance; Ciaran Harann
Junior Girl; Kate Dwyer
Junior Boys; 1st Killian Lavelle, 2nd Tiernan McGonnell, 3rd Jack Sleator
Juvenile Boys James Allen
Juvenile Girls Louise McGinnity
Cat 1; Patricia McMahon
Cat 2; Brigid Gilhawley
Cat3; Monica Macklin
The Captain, his committee, the course staff and clubhouse staff are all to be thanked and congratulated for their tremendous work over the weekend. The course was at its very best with beautiful lush fairways and fast true greens. A joy to play on and a credit to all involved.