Rossmore Golf Club and in particular Captain Maurice McBirney put on a fantastic weekend of golf as members played over Friday, Saturday and Sunday for the 2016 Captains Prize. Players played an initial 18 holes on Friday and Saturday with the top 64 going forward tot he next 18 holes on Sunday morning. Scoring on the first day was good with a number of players closely bunched together. The leader at this stage was James Murphy with a 65 off an 11 handicap closely followed by Gerry Hughes 66, Alan Finnegan 67, Joe Morgan 68 and the experienced Michael McQuaid right in the mix with many others all in contention. The cut fell at 74 and ties. On Sunday morning the second round saw Kevin Friel shoot 68 as did Noel O’Mahony with Philip McBirney and Joe Morgan on 69. The first round leader James Murphy turned in a steady round of 70 to remain in the lead on 135, second at this stage was Joe Morgan on 137 brother in law of the Captain with Kevin Friel on back on 138 and the pre event favorite Alan Finnegan close by on 139. It was now on to the final 9 hole playoff and with only 18 players now in with a chance of outright victory. Of the early groups out Malachy Deery had two 71s for a total of 142 and playing off a 19 handicap many expected a charge at the leaders from Malachy. The favourite Alan Finnegan opened in fine style and was level par after 3 holes and in a great position to claim his first Captains Prize. The final group of James Murphy, Joe Morgan and Kevin Friel still held the upper hand. Kevin Friel started poorly and fell out of contention but Joe Morgan off an 8 handicap was not going to give up easily but the leader James Murphy was playing steady and sound golf. It now looked to be between Murphy, Finnegan and Morgan, a great up and down on the 3rd hole kept Murphy in the lead but a big cheer from the par 3, 7th palyoff hole meant Alan Finnegan had just hit a birdie 2. James Murphy continued his relentless steady march towards outright victory and he arrived on the final hole where a bogey 5 was all he needed to secure victory. James duly obliged and to great cheers he was crowned the 2016 Centenary Captains Prize winner.
At the presentation later that evening the Secretary Mr Pat McMorrow welcomed all present and then handed over to the Captain to present the prizes. Captain Maurice gave a fitting speech and thanked everybody for supporting him over the weekend and praised all the workers in all areas of the club who had worked so hard to ensure the weekend was a success.
He then presented a very popular winner James Murphy with the first prize. James gave a very appropriate speech and was truly surprised at his victory as he recounted the many times he came in the driveway to the club and left many hours later wondering where it all went wrong. This weekend was different and sometimes one gets the little breaks that leads to victory.
Other notable performances over the weekend saw Ryan Doherty win the gross with two rounds of 73 closely followed by Sylvester Quinn.
The full list of prize winners was;
1st James Murphy 168.5, 2nd, Alan Finnegan 170, 3rd Joe Morgan 171, 4th Malachy Deery, 5th Noel O’Mahoney, 6th Michael McQuaid, 1st Gross Ryan O’Doherty, 2nd Gross Sylvester Quinn, Committee Prize, Damian Martin, Past Captains Nigel Graham, Seniors 1st , John O’Gorman and 2nd Seniors Gerry Hughes. 1st 18 winner Gary Deery, 2nd 18 hole winner Kevin Friel, Junior Boy Dean Ryan, Junior Girl, Nastia Kovalanko, Long Distance winner, Dermot McMahon(Dublin).
Ladies Winners; 1st Patricia Sullivan, 2nd Anne Malone, 3rd Nicole Nugent and 9 Hole winner was Betty Blemings.