Conor Hackett kept his nerve to win Pat Davis’s Captain Prize on Sunday by three shots from Michael Browne after a titanic battle.
The 12 handicapper added a one under par 71 to his impressive first round 65 to finish on eight under par while Browne, playing off 23, finished on five under after a 74, having also carded a seven under par 65 in the first round.
Browne was actually leading by two strokes with five holes to go but dropped three shots at 14 and 15 to hand the initiative to Hackett who then pressed home his advantage with a birdie on the par three 17th when he fired a wind-assisted seven iron to within a few feet of the pin and sank the putt.
“That was the clincher,” said Hackett afterwards. “We had a great battle and it is a great honour for me to win a Captain’s Prize.”
It was Hackett who started the better of the two as he reeled off four straight pars to lead Browne by three shots standing on the fifth tee box. But he then ran up a double bogey five after finding the water and the pair were level after Hackett bogeyed the sixth.
Browne then edged a shot ahead on the seventh but Hackett responded on the eighth to draw level and they both turned for home neck and neck after shooting nett 35s over the front nine.
A double bogey seven at the 10th saw Browne fall two shots behind Hackett, who parred the hole, but Hackett then allowed Browne back into the contest as he produced back to back double bogeys on the 12th and 13th while Browne parred both holes.
That put Browne in the driving seat but he then faltered himself when he dropped three shots over the next two holes to go from two ahead to one behind with three to play. Hackett parred the 16th, where he had a shot, to move two ahead and went three ahead with that superb birdie on the 17th.
He then matched Browne’s bogey five on the last, where they both had shots, to claim his first Captain’s Prize, with a two round total of 136, on what was also his second wedding anniversary.
Eighty-four-year-old Michael Stewart (14), who had carded a magnificent eight under par 64 to lead after round one, was unable to match his two playing partners in the final group but received a deserved standing ovation from a packed Clubhouse on Sunday night when he was presented with his prize for being the leading qualifier from the previous Sunday’s first round.
Brian Ward (16) shot two level par rounds of 72 for a total of 144 on his way to becoming a very popular winner of the Veteran’s Prize while Senior Panel member Neal MacKell (3) shot gross rounds of 75 and 76 to take the Gross Prize on 151.
The category winners over the two rounds were Niall Martin (9), Shane Thornton (14) and Conor McClenaghan (19) while Eddie Rogers (4) won the Saturday Qualifier after his 67.
It was a good week for McClenaghan as he won the Wednesday Singles Stableford sponsored by Deluxe Bathroom and Tiling Solution, Dundalk Retail Park with a score of 42pts.
Congratulations to Josh Mackin who has been selected on the Ireland team for this year's Boys U18 Home Internationals which are taking place this week at Asburnham Golf Club in Wales.
Sunday, August 4 – Pat Davis’s Captain’s Prize – Overall: 136 – Conor Hackett (12) 65, 71; 139 – Michael Browne (23) 65, 74; 140 - Paul O’Callaghan (10) 70, 70; 141 – Richard Copas (15) 71, 70; 142 – Ferghal Duffy (17) 75, 67. Veteran: 144 - Brian Ward (16) 72, 72. Gross: 151 – Neal MacKell (3) 75, 76. Category 1 (<13): 142 - Niall Martin (9) 74, 68. Category 2 (13-18): 142 - Shane Thornton (14) 71, 71. Category 3 (19+): 143 - Conor McClenaghan (19) 74, 69. Saturday Qualifier (July 27) - Overall: Eddie Rogers (4) 67. Category 1 (0-12): Alan McDermott (4) 68. Category 2 (13-18): Malcolm Drake (15) 69. Category 3 (19+): Sean Taaffe (19) 69/33.5. Sunday Qualifier (July 28) – Overall: Michael Stewart (14) 64. Cat 1 (<12): Billy Cairns (6) 67. Category 2 (13-18): Ronan Farrelly (18) 69. Category 3 (19+): Tom Lanigan (22) 70. Best Juvenile (Qualifying Rounds): Rory Henry (21) 66, Tom Dunne (13) 69. Sunday 18 Holes (August 4) – Category 1 (<12): Aaron Grant (+1) 68/33.5, Ciaran Traynor (8) 68. Category 2 (13-18): Dermot McKenna (16) 67, Danny Gallagher (13) 69/33.5. Category 3 (18+): Noel Crowe (22) 67, Diarmuid McAdam (24) 68. CSS: 72 (Saturday Qualifying), 72 (Sunday Qualifying), 72 (Sunday final).
Saturday, August 3 – Singles Stableford - Connor Conroy (11) 39pts. CSS: 36pts.
Wednesday, July 31 - Singles Stableford sponsored by Deluxe Bathroom and Tiling Solution, Dundalk Retail Park – Overall: Conor McClenaghan (19) 42pts, Gerry Brennan (6) 40pts, Patrick Dunne (19) 39pts. Category 1 (0-12): Tom Dunne (12) 38/21pts. Category 2 (13-18): Michael O’Sullivan (16) 38/20pts. Category 3 (19+): Noel Crowe (22) 36/20pts. Best Gross: Aaron Grant (-1) 37pts. Juvenile: Cillian Halpenny (19) 36pts. CSS: 72/36pts.