Murray shares Ulster Alliance top spot with Ramsey and McCarroll

Massereene GC assistant, Noel Murray, who was runner-up in the Irish Region PGA Championship at Mount Juliet, carried his good form into the Northern Branch Ping Ulster Golfers’ Alliance tournament at Lurgan.
Murray set the early target at three-under-par 67 but by the end of the day he had to share top spot with Wes Ramsey and Peter McCarroll.
The pace-setter began at the 10th tee and carded a blistering back nine of five-under-par 30. His approach play and putting were spot on and, after chipping to six inches for birdie three at 10, he reeled off four birdies in a row from the 12th hole.
A pitching wedge to two feet and 12 feet gave him birdies at the short 12th and par four 13th. He rolled in a 10-footer for birdie, after a gap wedge to the green, at 14 and chipped to six feet at the next.
The Massereene man’s only stumble on the back nine was a three-putt at the short 17th for bogey but he regained the lost ground with a chip and putt for a four at the long 18th. Murray missed the third and sixth greens for a pair of bogey fives on the front nine.
Ramsey, who began from the first, missed the third green for bogey but turned in one-under-34 after picking up a shot at the fourth and then holing from 15 feet for three at the fifth. On the way home, he made birdie threes at 13 and 16, getting down from three and eight feet.
Like Murray, McCarroll began at 10 and he made three back nine birdies. A wedge to 10 feet set-up a three at his opening hole, a sand-wedge, from 86 yards to two feet gave him birdie four at 15 and he just missed an eagle two at 18, when his seven iron approach sat on the lip of the cup.|
Brian McClure, a nine-handicapper from Spa, and Andy Wilson, who plays off eight out of Lurgan, shared 40 nett amateur points with McClure edging home with 20pts on the back nine to Wilson’s 19. The gross prize was won by plus-four international Dermot McElroy (Ballymena) who posted 69, while the team event prize went to the Co Armagh quartet.

PING ULSTER GOLFERS’ ALLIANCE AT LURGAN.
Professionals: 67 (-3) – N Murray (Massereene), W Ramsey (Knockbracken), P McCarroll (Allen Pk).
69 – D McWilliams (Unattached), P Martin (Collin Pk).
70 – JU Scullion (Kilkeel).
71 – G Wardlow (Dunmurry), D Mooney (Ballyliffin).
Amateurs: Nett, 40 pts – Brian McClure 9 (Spa) .. 20 back; Andy Wilson 8 (Lurgan) .. 19 back.
39 – Janet Forbes 13 (Loughgall).
38 – Phil Posnett 4 (Downpatrick).
Gross, 69 – Dermot McElroy +4 (Ballymena).
Team: 89 pts – Tony Murtagh with Paddy Duffy 10, Johnny Palmer 15 & Natty McGeown 9 (all Co Armagh).

Info courtesy of Tony McGee

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