Whitford tops leaderboard at Downpatrick GC

A birdie-birdie finish from Ricky Whitford to the top of the leaderboard after the first 2014 outing of the PGA Ulster Golfers’ Alliance, at Downpatrick GC. The Knock pro posted a one-under-par 68 to win by one stroke from Gary Wardlow and Phil Farrell.
Whitford made a solid start on the front nine of his round with eight pars and a bogey five at the sixth. A 10-feet birdie putt on the 10th green brought him back to level par.
However, he missed the surface at the short 11th for bogey but recovered the lost ground, again, using a drive and lob wedge to five feet this time, for a second birdie three. The bumpy form continued with a three-putt bogey four at 15 before the fighting finish that landed Whitford the winner’s cheque.
The driver and lob wedge worked magic again for the Knock pro as he found the heart of the green before rolling home a 25-footer, at 17, for another birdie three and at the last he rifled a nine iron to 20 feet and again rolled home the putt.
William Hickey, a 13-handicapper from Kirkistown Castle, topped the amateurs’ nett leaderboard with a fabulous 40 points while international Dermot McElroy, once more took the gross award. The Ballymena plus-four player carded 39 points (three-under-66).
The winning team was piloted by Massereene trainee Barry McGoldrick who combined with Kirkistown Castle members William Hickey (13), Michael McGoldrick (27) and Martin Waring (19) to post 91 points.
Next Tuesday, there will be a PGA Grand Prix at Ballycastle and on January 21 the Ulster Golfers’ Alliance members will play at Kilkeel.

PING PGA Ulster Golfers’ Alliance at St Patrick’s GC, Downpatrick
Professionals: 68 (-1) – R Whitford (Knock).
69 – G Wardlow (QUB), P Farrell (Laganview DR).
70 – D Hughes (Massereene).
71 – P Stevenson (Portadown), P Hanna (Lurgan).
72 – J Dolan (Dunmurry), N Murray (Massereene), P Collins (Galgorm Castle), B McGoldrick (Malone).
Amateurs: Nett, 41 pts – Wm Hickey 13 (Kirkistown Castle).
40 – Sean McComb 12 (Massereene).
39 – Ian Smyth 4 (Clandeboye).
Gross, 39 pts – D McElroy +4 (Ballymena).
Team: 91 pts – Pro Barry McGoldrick (Massereene) with Wm Hickey 13, Michael McGoldrick 27 & Martin Waring 19 (all Kirkistown Castle).

Copy courtesy of Tony McGee


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