Murray finishes Ulster Golfers’ Alliance season with victory at Portstewart

Powerade PGA Assistants' Championship - Irish Regional Qualifier
The Ulster Golfers’ Alliance wrapped up their season at Portstewart with Noel Murray making light of wet and windy conditions to win the final outing in The Ping Race to the Strand.
Murray carded a blemish-free five-under-par 67 to be three strokes clear of tour player Simon Thornton (Team Ireland), with Damian Mooney (Ballyliffin) and Barrie Trainor (Cairndhu) sharing third place a further shot back in joint third position.
Murray was in sparkling form as he raced to the turn with a hat-trick of birdie threes for an outward run of three-under-33. At the second he holed from 10 feet and then, after five straight pars, made back-to-back birdies at eight and nine.
He maintained his charge around the turn and added another birdie at the par five 13th courtesy of a two-putt and then finished his round in style at 18, pitching to 12 feet and rolling in the putt for his fifth birdie of the day.
There was a tie at the top of the amateurs’ nett leader board as Scrabo’s David Graham (6) and Balmoral’s Niall McCallin (9) both posted 38 points.
Graham took first place with 19 points coming home to McCallin’s 17. The gross winner was Galgorm Castle member Michael Alexander (5) who carded 31 points.
The winning team was led in by local pro Neil Graham who had Portstewart amateurs Marty Hughes (5), Stephen Henry (10) and Joe Lyons (18) as his partners. The home team won on 87 points.
With the winter action now completed the players will move on to the Ping Summer Masters Series with the first tournament in that scheduled for Lurgan on April 23.

PING PGA Ulster Alliance Race to the Strand final at Portstewart
Professionals: 67 (-5) – N Murray (Massereene).
70 – S Thornton (Team Ireland).
71 – D Mooney (Ballyliffin), B Trainor (Cairndhu).
72 – R Whitford (Knock).
73 – G Wardlow (American Golf).
Amateurs: Nett, 38 pts – D Graham, senior 6 (Scrabo) … 19 back.
38 – N McCallin 9 (Balmoral) … 17 back.
37 – R Hanna, junior 6 (Lurgan).
Gross, 31 pts – M Alexander 5 (Galgorm Castle).
Team: 87 pts – Pro N Graham with amateurs M Hughes 11, S Henry 10 & J Lyons 18 (all Portstewart).
Info courtesy of Tony McGee

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