Magical McElhinney makes it two wins on the bounce at Royal Portrush

Royal-Portrush-Golf-Club
For the second time this month and the third time in four events, Brian McElhinney topped the leaderboard at an Ulster Golfers’ Alliance tournament.
The links specialist, a former British Amateur champion, claimed another UGA win at Royal Portrush in the PGA Grand Prix.
The North West pro posted a six-under-66 to finish one shot ahead of Belvoir Park assistant Chris Carvill. McElhinney carded three birdie fours and five birdie threes with two bogey fives stopping the rampage on the run in.
Putting was the secret of the winner’s spectacular round.
He rolled in a 20-footer on the fourth green for birdie three, chipped to eight feet at the next for another three, and pitched to four feet from 70 yards at eight for his third three.
He then brought his big hitting into play, being pin high left at the long ninth hole and getting down with a chip and putt for birdie four, and an outward tally of four-under-par 32.
A drive and three wood to 12 feet set up another birdie four at the 10th hole before he made his fourth and fifth birdie threes at 12 and 13. He holed a 10-footer at 12 and a 15-footer at the next hole.
The Donegal man then had his first lapse of the round when he missed the green at 16 which resulted in a dropped shot but he regained the lost ground when he pitched to three feet for a birdie four at 17, before he finished with his second bogey five on the 18th after he put his five iron approach into a bunker for a back nine of 32.
Local member Matt McAlpin, a plus-one handicapper, topped the amateurs’ gross board with 40 points. The Category One prize was won by Ardglass four-handicapper David Madine on 36 points, while Gary Smyth, who plays off nine at Kirkistown Castle, won the Category Two award with 39 points.
Best in the Butterball Team event were Castle Hume pro, Shaun Donnelly and amateur Michael Dallat, a Galgorm Castle scratch player. Their winning score was 44 points.

PGA Ulster Golfers’ Alliance Grand Prix at Royal Portrush

Selected scores
Professionals: 66 (-6) – B McElhinney (North West).
67 – C Carvill (Belvoir Pk).
68 – D Mooney (Nevada Bobs Belfast).
70 – A Cathers (Ardglass), G Wardlow (Spa), S Donnelly (Castle Hume).
Amateurs: Gross, 40 pts – M McAlpine +1 ( Royal Portrush).
37 – M Malone 2 (Belvoir Pk)
36 – M Dallat scr (Galgorm Castle),
Category One: 36 pts – D Madine 4 (Ardglass).
Category Two: 39 pts – G Smyth 9 (Kirkistown Castle).
Team Betterball: 44 pts – Pro S Donnelly (Castle Hume) & Amateur M Dallat scr (Galgorm Castle).
With thanks to Tony McGee
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