As the qualifying season at County Armagh Golf Club gallops to its autumnal conclusion with dispiriting rapidness, the penultimate Medal of 2017 was competed for on 6 August. And emerging victorious from a 96-strong field in this Gerard Byrne Tyres-sponsored event was Paul Traynor with a tremendous nett 66.
It's often said that damage limitation at certain tricky junctures is key to any successful round of golf and, crucially, Paul recorded just one double bogey — at the 3rd — in his admirably steady Sunday showing. Half a dozen pars at the 4th, 9th, 10th, 12th and, most impressively, 18th added the gloss to an excellent gross 83 that secured for Traynor both the much-sought-after monthly silverware and a new handicap of 16.
Paul Traynor is presented with the County Armagh Golf Club August Medal by competition sponsor Gerard Byrne, proprietor of Gerard Byrne Tyres. Also pictured are Club Captain Richard Stewart and other prizewinners (L-R) Oliver Connell, Norman Mallon, Derick Hynes and Caolan Doyle.
A shot adrift of Paul and assuming the runner-up berth was the ever-consistent Caolan Doyle, whose superb five-over-par performance earned him a nett 67. In yet another accomplished outing, Caolan fired a hat-trick of birdies at the 4th, 7th and 12th and completed the homeward nine in just 37 strokes.
A neat-and-tidy scorecard showing seven pars and 11 bogeys was enough for young Jamie Calvert to head the category 1 standings with a pleasing nett 69. Andy Conn's nett 69, which lost out to Jamie's on a break of tie, was a rather more topsy-turvy affair, comprising as it did a wonderfully mixed bag of two birdies, eight pars, four bogeys and four double bogeys. Still, after his 41-point triumph in the green-marker competition on 23 July, this category runner-up prize is at least proof that Conn can also produce the goods from the back sticks.
The category 2 plaudits went to Derick Hynes, whose splendid nett 67 included a birdie at the 6th and seven pars elsewhere and clipped his handicap from 13 to 12. Oliver Connell matched Hynes stride for stride as he too notched a birdie and seven pars in a fine nett 67 of his own. However, Connell had to content himself with a category 2 second spot on account of his inferior back nine and, indeed, only a torrid 8, 6 finish prevented his overall tournament glory.
Oliver's erstwhile All-Ireland Four-ball Trophy teammate Norman Mallon took the honours in category 3 with a nap hand of pars in a solid nett 69, and Stephen Miller filled second place here after slotting four pars on his way to a creditable nett 72.
Brendan Powell won the Open Stableford on Wednesday 9 August with 39 points. Yorkie's birdies at the 6th, 9th and 15th helped him to a high-quality gross 75, while a birdie at the 10th on the same day was the highlight of Declan McReynolds's round as he posted 37 points to prevail among the over-55s.