What immediately springs to mind when you think of “Wednesday”? The hump day of the working week, after which the weekend shimmers enticingly on the horizon?
The woeful only daughter of the gruesome Addams Family; Gomez and Morticia’s youngster? Or an illustrious Sheffield-based footballing institution, recently lowed but poised to rise once more?
For most people, it’s surely the latter — or perhaps not — but for members of County Armagh Golf Club, there’s little doubt that Wednesdays represent, first and foremost, an opportunity to gorge on competitive golfing action, without having to suffer the interminable, hungry wait for another Saturday fairway feast to roll around.
With this this year’s Wednesday qualifiers having begun, as ever, back in April, they raced to their season’s end with impressive on-course performances throughout September.
Kicking off on the 4th of the month, it was a case of, “He’s just Johnny from the (prize-winning) block”, as J-Lo John Lowe racked up 11 pars and a birdie on his way to a marvellous 41 points and victory among the over-65s.
The same day witnessed less extravagant scoring in the Open and Senior Open ranks, where Alistair Bassett and Niall McGeown triumphed nonetheless with creditable totals of 35 points and 34 points respectively.
The following Wednesday, Stewart Stevenson posted an effortless gross 72 that yielded 37 points and an Open Stableford win. Meanwhile, Eamon O’Hagan topped the over-65 leaderboard with a terrific 39-point outing that peaked with a productive spell of five pars in six holes from Shambles to Lakes. And O’Hagan’s namesake, Eamon Connolly, proved unbeatable in the over-50s section by virtue of a solid, handicap-equalling 36-point effort.
On 18 September, Derick Hynes registered a superb 43-point gross 75 that featured birdies at the 6th and 10th and earned him the Senior Open plaudits. In the simultaneous under-50s Open, the visiting David McRoberts’s uncomplicated 40-point knock couldn’t be matched by the CAGC contenders. However, local pride was restored by Norman Mallon, who prevailed in the over-65s event through the 41 points he gleaned from his splendid gross 84.
A week later, Thomas Crowe brought the curtain down on 2019’s Wednesday qualifiers in some style with a fabulous 44-point display to claim first prize in the Open Stableford. Crowe was level par with five holes remaining before an understandably fidgety finish but, having had his handicap slashed to 13, he’ll be justifiably confident of coming down even further next term.
Also on the 25th, Sean Brannigan was crowned king of the over-65s on account of an excellent 39-point scorecard showing eight pars, and Ian Beaddie secured yet another podium placing of his highly profitable campaign. Ian clinched the over-50s title as a consequence of a 38-point round containing 10 pars and a birdie.
Midweek enthusiasts should fear not, though, as Will’s Wednesday Pro Shop Sweeps have returned and are open to both ladies and gents.