Garth McGimpsey shot a 3 under par final round to retain his Ulster Seniors crown by 6 shots over all here in Murvagh.
Day 1 conditions couldn’t have been any better for the early starters on Wednesday with the sun shining and barely a drop of wind to contend with. The scoring matched the conditions in the morning with Peter Rogers posting what would turn out to be the best score of the day, a 1 over par 74. There were 3 players hot on his heels with Mervyn Eager, H N MacKeown and Garth McGimpsey all shooting 2 over par 75’s. As the afternoon groupings prepared to tee off the wind began to get up and made it harder to shoot a low score to match the morning contenders. David Dowey and Clem Walshe posted the best of the afternoon scores, with both shooting 4 over par 77’s.
Day two’s weather conditions were a lot trickier with showers coming in over night and continuing on throughout the morning. These conditions meant that very few players were able to shoot under 80 in the morning with Clem Walshe and Tom Tyrrell sharing the clubhouse lead from the morning with a total of 155 to sit on 9 over. However, as the leading pack from day 1 got ready to tee off the rain began to move on and the wind calmed leaving it open for one of the pack to post a low score and get their hands on the title. McGimpsey set about the task of climbing his way in to the lead and with 3 birdies and 1 bogey on the front 9 meant he made the turn on 2 under par. Over night leader Peter Rogers kept hot on his tails with 2 birdies and 2 bogeys meaning he started the back nine 1 behind the now leader Garth McGimpsey having gone round level par for the first 9 holes.
Rogers however found the back 9 trickier falling further back and finished his day with a 79 to leave the door open for McGimpsey to move in. And he didn’t need much of an invite with birdies on both the 10th and 12th holes meaning he was in touching distance of reclaiming the title. There was time for a late scare with McGimpsey taking bogey on the par 3 16th however this wasn’t enough to throw him off as he closed out with 2 pars on 17 and 18 to make sure he wasn’t going to be beaten finishing up with a fantastic 3 under par 70 to make him the 2017 Ulster Seniors Open Championship winner. A special mention has to go to the runner up on the day, Billy Donlon, who was to out do McGimpsey for the low round of the day shooting a brilliant 4 under par 69, the only man to do so over the 2 days.
Afterwards, Ulster Branch Chairman Eamon O’Connor thanked all the in house and greens staff for their work over the 3 days and gave a special mention to the Donegal Golf Club ladies club who kindly gave up their competition day on Tuesday for the practice round. He also thanked all the volunteers of the GUI and ball spotters for their hard work in keeping the competition run smoothly.
In his speech, McGimpsey reiterated Eamon’s comments, thanking everyone who helped out and the greens staff for having the course in great shape. He also gave a special thanks to his Caddie, Sam Trimble, who had previously been on the bag the last time that Garth won here in Murvagh.
|Winner||Garth McGimpsey||Royal Portrush||-1|
|4th||Ernie Haywood||City of Derry||+6|
|Nett||Eric Murphy||Royal Curragh||-1 (nett)|
For the full list of scores click on the link to the Golfnet page: https://www.golfnet.ie/UlsterGolfLive#/competition/1151038/results
Overall 2nd,Billy Donlon, who shot a 69 on the final day.
The Crowd watching the McGimpsey group on the 15th
Spectators watch McGimpsey close out his round on the final hole
Garth & Caddie Sam Trimble line up a putt on the 18th green