Mick Mullane made it look easy when winning his first major, the Captain’s (Mr. Patsy O’Keeffe) Prize, at Clonmel Golf Club on Saturday last, from a field of 177 players who had set out the previous week in the hunt for glory.
Maybe it’s his relaxed attitude these days – Mick retired from the Garda Siochana last year and also retired from his position as Honorary Secretary of Men’s Golf in Clonmel Golf Club – that he did not appear to be under any pressure when coming from 6 shots back at the start of the day with a final round of 66, or was he?
Playing off of 11 handicap, he covered the first nine in a very good 2 over par, thanks to a birdie 3 on the 7th hole. However, he found his game slipping away when he found himself three over for the first four holes of the back nine and went to four over following another bogey on the 15th.
As all Clonmel golfers know, facing into the final three holes – par 4, par 3, par 5 – is a daunting task on any day, not to talk about the Captain’s Prize, but Mick – probably humming some tune from the Banner County to keep himself focussed – covered these last three holes in level par for a fantastic 66 and was leader in the Clubhouse.
Mick then had to wait an anxious hour for the rest of the field to finish, all of whom had started out with a better qualifying score than him, and when Billy Byrne, in the second last group, came in with a 67 to tie Mick’s overall score the long wait was over as Mick’s second day 66 was good enough to win on the count back.
While Billy may have been disappointed not to win on Saturday, he shrugged it off with a win on Sunday with a very fine 37 points. There was attendance in the Clubhouse that night for the presentation of the beautiful prizes and the winner, in his acceptance speech, told the audience he did not realise how winning a major could bring so much excitement and enjoyment to him and he thanked the Captain for the beautiful prize. The Captain thanked all of the players and congratulated the other winners and the night concluded with great food and also great entertainment from Sean Callaghan. Results
Captain’s (Mr. Patsy O’Keefe) Prize, Saturday 18th August
1st Mick Mullane (11) 139 B9
2nd Shane O’Keefe (12) 129
3rd Billy Byrne (10) 139
1st Gross Trevor Creed (4) 155 B9
4th Jimmy Ryan (12) 140
5th Jim Butler (13) 142
6th Richard Power (14) 143
2nd Gross Richie Whelan (3) 155
1st Senior John Bolger (13) 144
2nd Senior Liam Maunsell (15) 145
Pat Captain Terry Sullivan (18) 73
Best Qualifier Pat Quinlan (14) 67 B9