Last Saturday Ballykisteen held its eagerly awaited Captain’s Prize. The weekend festivities teed off on Friday evening with the ‘three club / yellow ball’ competition. A fine turnout of members with their ‘favourite’ clubs took on the challenge of the 9 hole competition and with only two teams returning the yellow ball it was Pat Irwin, Mike Keegan and Tom McGrath who were victorious in that competition. The winner of the individual competition was Captain Chris Ahern with Kevin O’Hora in second. Without doubt, par of the evening went to Pat Irwin who used his 6 iron four times on the 8th to par the hole.
On Saturday Captain Chris was at the club to see the first competitors tee off at 8am which illustrates his dedication to the club. Chris was looking very smart in his club blazer as he greeted all the golfers throughout the day which included Members, Juniors, Ladies and Visitors which added up to nearly 140 in total and is a true testament to the popularity of Chris.
The course was in fantastic condition and credit for this must go to Mike Heffernan and his team for setting up some difficult pin positions on the day. All golfers were treated to burgers off the 9th green which gave some of them time to analyze their front 9 score and plan the back 9 or not. With the windy conditions, scoring was very competitive and the top qualifying score of 64nett was returned by Paudie Ryan and Jonathan Ryan, followed by 69nett of Sean Kiely, 70nett by Raymond Flynn, James Keane and PJ Carey and 71 nett by Frankie Nolan and Pat Ryan. The final qualifying places of 72nett went to Dara Heffernan, Mick Kennedy, Arthur Pierse Snr, PJ McLoughlin and John O’Dwyer to leave a total of 12 players in the 9 hole play-off.
The play off was a tense and close affair with nerves getting the better of everyone at some time or another. Despite a huge effort by Jonathan Ryan, it was Paudie Ryan (along with caddie Denis) who held his nerve throughout and tapped in a 2ft putt on the 18th to record a final score of 98.5nett over 27 holes to register a fabulous win which was greeted with a huge round of applause by the large crowd gathered around the 18th green.