Winter League Final – Round 1

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Moriarty and Kilbride lead with a blistering 13 up!

A run of 10 wins in the space of 11 holes in the middle of their round gave Philip Moriarty and Colm Kilbride the lead after the first round of the SJM Catering Winter League final at Strandhill GC.

A total score of 13 up was a sensational return on a very difficult day in Strandhill, this where the course bore its teeth through the setting of some very tough pin positions and the lengthening of the tees.

After Kilbride won the first, order the pair halved the second and the third, but won every hole but one between the fourth and their 13th of the day (the eighth).

A great finish rounded things off, with Kilbride winning the 17th and Moriarty the 18th to give the pair a three-shot lead over the Conlons – Frank and Ronnie – who themselves produced a very good back nine for a score of 10 up.

The chasing pack then consists of some very experienced teams, meaning that there will be a tremendous finish to this Winter League. The Basquilles – Declan and Tommy – lie in a tie for third on nine up, along with Michael and Chris Kilcullen and Colm Kilbride’s brother Gerry and David Lindsay.

Five wins in a row from their eighth hole of the day set the pace for the Basquilles on their way to that score, while Lindsay and Kilbride were steady in making their score, although they may rue losing the 17th.

The Kilcullens, on the other hand, didn’t lose any holes, turning in six up with Michael on particularly good form.

Three more teams follow – Noel Tivnan/Dessie Timbs, Paddy Martin/John Verdon, and Colin Walsh/Mark Wehrly – all on eight up.

Timbs/Tivnan were slow out of the blocks, and were only level after six holes. But six wins in a row followed, and they made it eight wins out of 10 holes by the time Timbs won the 16th, having already rattled off four birdies in five holes from the eighth (14th).

Martin/Verdon were off to a flyer, and by the time they reached the 16th tee they were eight up for the day. Although they only managed three halves to finish, they’re in a great position now in a tie for sixth.

Walsh/Wehrly took a while to get going, meanwhile, and even after their 13th hole of the day (the eighth) they were only four up. However, they remained patient with shots down the stretch, with Walsh birdying the ninth, Wehrly winning the 10th and 16th, and Walsh coming back in for a winning par on the difficult 18th to leave them in touch.

The defending champions Tony Mannion/Ken Carr are still in contention on seven up, along with Martin Cadden/Mick Gilmartin and Denis O’Sullivan/Frank Keaney, the latter pair recovering well with a six-up back nine to stay in touch.

Two-time Winter League champions the Rooneys – Mark and Declan – had a disappointing day at the office but a rally at the finish leaves them four up and looking for a good second 18 to get them into the top-10.

It’s all to play for in the non-qualifiers as well, with the Fitzpatricks – Brian and Ger – leading the way on six up, two ahead of Jim Coyne/Pat Fenton. One further back is a chasing pack of three teams – Cedric Rousillhe/Ruairi Fox, Tony and Martin Peacock and Jimmy and Aidan Noone.

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