Reilly is Collinstown Pitch and Putt Club’s Player of the Year
On Sunday September 26, Collinstown Pitch and Putt Club held the semi-finals and finals of its Player of the Year and Committee’s Prize competitions.
A continuous points system throughout the year defines to the top four players to qualify for the Player of the Year finals, which makes it a very sought after and competitive competition.
All four players on Sunday morning had aspirations of winning the Miko Fay Player of the Year cup but as the saying goes – there could only be one!
The first semi-final was between local course specialist Darren Reilly and club president, Kevin ‘Flano’ Flanagan. Giving Flano 6 shots per round is a daunting task but that’s what Darren faced in this match. It looked like Flano was on his way to the final as he stood on the 16th tee-box at three up with three to play.
But Darren was having none of it as he birdied the final three holes to take it to sudden death. A further birdie on the second tie-hole was enough for victory for Darren and a place in the final.
The second semi-final was an all-senior affair between Jack Buckley and John Browne. Jack got ahead early in this match but never managed to get out of sight. Wins for Browne on 14 and 15 in the second round brought the deficit back to one down with three to go. Browne missed a good chance to tie up the match on 16 before both men birdied 17. At one down going down the last, a birdie was required from Browne and that did not happen so Jack progressed to his first Player of the Year final.
With Darren playing Jack in the final – a new name was going on the Miko Fay cup as neither man had won this coveted title before. Jack had a good solid start to the final and led the early stages of the match. But Darren found his rhythm towards the end the first round and made a bunch of birdies in the middle section of the match. After 30 holes Darren had stretched his lead to five and he never relinquished the lead. Darren closed out the match 6&5 for his first Player of the Year title.
The last four in the Committee’s Prize is made up of the best four players from the Wednesday night competitions that did not already qualify for the Player of the Year semis. This was a great initiative introduced by former Chairman Paddy Browne several years ago to reward attendance to Wednesday night competitions. Indeed, Paddy was one of the four semi-finalists this year, along with Paddy Gorman, Raymond Fay and Benny Fay.
The opening semi-final was between Raymond Fay and Paddy Gorman. This promised to be a high-quality match but, on the day, Raymond was too strong and ran out a 9&8 winner. Ray played some very superb quality pitch and putt in the semi-final.
The second semi-final between Benny Fay and Paddy Browne was once again a top-drawer match that couldn’t be separated after 36 holes so, on we went to tie-holes. Eventually a superb pitch to two feet on the 60-metre third tie-hole was enough to secure the win for Paddy Browne.
The final between Raymond Fay and Paddy Browne ebbed and flowed early on but Ray managed to get a three-up lead after 18 holes. Paddy played very solid pitch and putt throughout, but in fairness, Ray continued the high standard of play which he displayed earlier in the semi-final, and in the end, he closed out the match on the 13th.