Barbour is a cut above the rest in Town Cup
The 108th edition of the Ramsey Town Cup took place at Ramsey Golf Club on a damp Monday morning earlier this week.
Martin Webb was the official starter and Jason Orr was first away at 7am with a fine drive. The day saw a significant number of visitors play excellent golf, with Paul Lowey and Charlie Garside carding a handy 72 in the morning.
Keith Ward was one shot ahead and Alan Gault played to par but Ramsey players dominated the top places.
Mark Woodhouse ended the round with a birdie on the last hole for a 70, while Malcolm Callow birdied the 3rd and 16th holes for a 69 just behind the in-form Andrew Hudgeon on 68.
Steve Mitchell, another in-form player, had birdies on the 2nd, 4th and 11th which would prove to be valuable as the day progressed.
The stand-out round of the morning came from Steve Taylor who recorded after a birdie on the 14th and a comfortable par on the last to take the early-morning lead with a 63. A superb round but it was not to be his day.
The weather improved for the second lap in which Jamie Arneil’s bettered his first effort of 72 by one after birdies on the 2nd, 3rd and 14th - his gross 143 looked hard to beat in the race for the Critchley Cup best gross.
Danny Foulis was also up there with a nett 70 but a six on the 16th hole proved to be costly. Andrew Hudgeon shot a 70 and his 138 total looked hard to beat but a six on the par-three 9th proved crucial by the end of the day.
One of the former island champions playing was Paul McMullan and his nett 69 came from a very impressive afternoon back nine of 34 shots. Dave Dancox also wasn’t far off with a back nine of 36, both players playing steady golf.
That could not be said for Lewis Howland who had a rollercoaster second lap. He opened with a birdie four on the ever-tricky 1st, then dropped a couple of shots on the 3rd and 4th.
Howland birdied the 6th and 9th but dropped a couple more and then steadied the ship to card a nett 68 to claim third place in the afternoon.
Jamie Garrett’s two on the 17th and a nett 66 put him in second place, then Steve Barbour recorded a steady 71 in the morning and anything was possible as he started the afternoon.
However, a seven on the 1st was a potential mental disaster. A ’what the heck’ approach and a driver off the 2nd tee released the tension and resulted in a birdie three.
There were further birdies on the 4th and 14th and, with steady pars on the tricky final nail-biting holes, he carded an excellent 66 and a 137 total to snatch the Town Cup from Hudgeon by a single shot.
Mitchell took a creditable third place, with Keith Ward and Danny Foulis fourth and fifth respectively.
The visitors dominated the top places in the best gross Critchley Cup, with Lowey in third place on 149 and McMullan on 147, but both were outdone by Arneil who took the top spot with 143.
As is customary at the Ramsey Town Cup presentation, it is a celebration of great golf, a memorable victory and more than a few ’what ifs’ but any winner will never forget the day they won the Town Cup so congratulations go to Barbour.
More from Ramsey’s golf week in next week’s report in the Manx Independent.
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