And if Martin was a popular winner of the pro event, the winning amateurs – led by well-known Castlebar publican, Mick Byrne, and also including Val Jennings and Tom Mylotte – were equally well-received by the local crowd.
All who spoke at the presentation ceremony in the clubhouse on the Sunday evening acknowledged the special place that is Carne, remarking in particular on the warmth of the members and of the welcome received by all who visit. A special word of thanks was reserved for the groundsmen, who had the greens in superb condition for the 12th staging of what has become one of the most popular events on the Irish PGA tour.
“It’s probably the best course I’ve played this year,” remarked Peter Martin in his victory address, while Byrne focused on the people.
“I’ve been coming here six or seven times a year since about 1992 and I have to say Carne is special. It’s a marvellous facility, but it’s the members that make it really special. The warmth, the sincerity and the great welcome here are second to none; money can never buy that,” he said.
Forty-four teams in total took part in the event, with the winner, Martin, finishing on a score of six under par, after rounds of 68 and 70 on Saturday and Sunday, respectively. David Higgins (of Waterville) and Barrie Trainor (of Warrenpoint) claimed joint second place in the pro section.
Edmund McAndrew of Erris Tourism thanked all those who took part in the event. He also thanked the organising committee, sponsors, the volunteers who helped out over the weekend, the junior members of Carne Golf Club and the staff at the club. Mark Carrigy of Shell E&P Ireland Limited, on behalf of the sponsors, said it was a privilege for the company to be associated with such a wonderful event. “It’s a majestic golf course,” he said, “set in stunning surroundings, but it’s the organisation of the event by all the dedicated people involved that makes it such a success.”
Michael McComiskey, regional secretary of the PGA, thanked Erris Tourism for their great work in organising the event. He also thanked the members of the club, noting that ‘it is the amateurs that make PGA events possible’.