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‘Complete putter madness’ lies ahead

THEY are a regular Saturday fourball at Newtownstewart Golf Club, but on Sunday, June 23, Adrian Hamilton, Peter Thompson, Kenny Stewart and Gareth McGonigle are going to suffer from ‘complete putter madness’ when they tackle Macmillan’s ‘Longest Day Challenge’.

The intrepid quartet will tee off at around 5.30am on June 23 and will continue until they complete four full rounds at Newtownstewart! In all they will play 72 holes, walk 24 miles in approximately sixteen hours.

The charity is close to the hearts of the four golfers, with the wives of two of them, Joyce Thompson and Jackie Stewart, having overcome breast cancer.

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And while they are in no need of extra motivation in order to complete their task, team captain, Adrian, admits they might not have completely thought it through!

“It came up on Facebook one evening and we started talking about it, but we probably agreed to do it before we’d really thought about it!,” he explained.

“I’ve done two rounds before, but I’ve never done four! I think we’ll be sore by the end and I think we’re underestimating what lies ahead.

“This might put me off golf forever because even if you have 80 shots, which would be a super round, that’s 320 shots over the four rounds, so we’ll need a lot of golf balls!

“And Macmillan have rules which have to be followed. We’re not allowed to use buggies – unless it’s very, very inclement weather – we have to walk it!

“That was our first thing, we’ll use golf buggies but no such luck there!”

While they won’t be able to take the weight off their feet with motorised buggies, the four have decided not to take breaks between rounds either.

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They want to complete their task as quickly as possibly and thanks to the support of the club, who are waiving all green fees and will offer support on the day with full use of clubhouse facilities, they are hopeful of success.

“We’re just hoping to raise as much money as we can, Adrian continued.

“We’re looking forward to it and we’re doing it because of so many people who are affected by Cancer, so Macmillan is a great cause.

“If it’s not raining, it will be grand – otherwise it will be a very, very long day. The aim is just to get around. We’re not going to stop between rounds and the people at Newtownstewart have been very good, they’ve said they’ll let us play through to keep us going as quick as we can.

“We don’t want to stop because if we stop we might not start again and we’ll certainly not be nipping in for a pint between round!,” he concluded.

The support the quartet, who Joyce describes as ‘four eejits together’, you can donate by logging on to Just Giving and searching for COMPLETE PUTTER MADNESS; visit the golf shop, bar and restaurant at Newtownstewart Golf Club where there are sponsorship forms; make a cash donation on the day or sponsor a tee box for around £50.

• For more information contact joycet732@gmail.com.

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