87 year Old Malahide Man Wins Captains Prize On His 57th Attempt!
On his 57th attempt, Oliver O’Farrell, better known as Ollie who celebrates his 87th birthday on July 9th won Jim McMahons’ Captain’s Prize last Saturday 30th June. Playing of a handicap of 32, Oliver who was Club President in 1991 now plays in a buggy, having had 2 hips and one knee replaced!
Having shot 38 in the qualifier and another 38 on the final day, and playing in the 2nd last 3 ball, Oliver’s 76 was hailed the winning score once the final 3 ball finished. Oliver and his wife Bunny received congratulation all round and Oliver was enjoying his whiskey, when rumblings of a possible play off began to emerge. It turned out that one of Oliver’s partners David Smith, an Intermediate member, playing off 12, who finished on 75, had incorrectly cut himself one shot from the qualifying day. David at 21 years of age is approximately one quarter of Ollie’s age! and the pair set out to battle over the three-hole playoff where Oliver had a 5 shot advantage.
Ollie played a miraculous shot onto the green at the first playoff hole from behind a tree to go one point up and then sank a very difficult 15 ft putt on the 2nd playoff hole to go 3 points up. David needed a birdie at the difficult par 5 finishing hole (9th Yellow) and David hit an enormous drive. Both Oliver and David then found the trees. David made the green in 3 and had a birdie chance, which he narrowly missed. Oliver was left in a “have 2 take 2” situation and he duly lagged up for victory, in front of a packed clubhouse balcony
Euphoria abounded in Malahide during the week with the Indian cricketers hitting 6s at will, but the reaction from the club house balcony following Oliver’s win, surpassed all the excitement at the cricket club
An accomplished mariner, Oliver hails from Clifden and spent many years in New York before settling down in Malahide in the 60’s, where he and his wife Bunny have given long service to Malahide Golf Club.
Captain Jim McMahon in his congratulatory speech said that judging by the reaction from the membership that this was without doubt the most popular ever Captains’ prize winner and proved the point that allowing some of our members play off 32 made them competitive again.
Malahide Golf Club Captains have a caricature portrait completed to mark their term of office and many of these now hang on the walls of the snooker room in the club. An image is printed on the final day scorecard. Captain Jim’s late father Pat was captain in 1999 the same year Ollie’s wife Bunny was lady captain.