Friday, June 23, 2017

Bell leads all the way to win Scottish senior title

Downfield Golf Club, Dundee member Graham Bell led from start to finish to win the Scottish senior men's open amateur championship at Royal Burgess Golfing Society, Edinburgh today (Friday).
He peaked early in the 54-hole tournament with a five-under-par 66 but was able to maintain the pole position with subsequent rounds of 73 and 72 for a two-under-par final total of 211.
In his final round, Bell had birdies at the long sixth, eighth, 10th, 12th and 18th, mixed in with bogeys at the first, second, seventh and 17th. Not even a double bogey 6 at the ninth, which saw him through the turn in 38, upset his poise and he won in the end by three strokes from Trevor Foster (Accrington) who had three steady rounds of 72, 71 and 71 for 214.
Defending champion Stephen East (Wike Ridge), one shot behind Bell after two rounds, was expected to mount a challenge over the final 18 holes but the Leeds man never got going and his only birdie came at the 18th. Out in 40, East finished with a 78 after earlier scores of 68 and 72, for joint sixth position on 218 alongside the second placed Scot, Robert Smith (Nairn) (73-72-73).

Royal Burgess GS, Edinburgh
Par 213 (3x71) SSS 71 CSS 72 73
211 G Bell (Downfield) 66 73 72.
214 T A Foster (Accrington) 72 71 71
215 A Mew (Stoneham) 72 72 71
216 A Stracey (Denham) 69 72 75
217 G Wilson (Calcot Park) 73 71 73
218 R W Smith (Nairn) 73 72 73, T Whittaker (Beaconsfield) 72 71 75, R Partridge (Wildernesse) 71 72 75, S East (Wike Ridge) 68 72 78.
220 I Dickson (Gullane) 75 71 74, I Crowther (Royal Lytham) 73 72 75, M Stones (Boyce Hill) 71 72 77, T McLevy (Blairgowrie) 70 72 78.
221 G Bolla (Italy) 73 75 73, R Latham (Woodhall Spa) 71 75 75, T Gray (Royal Jersey) 70 73 78, D Nelson (Northenden) 69 72 80.
222 R Atkinson (Windermere) 74 75 73, G Forrest (Northumberland) 73 75 74, B Harris (USA) 71 77 74.
223 P Wharton (John O'Gaunt) 77 68 78, J Fraser (Royal Burgess) 74 70 79, D Shields (Glenearn) 70 74 79.
224 C Jones (West Sussex) 74 72 78, C Banks (Stanton on the Wold) 72 78 74, K Diss (John O'Gaunt) 70 80 74.
225 G MacDonald (Glenbervie) 75 72 78, J W Johnston (Royal Aberdeen) 75 71 79, N Evans (St Mellons) 74 75 76, A Belford (Prestwick St Nicholas) 73 78 74, I Brotherston (Dumfries and Co) 72 77 76, C Aukett (Boyce Hill) 69 75 81.
226 T Patterson (Sunningdale) 75 73 78, D Imrie (Lundin) 72 78 76

227 J Archibald (Luffness New) 75 73 79, A G Ross (Deeside) 73 73 81, R A Clark (Erskine) 71 77 79 (T35).
228 D Martin (Carnoustie) 74 74 80, F H McCluskey (R and A) 73 76 79 (T43)
229 J Aman (Grangemouth) 74 77 78 (T47)
231 D Dickson (Lochmaben) 74 73 84 (T50)
232 R Stewart (Tulliallan) 74 77 81, A K Helm (Merchants of Edinburgh) 72 78 82.
233 G C Barrie (Callander) 73 78 82 (55th).


Reigning Seniors Order of Merit champion Graham Bell etched his name on his first national title with a superb wire-to-wire victory in the Scottish Seniors Men’s Open Championship at The Royal Burgess Golfing Society in Edinburgh today.
Having led on day one after a superb five-under par 66 on day one, the man from Downfield had a slender one-shot lead going into today’s final round, but staved off the challenge from Englishman Trevor Foster (Accrington) to win by three shots with a two-under aggregate of 211.
With the wind picking up throughout a testing final day, a double-bogey on the 9th for Bell reduced the gap to one shot, but the 58-year-old bounced back with birdies on the 10th and 12th to increase his lead. He produced a superb tee-shot on the par-four final hole which reached the front of the green to set up a closing tap-in birdie and seal the win in style.
His impressive front-running display was even more remarkable, having knocked his opening tee-shot out of bounds on Wednesday, finding himself three-over par after the first hole. He never looked back after that, firing eight birdies in his next 15 holes, racking up an impressive total of 16 birdies in total over the three days on the superbly presented Capital venue.
“My putting was definitely the key this week and the Royal Burgess greens, which were in fantastic conditions, really suited my eye,” he said.
“I obviously didn’t get off to a great start on the first day, but I knuckled down and started holing a few putts after that and was able to get more aggressive,” added Bell, whose son Ross was a winner of the Home Internationals with the Scotland Men’s team in 2012.
“I knew I had the game to win this week and the course has some similarities to Downfield so I felt quite at home. I played a couple of practice rounds with John Fraser, who is a member here, which really helped me work my way round the course.”
“It was good to play with defending champion Stephen East, who is an excellent player and that also helped me focus. I’m delighted to get my first national win under my belt and look forward to challenging at Sunningdale in the British.”
Fraser, a former captain at the home club, took the award for the leading over-65 in the field, despite slipping to a share of 21st spot on 223 with a closing 79, while Stoneham’s Alan Mew took the bronze medal with a two-over par aggregate of 214, matching runner-up Foster’s impressive final round of level par 71.




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