Monday, July 10, 2017

Alan Cameron's hot putter helps win

Inverness 4-day Open


Fortrose and Rosemarkie member Alan Cameron had a prosperous seven days last week when, in the build-up to the Inverness Courier and Orion Group-sponsored Inverness Four Day Open, he won the first scratch voucher of £325 in Nairn Golf Club's King Trophy with a three-under par card of 69.

By midweek Cameron, pictured, was safely into the 16 scratch qualifiers at Inverness with cards of 76 and 72; then overcame two prominent qualifiers on his way to of the final, leading qualifier Bruce Thomson at the 22nd hole, then fourth seed Ruaridh Greenwood, before facing last season's Inverness club champion Jonathon Keith in the final.


It was a final that, as in all his previous ties, Cameron's putter proved his most rewarding club.  Beginning on the first green he holed from thirty feet to go one ahead while his opponent missed from a third of that distance.  A pitch and single putt birdie four two holes later put the Fortrose visitor two in front after three.


From the fourth tee Cameron had his first entanglement with Culcabock's tree-lined fairways. A push to the right left no shot to the green and he lost the hole to a par figure, remaining one up.


He followed with a long draw from the 5th tee that cleared more trees and found the fourth fairway. After his second shot struck the top branches he was still short left of the green but almost holed his third shot. Keith missing an eagle attempt to win the hole, but on the next hole he gifted it to Cameron when he overshot the green with wedge and Cameron recovered his earlier two hole lead.


This the Fortrose golfer held until Keith birdied the tenth and then the 12th holes to level but after sharing bogey figures on the short 13th Cameron's stopped any further recovery recovery with three single putt greens The 14th for a winning par four, the 15th beside the Curling Pond matching Keith's birdie two and then unleashing a 300 yard drive down the 16th fairway leaving a short wedge to the green for his holed birdie three to give him a dormy situation.


 A questionable choice of driver from the 17th tee to a green only 323 yards away gave Cameron another visit to trees to lose the hole but with complete composure he split the 18th fairway, leaving only an eight iron to the green, made all the easier when Keith's ball twice stayed in play following his drive and second shot hitting trees. Keith's putt for four remained above ground and he conceded Cameron's two foot putt for the winning two hole result.


It was Cameron’s second Rosswood Trophy success, the first in 2011, and the £300 first prize voucher boosted his week's family holiday pocket money to £625.  


In the Class 1 Handicap Section final the Johnstone Trophy was won by Greg Bennett. There was only a two stroke difference in handicap between him and Willie Hutchison but a much bigger age gap.


Bennett (21) won three of the first four holes but was brought back to only a one hole lead after nine by the experienced Hutchison. Bennett enjoyed a birdie three foot putt putt on the tenth green to go two ahead but then lost the next hole before another inspired run. Winning two and losing one of the next three holes he went to the penultimate tee in dormy position to secure the required half on the 17th green for 2 and 1.


Mike Lyle had previously won the Tom Sutherland Trophy in Category two and was making a good job regaining it by taking a one hole lead to the 10th tee. But bunkered at the par three 15th hole he fell back to three behind by losing the previous hole to Neil Urquhart's nett par.  But Urquhart could not finish the job off in regulation time losing the final three holes before becoming the new trophy winner at the first extra hole.


Into the final handicap section for the Fraser Smith Trophy was the only member, Julian Innes making a defence. He faced another retired Northern Constabulary Police Officer, Colin Sutherland, who was the section's leading qualifier so the jury was out on this needle match. Taking the loot home again after commanding a two hole lead at halfway then winning by 3 and 2 was the holder.    






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