Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Robin Wilson's round-up of North tournaments

Sinclair Cup triumph at Dornoch for Fortrose and Rosemarkie champion Lewis Reid

Sinclair Cup winners at Dornoch, left Lewis Reid, centre Royal Dornoch captain Alan Ramsey and right Taylor Bullock Trophy winner Niall Campbell.

Royal Dornoch's flagship 36-hole open stroke-play competition for the Sinclair Cup was won for the first time by Fortrose and Rosemarkie's current club champion, Lewis Reid.

The win ranks as Reid's best since from being a junior member of the club he rose to become club champion on three occasions. In Dornoch he came up against a strong field of 72 all with single figure handicaps and eight of them playing from scratch but Reid, just turned 26, was the only golfer in the windy conditions to break the Dornoch par of 70.

A first-round 69 was constructed from a birdie two on the short sixth hole to cancel out his bogey four on the first of Dornoch's par threes, Then with an eagle three on the par five 12th followed by a second birdie two on the last par three he came home in one under par 34 for his 69 to hold a two shot lead over local Naill Campbell and by three from visiting golfers, Ian Rennie (Hindhead GC near Portsmouth) and Dan Morear (Antrobus GC Norwich).

A second round 73 started nervously for Reid with a double bogey on the second hole and he was 38 and three over par after nine. His second birdie two of the day at the 13th was followed by a birdie on the 15th,    
Although  these shots were given back with bogeys at the 16th and 17th his level par inward 35 for 73 maintained his three shot win over Rennie who had a second round 72 for 145, while Morear fell back with a 76 for 149. In third place came one of the scratch golfers from Hindhead, Douglas Hunter (75/72).

Winning the confined to members Taylor Bullock Salver was Niall Campbell with gross cards of 71 and 77.

Reid was treating his entry to Dornoch as a practice for the forthcoming North District flagship event, the David Blair 72 hole North of Scotland Open Championship, August 26/27, but next week he will be hoping his form is maintained when he and clubmates Chris Gaittens, Euan Gill  and Michael MacDonald travel to Prestwick to take part in the Scottish Amateur Championship on this fine old Ayrshire links
Home member Lyle McAlpine found winning form on the Tain Links to justify his +3 handicap rating and retain the scratch Abdul Ghani Trophy in the Balblair 36-hole Open.

McAlpine had endured early season disappointments. Twice he lost two 18 hole open competitions at his home club on card count backs, then had the lowest opening score in the North District Championship at Nairn Dunbar in May to be followed by a repeat leading first round score in the Ross-shire County Championship at Alness before falling back to a third place in round two.

His 36 hole winning total last Saturday came together from a brilliant opening three under par 67, two outward half birdies, 4th and sixth holes, then his only stroke dropped to par at the tenth immediately recovered with a three on the next hole before signing off a three under par card with closing hole birdie.  McAlpine lead by two from Inverness's Jonathon Keith who came home in 32 and by three from Chris Gaittens (Fortrose and Rosemarkie) who matched par with halves of 34&36.

Round two and as the wind rose it raised the regular CSS from 72 to 74 where consistency would find the recently crowned local club champion matching the course par with matching halves of 35 and little chance of being caught on this occasion. The member he beat in the Tain championship final, Alness course greenkeeper Gary Urquhart,  repeated his moring72 for 144 and second place while Inverness's 2016 club champion, Keith, fell back to third place with a rise of nine shots from 69 to 78 for 147.

Gaitten's first round 70 earned him a voucher for the best individual score out with the main voucher winners while his club mate Jake Williamson took home the Rutherford Trophy for the leading nett aggregate of 138. The six handicapper returned nett cards of 68 and 70 to win by five from local David Vass (5) 73/70.

G K MacKay Trophy winners Ian MacGruer (left) and Kenny MacGruer (right) with Royal Dornoch club captain Alan Ramsey (centre).

A double winning weekend for Ross-shire golfers continued at Royal Dornoch the following day when Muir of Ord brothers Ian and Kenny MacGruer combined to win the G K MacKay Foursomes Trophy.

Both are also members of Royal Dornoch and Ian a member at Royal Troon and with a combined handicap of 8 their scratch card of 80 reduced to a winning nett 72.




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