Thursday, August 10, 2017

Liam MacDonald-MacLeod retains Brora title

Home-grown golfer, Liam MacDonald-MacLeod, who 12 months ago won for the first time the Brora Scratch Salver in dramatic style, retained the trophy as a Royal Dornoch member last week, beating Brora clubmate Roddie Cameron on the final green.
MacDonald-MacLeod arrived at the final hole twelve months ago and holed a monster putt to extend his tie against Inverness’s David Joel into extra holes and won at the 21st.
Last Friday afternoon, in the final, former winner Cameron had him on the rack through the first five holes, winning three of them, and not until the holder produced back to back birdie putts on the 7th and 8th greens did the final become a real test.
Cameron's remaining one hole lead was held until after finding an awkward lie from his drive at the 14th hole brought MacDonald level and only on the last hole did MacDonald-MacLeod get his nose in front to register a one hole win.
He had carried his driving honour from the 15th tee to the final tee from where he found the putting surface while Cameron came up short and rolled into the hollow below the green. Choosing to putt from the fairway cut his first attempt was not firm enough and his ball rolled back to his feet. His next effort stayed on the green but he had not lost his turn and when his putt for four missed MacDonald-MacLeod had three putts to win and Cameron conceded.
The first handicap final coming behind was for the McRobert Thistle Cup and featured the 2003 winner and also defending champion Alistair Polson (Peterculter and Helmsdale) against Ross Powell (Deeside), a nephew of former scratch winner Iain Powell (Murcar Links).
Gifted the first two holes, Polson sped to a four hole lead before Powell won his first hole with birdie at the twelfth. It heralded a Polson collapse. He lost the 14th, 15th and sixteenth holes to permit Powell (20) draw level and with the second final approaching the last green it was Powell who found the final green from the tee and win the hole and the match by one. The result complimented Powell's ace at the ninth hole during the first qualifying round.
Alistair Polson's son John (23) charged into the final with a win over Brora Shield holder Donald Sutherland to play former winner, Golspie's Billy Melville. Melville had received a semi-final walk-over from Steve Richards (Worthing) who was unable to change his Friday flight home.

A much stronger player, Polson junior controlled this game throughout and cruised to a fourteenth hole win to ensure one trophy returned to Peterculter. 
From the qualifying rounds local teenager Calum MacKay won the new Peter Thomson Salver as leading nett qualifier with an aggregate of 125. He faced an experienced Ian Adamson (Lundin Links) in the final of the Auchroisk Cup and when the teenager found the burn from the 13th tee Adamson reinstated his earlier four hole lead and went on to win by 3 and 2.   
At only twelve years of age Harry Hawthorn, a young member of Murrayfield Golf club, caught the eye with his excellent swing but against the wind and older golfer, ex local junior Steven Murdoch, he could not cope and lost in the final of the Supplementary Plate competition.

Picture of Brora Winners -   On the right Robert Walker (General Manager of the Royal Marine Hotel) presenting Liam MacDonald-MacLeod with the Brora Salver. On the left Ian Adamson (Auchroisk Cup) and in front John Polson (Brora Shield) and Ross Powell (McRobert Thistle Cup).

Tain Golf Week, Win for McAlpine
The retention of the scratch McVitie and Price Trophy at the end of the MacDonald Haulage Contractor's Tain Golf Week marked a special achievement for local member Lyle McAlpine after beating clubmate Munro Ferries in last Friday's final.
The adage in Tain has always been. “Winning the 36 hole stroke play Abdul Ghani Cup ruled you out as a contender for the McVitie & Price”.
Only one member has achieved this double, James Macleod, now  resident caddie master at Lake Tahoe Country Club in North California and the son of Tain's course manager, Ian Macleod. Macleod junior won both competitions in 1991 and also holds the distinction of being club champion in the same year.
McAlpine, approaching his 25th birthday next week, lost in the final of this season's club championship but captured the Abdul Ghani stroke play trophy by a seven shot margin before carrying his medal play +4 handicap credentials into the qualifying rounds of the 4-Day with cards of 69 and 70 to head the 16 qualifiers.
Arriving in the final after his his toughest game of the week against Billy Ferries he came up against the younger Ferries brother, Munro. Munro was no stranger to the final but in all his years as a Tain member he had yet to win the McVitie & Price Trophy but he held his + 4 handicap opponent to just one hole after the first nine.
Ferries had his best spell before the heavy rain showers hit the course from the Struie Hill. He won the first inward hole when McAlpine pulled left into bushes then took a one hole lead after eleven. But his lead was short lived when his customary fine iron play deserted him.
The left-hander overshot the par five 13th green for McAlpine to square the tie with birdie, then a Ferries miscued iron to the fourteenth green found trouble in the broom and when he missed the fifteenth green with wedge all to quickly McAlpine was dormy three up. The trophy was captured for the first time with an easy half in par three on the next green.
Tain's first handicap trophy, the Stirling Cup left the burgh and made the short journey to Muir of Ord. Davy Grant was recently made redundant, giving him lots of time on the golf course.
From the extra practice he was more than a match for local member, Stuart Campbell, to win his first big competition. Two holes to the good after nine Grant won the first two inward holes but lost the 13th.
Receiving a stroke at the fourteenth he escaped with a half to remain three ahead. When the local lost two golf balls on the fifteenth hole Grant emerged with a 4 and 2 success.
Ian Wlodarczyk enjoyed his first Tain Week match-play success in the section for the Munro Rose Bowl.  His opponent, Andy MacFarlane, is a member of the Royal Automobile Club's golfing section and also a country member at Tain. But it was the local who steered himself to a win with a sterling inward half. A winning net birdie on the par five forged him three in front and although cut back to dormy two he ended the game on the next hole leaving the RAC member stranded.
Also a country member at Tain but travelling all the way to take part from his California home was Tim Pierce to win the final of the Brookes Cup.  The American did it the hard way, two down after nine then on the inward half winning three holes on the bounce to seal victory on the last green by one hole over local Alistair McKinlay. 
Picture of winners from the Tain Tournament. Tain Club Captain Graeme Ross (centre) with his champions, left to right, Tim Pierce, Lyle McAlpine, Davy Grant and Ian Wlodarczyk




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