Monday, March 09, 2009

Munro Ferries' victory at Royal Dornoch

gives him one hand on the scratch quaich

Following his three scratch winning cards during the first half of the North Golf Alliance circuit, Tain's Munro Ferries virtually clinched the season-long scratch championship quaich with his fourth first place of the campaign at Royal Dornoch on Sunday.
Despite wintry snow showers welcoming the early starters, play began from the winter tees where, although the par remains at 70, the course length reduces from 6562 to just 5363 yards.
With the first hole reduced to 272 yards, Ferries was at the edge of the green for an opening birdie 3 and with the fifth and eighth holes wind-assisted and within range, the Tain scratch member added two more birdies. One of these shots gained was given back at the par-5 ninth hole with a bogey 6 to complete an almost flawless outward card of one under par 34.
It was a much tougher inward nine holes, the cold wind moving all the scores in an upward direction and Ferries taking 37 for his winning one over par 71, a two-shot cushion from clubmate Mike Sangster.
With Ferries' rival for the quaich and winner of two of the last three fixtures, Ronnie Taylor (Wick), not playing at the Dornoch fixture, Ferries retained his seven-shot lead over Taylor to take to the final fixture at Brora on Sunday, March 22
In the Class 1 Section returns the Tain members enjoyed more success. Clubgolf Scotland local junior coach Sangster double-bogeyed the third hole on his outward half but kept his card at level par 35 with his birdies on the fifth and eighth holes.
The struggle against the strong wind for the next nine holes eventually caught him out on the 16th, where he had a double bogey, and then a bogey on the final hole for his three over par second nine of 38 and a total of 73.
Sangster's net 69 was first in the Class 1 section. Continuing a Tain domination of this section, Bruce Fraser, on his first appearance of the year, shot a gross 77, net 70, for second place. Fraser shared his gross 77 (36-41) with clubmate Steve Holmes (38-39) to complete a Tain 1-2-3.
The race for the MacKintosh Salver handicap prize will go to the wire at Brora on the 22nd. With a 12 on his card at Dornoch's 12th hole, current leader Seann Sutherland (Bonar Bridge-Ardgay) lost all chance of lowering his four-score total of 273 but still leads by three from Thurso's Bryan Ronald and Reay's Grant Maxwell.
Steve MacKay (Durness), from a fifth place at Reay the previous week, jumped to the front of the Class 2 section with a very commendable net 69, off 16, and behind him came the Reay pair of Kenny Farmer (net 70) and Ian Ross (net 73).
Also at stake at Brora in the final fixture is the Team Trophy, held for the past two seasons by Durness members.
Results at Royal Dornoch on Sunday:
71 M Ferries (Tain) 34-37.
73 M J Sangster (Tain) 35-38.
77 B Ronald (Thurso) 40-37, S Holmes (Tain) 39-38, B Fraser (Tain) 36-41.
78 B Ferries (Tain) 38-40).
79 A Swanson (Thurso) 37-42.
Class 1 – M J Sangster (Tain) (4) 69; B Fraser (Tain) (7) 70; S Holmes (Tain) (5) , F Groves (Reay) (8) 72.
Class 2 – S Mackay (Durness) (16) 69; K Farmer (Reay) (17) 70; I Ross (Reay) (12) 73.



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