Monday, November 16, 2009

Thurso's Alan Swanson (69) best over Royal

Dornoch winter course in North Alliance

The attraction of the Royal Dornoch venue enticed the North Golf Alliance's biggest entry of the season to Sutherland's premier course on Sunday when the field of 66, playing from the winter tees, was headed by Thurso's Alan Swanson with a scratch card of one-under-par 69.
Swanson closed off his round with two birdies to add a one under par inward half count of 34 to his flawless outward 35 and win by a stroke from Brora's Liam MacDonald-Macleod.
The latter was credited with the first scratch place when Swanson's score of 67 elevated him to a better prize in Category 1 handicap.
Making his season's debut was Wick +1 handicapper Ron Taylor who made an immediate entry onto the scratch leader board with a card of 71 but with a second nine holes he might not want to be reminded off.
On his return after lay-off he enjoyed an outstanding first nine holes that tore the shortened course to ribbons, his outward card featuring seven 3ss, one 4 and one 5, the 5 a par at the ninth hole for an amazing 30!
Returning luck maybe?, but still a warning of what can come from the player who has won more fixtures than any other member. Then the half to forget. With an unexplained "Devon Loch" type collapse from the 10th tee Taylor finished his round with two double bogeys for an inward 41.
Double winner already this season, Tain's Munro Ferries, out in front for the Quaich, was squeezed out at Dornoch. His gross 73 (36-37) was matched by Thurso's course record-holder Jim Sangster who also fell away over the inward half with 39 for 73 and a share of fourth place.
But Caithness members did have a good presence in the Class 1 Handicap and turned the tables on the Ross-shire members who dominated at Invergordon.
With Swanson placed first, only Tarbat's Hamish Skinner prevented a clean sweep from Reay's Fred Groves, Thurso's A Bell and Wick's John Harper.
In the Class 2 section, where there was a good entry of 27, it was a West Coast romp. Billy McBain, former Fishery Officer at Ullapool and Scrabster and now in post at Kinlochbervie, where he joined the Durness club, led the Durness charge into three of the five winning places.
McBain netted first place with a “best catch of the day” net 65, off 19, to be followed by three 71s, the order coming on card count backs - Durness's Francis Keith (12), repeating his second place at Invergordon, then Angus MacDonald (16) (Ullapool) and fourth placed John Mackenzie (16) (Durness).
As he did at Invergordon, Reay's Gavin Gunn scraped into fifth place with net 73, off 10.
However Ross shire members should start favourites next time out on November 29 at Tain and now is the time to begin organising teams of three for the three-ball, better-ball at Brora on December 13.
69 A Swanson (Thurso).
70 L MacDonald-Macleod (Brora).
71 R W Taylor (Wick).
73 M Ferries (Tain), B Ferries (Tain), J Sangster (Thurso).
74 A J Gill (Brora), J Harper (Wick).
75 F Groves (Reay).
76 D Mackay (Reay).
Class 1 - A Swanson (Thurso) (2) 67; H Skinner (Tarbat) (9), F Groves (Reay) (6) 69; A Bell (Thurso) (7), J Harper (Wick) (4) 70.
Class 2 – W McBain (Durness (19) 65; F R M Keith (Durness) (12) 71; A MacDonald (Ullapool) (16), J Mackenzie (Durness) (16) 71; G Gunn (Reay) (10) 73.



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