Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Top picture by Robin Wilson is the the men's James Braid winners at Brora Golf Club. Left to right - Golf Writer Malcolm Campbell (captain of James Braid Society with Braid Trophy in absence of Bill Case) Marine Hotel Trophy winner, Iain Stewart, Dunrobin Cup winner Michael MacLean and Marjory Mackie (Cardross), great granddaughter of James Braid).
Lower picture, also by Robin Wilson, shows the mixed foursomes winners with Royal Marine Hotel manager Joan Duncan - left to right -Marine Trophy winners, Rikki Mackay and Leslie Cranna, Joan Duncan, Links Trophy winners, Marlene Bokas and John Sutherland.

Youngsters Iain Stewart and Michael MacLean to fore at

Brora's James Braid Open

Only 24 hours after the official opening of Brora Golf Club's Junior Clubgolf Academy, two of the club's promising junior members, Iain Stewart and Michael MacLean, who have come through the Academy, won three of the trophies in the Royal Marine Hotel “James Braid” Open at Brora.
Iain Stewart (age 15) won two of the trophies, the Royal Marine Hotel Trophy for overall net and the Kidd Cup for best in the Class 1 handicap section, and an even younger Michael MacLean (age 12) won the Dunrobin Cup in Class 2.
Play for the field of over 100 competitors began at 6.30 am and in the first group on the course was local member Roddy Cameron who faced a strong outward half breeze to be three over par after nine. But with a helping wind for the next nine holes he birdied two of them to come home in 33 for 71. Adding a second round 73 (36-37) in the afternoon, Cameron's gross of 144 led for the remainder of the day and was favourite to win the Howey Cup for a second time 20 years after he last won it.
The home member's anticipated celebration was ended when the last player off the course at 8pm, Chris Mailley (Royal Dornoch), matched Cameron's first round score with halves of 34 and 37and when added to his opening 73 (37-36) tied Cameron on 144 to retain the scratch cup he had won 12 months ago, on this occasion on the better second round score.
Not exactly the fairest way to sort out ties but now the accepted solution when players can't hang around for play-offs.
At work at 4am to present the course in first class condition were the greens staff headed by head greenkeeper James MacBeath. MacBeath, the reigning Brora club champion, was back out on his links competing at 11am but his golf did not match the high standard of his course and after a tired looking first round 77, 41 of the strokes taken on the back nine holes, he was just a spectator to playing partner Mailley in the second round.
Through both rounds visitor Stephen Burt of Murcar Links Golf Club was the only player to match the par of 69. After getting to know his way about in Round 1 with a 76 the North-east scratch player completed his second round with a birdie 2 on the 18th green to match par with halves of 35 and 34 to move him up the field into third place.
In a rare outing local member George Duncan took five shots of his first round 75 to claim fourth place with a fine one over par 70.
Iain Stewart, the younger brother of Scottish junior international Calum Stewart, is getting closer to his brother's scratch rating every season and Saturday's momentous win gets his handicap into single figures for the first time.
A gross 78 in Round 1 posted a net 68 but then followed a superb gross 74 in Round 2 from halves of 39 and 35, his finishing birdie two the climax to lifting the sponsors' main trophy by two shots, 132 to 134 from Stan Dodd (Royal Dornoch).
Twelve-year- old Michael MacLean distinguished himself with a handicap-bursting gross 85 in round one for a net 66, then followed it up in round two with net 71 for 137, holding off another club junior, Kyle Sutherland (13), by a shot for a treasured win of the Dunrobin Cup. Many putts have been holed on the Brora greens since this cup was presented to the club 75 years ago by the Duke of Sutherland. Its first winner Alec MacLean, a great uncle of Michael's!
Present at Brora for the weekend to mark the centenary year of Braid's fifth and historic Open Championship win in June 1910 at St. Andrews was his great granddaughter Marjory Mackie who stays in Cardross. Mrs Mackie, who was accompanied by her daughter Fiona and Fiona's husband Ronnie Collins, presented the trophies to the winners after which the Collins, both accomplished musicians on fiddle and guitar, gave a first performance of a tribute song they have written and set to music in praise of the five time Open Champion James Braid.
Results. (All Brora unless stated)
CSS 71 70 (both home and away)
Howey Cup
144 C Mailley (Royal Dornoch) 73 71, R S Cameron 71 73.
145 S. Burt (Murcar Links) 76 69, G. Duncan 75 70.
Class 1
134 S Dodd (Royal Dornoch) (9) 69 65, A MacDonald junior (12) 67 67).
136 R Sutherland (10) 69 67.
138 A Fairburn (King James V1)  (12) 67 71,
139 O MacLennan (8) 69 70.
Class 2
 Dunrobin Cup
137 M MacLean (19) 66 71.
138 K Sutherland (20) 73 65.
143 B. Ross (Dunfermline) (14) 72 71.
Royal Marine Hotel Trophy and Kidd Cup
132 I Stewart (10) 68 64.
James Braid Trophy (Confined)
141 B Case (US) (7) 70 71
Best Morning and Afternoon rounds outwith winners
Round 1: R. Mackay (Fortrose and Rosemarkie)  (5) 68.
Round 2: J Turner (Tyneside) (5) 68.

The sponsors' weekend at Brora continued over into Sunday when the Ladies Committee welcomed another 100 golfers to the club for the open mixed foursomes competition where there seems seems to be no end to the winning combination of local pair, John “Porter” Sutherland and Marlene Bokas. They retained the Links Trophy but with a poorer score than last year's winning 76.
Twelve months ago they were one of only two pairings to break 80. This time, with a more difficult wind than the men had to contend with the previous day no couple got into the 70s. Sutherland and Bokas won with a scratch 80 (38-42).
Their best outward hole was the eighth, where they had a birdie four. Two successive 6s, at the 10th and 11th, marred their inward card.
There were good handicap scores and winning the Royal Marine Trophy with nett 67 were a new and untried pairing of Rikki MacKay (Brora) and Lesley Cranna (Golspie). MacKay is a former junior member now living in Inverness. He rejoined Brora this season, taking advantage of the introduced lower membership fees for under 30-year-olds.
In the two handicap categories Ian Butcher (St. Andrews) and local member Dawn Powell won the low section with nett 73 and in the high section a nett 68 saw a Royal Dornoch-Nairn Dunbar club combination of Peter and Mandy Lee topping the list. With another successful return from Fortrose, George and Sheoina Leonard were runners up. Honorary member Robert Beaton (Golspie) and local Wilma MacGregor came third.
Representing the sponsors to present the trophies was Royal Marine Hotel General Manager, Mrs. Joan Duncan in the company of Lady Captain, Mrs. Angela MacBeath.
Results (All Brora unless stated)
Links Trophy
J D Sutherland and M. Bokas 80; A McHoul and J. McHoul (Musselburgh) 82; J Gunn and L MacWilliam (Lybster) 85; A J Gill and A Grant 86.
Class 1 – I Butcher (St Andrews) and D. Powell 73; M. Mackintosh and L. MacKay 74; M. MacDonald (Wick) and  B. Little 75.
Class 2 – P Lee (Royal Dornoch) and M Lee (Nairn Dunbar) 68.5; G and S Leonard (Fortrose and Rosemarkie) 69;  R I Beaton (Golspie) and W MacGregor 70.
Royal Marine Hotel Trophy – R MacKay and L Cranna (Golspie) 67.

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