Friday, January 27, 2012


The recent spell of cold and wet weather had a lot to blame for the poor entry entry of just 35 at the North Golf Alliance fixture played over the Tain links last Sunday when resilient Caithness golfers headed the leaderboards in all three categories.
In the opening fixture of 2012 Thurso duo Dougie Thorburn and Bryan Ronald went head to head for the honour of winning the scratch section and it was Thorburn (pictured left by Robin Wilson) who marked up his third win of the season.
The plus one handicap rated Thurso member has now won the last three fixtures. At the beginning of November he won on a better inward half count at Brora from Wick's Ronnie Taylor and then at the end of the same month at Wick, the last fixture played in 2011, he beat Tain's Mike Sangster to first place by one shot.
The six-week gap in fixtures due to weather postponements has not affected Thorburn's form. Again last Sunday he was involved in another tie for first place following his excellent score of 73.
When it came to the card comparison Thorburn's inward half count of one under par 34 edged out his Thurso clubmate Bryan Ronald. Ronald was home in 35 but denied recording a second win of the season, after winning the opening fixture at Durness, with a three-putt bogey on the final green.
Out on the course when the morning wind and rain was at its most miserable local club captain and champion Munro Ferries had a 76 and his club member Mike Sangster missed the opportunity to post another score to maintain his aggregate Scratch Quaich challenge by failing to return a card on his home patch.
Playing with a handicap of two Ronald's net score of 71 headed the Class 1 returns by a four-shot margin from Thurso clubmate Malcolm Morrison before Tarbat's Hamish Skinner got a prize for third place with a net 76, off 7, and behind him Invergordon's Mike Moran (7) and local Andrew Watt (8) both a shot more.
Spreadeagling the Class 2 section was 11-handicapper Ian Ross (Reay) who matched the gross 76 from the Tain champion with a sparkling finish of birdie 2, par 3, and birdie 3 to take him home in 36 for a net 65.
For the fifth fixture in succession Francis Keith maintained a Durness presence, winning a second place with his net card of 71, off 12, and added to his previously posted nett scores of 69 and 73 has launched his bid for the end of season MacKintosh Salver. Weathered against similar prevailing conditions on Sandside Links, Reay GC members filled the next two places.
The next fixture on the rota will be played over the Reay course on February 5
Tain Alliance Results
71 D Thorburn (Thurso) 37-34, B Ronald (Thurso) 36-35.
76 M Ferries (Tain), I Ross (Reay).
Class 1 - B Ronald (Thurso) (2) 71; M Morrison (Thurso) (8) 75; H Skinner (Tarbat) (7) 76; M Moran (Invergordon) (7), A Watt (Tain) (8) 77.
Class 2 – I Ross (Reay) (11) 65; F R M Keith (Durness) (12) 71; A Mackay (Reay) (14) 77; A Gunn (Reay) (11) 79.



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