Tuesday, May 29, 2012


More than two decades ago I researched a feature story for Bill McAlister's Highland Football & Sport magazine (December 1990 issue) on one of Inverness Golf Club's favourite sons, John (Jocky) Thomson, always to be found browsing through Inverness professional Alistair Thomson's shop while out on the putting green was his impish faced, pride and joy, nine year old son Bruce.
Bruce, like his father, became mad for golf and the trait of changing irons and woods like changing underwear, but their choice of clubs were always effective and Bruce, now 31, progressed to become at 16 one of the youngest ever club champions of Inverness Golf Club.
At the beginning of last year he followed his father into becoming a member of the Nairn Golf Club and with three changes of irons already since the start of the season, his third set on loan from a friend, he won the North District Championship over his first course, Inverness, last Saturday beating in the process the Inverness GC General Manager and Secretary, Ewan Forbes after a play-off.
Father Jocky is the owner of two North District titles, 1973 and 1978, and three Northern Counties Cup medals  and was on hand to watch the final hole of the play-off which gave his son his first silver medal.
After a first round three over par 72, all shots dropped over his first nine holes,Thomson junior trailed defending champion Bryan Fotheringham (Inverness) by four and Forres youth Jeff Wright by five on a sultry warn Inverness morning.
Then in the afternoon, in a rising wind, Thomson cut four shots off his morning first nine holes with birdies on the third and fifth holes. His birdie on the 17th,  wedged between bogeys on 16 and 18, brought him into the clubhouse with a second round level par 69 to match the two gross 141s posted by Wright, a second round 74, and Forbes, bettering his first round card by nine shots with a 66.
The play-off went ahead without Wright who had to leave for an evening shift in a Forres hotel and Forbes looking back at his final two championship holes where he finished bogey, double bogey for  his 66.
The former Scottish internationalist, now 39, was in search of his first North District title although he had won the 72 hole North of Scotland open title when a member of Grantown on Spey and before his move to Turriff.
In the two hole play-off both Thomson and Forbes hit their second shots close to the pin on the first green, Forbes putted and miss from six feet but from inside him Thomson holed for birdie 3 and a one shot lead as they returned to the 18th tee. 
From the final hole tee Thomson found the fairway  and then then the right side of the green with a four iron. Forbes, bunkered from the tee had to lay up well short of the green from where he took three more for a bogey 5.
Chipping down from just off the green Thomson had two putts for the half which he took to win his first North Association Cup and silver medal.   
Wright, before he left for work, had the consolation of knowing he had won the Murray Watt Trophy for the North District Under-21s youth championship,  edging out by one shot Kyle Godsman (Hopeman) who raced through the field with a best of the day 65 to add to his first round 77.                 



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