Monday, June 11, 2012


The Sutherland County Golf Championship Cup, gifted by Royal Dornoch Golf Club in 1922 for annual competition by male golfers in Sutherland Golf Clubs affiliated to the North District Association,  has spent most of its lifetime in the Dornoch trophy cabinet and returned to be housed there for the eighth consecutive year after being won yet again by a Royal Dornoch member at Brora last Saturday.

The latest winner is David Pearson a relatively newcomer to the County joining Royal Dornoch at the end of last season on his move north from the Glasgow area where he was a member of Kilmacolm Golf Club.  He is also a member of Tain Golf Club where last August he won the Tain Four day Tournament. With eligibility to play in either the Ross-shire or Sutherland championship he chose the latter for his first look at the Brora course.
In possession of  a two handicap Pearson immediately bonded with the Brora turf and greens with an opening birdie and when the scoring was a bit higher than expected in the not too tough conditions he became the unknown name at the top of the first round leader board in the field of 39. After his opening birdie his card fell back to three over par after seven holes but reduced to a one over par outward count of 36 when he holed a full six iron third shot to the eighth green for eagle three.
A two birdie, 13th and 16th  and three bogey 15th, 17th and 18th inward card of 36 was added to make up his first round score of 71 and lead by one shot from another rare visitor to the Sutherland championship, from Muir of Ord, Golspie Country member, Darren Hexley (36/36). 
A shot further back was the defending champion Kevin Matheson (Royal Dornoch) who finished bogey, bogey for 73 (36/37) and the home challenge was provided by youth member Liam MacDonald-MacLeod (38/36) and joined on the 74 mark by two former winners,  James MacBeath (Brora) (35/39) and Dougal Chalmers (Royal Dornoch) (36/38).
Eight years ago  Brora's Roddie Cameron was the last non Dornoch golfer to have his name on the cup but Cameron struggling with pain in his knees was back on 78 but did fight his ailment for a second round 72.  Brora's County Champion of nine years ago course  Head Greenkeeper, MacBeath, after his early morning work to set up the course could not improve on his first round score and his triple bogey on the third hole put him out of contention but his eventual 75 did leave him in fourth place.
In round two Pearson repeated his opening birdie and made a birdie on his second visit to the eighth hole to break par by one, a 34, for his second outward half. Strict par was maintained on eight of the inward half holes before finishing in level par 69 with a closing bogey four.
Nearest to the new champion's total of 140 and receiving his first County bronze medal was left-hander Hexley who came home in level par 34 for his 71. Liam MacDonald found four birdies on his second round but a costly double bogey five at the ninth hole in his one over par return of 70 left him in third place.
Royal Dornoch's junior county champion of 2009, this competition also played at Brora, William Short ,grossed 75 and 76 and with his handicap now in single figures his nett total of 139 won the leading nett voucher for a Royal Dornoch double. Short had one of the best inward counts of the
competition recovering his first nine hole 42 blows by coming home in 33 in round one.

 CSS 70 and 70 
 140 D Pearson (RDGC) 71/69. 143 D Hexley (Golspie) (72/71). 144 L MacDonald-MacLeod (Brora) (74/70). 149 J G MacBeath (Brora) (74/75). 150 K Sinclair ((RDGC) (80/70), R S Cameron )Brora) (78/72). 151 W Short (RDGC) (75/76), D W R Chalmers (RDGC) (74/77). 153 A Stewart (Brora) (76/77). 154 (N Cameron (Brora) (82/72) . Handicap
W Short (RDGC) (6) 139. K Sinclair (RDGC) (4) 142. K Sutherland (Brora) (9) 142.        

Caithness and Ross- shire Championships.
The two bordering counties also held their championships on Saturday and two home course winners emerged.
In Caithness it was a second success for Thurso's Dougie Thorburn who in a dismal Caithness entry of only fifteen at Thurso received only a token challenge from the defending champion Nicky Klimas (Wick).
Thorburn, the North Alliance champion, over his home course against a dismal entry of just fifteen won comfortably with a four under par 36 hole total of 138 after leading Klimas by six shots in round one. The second time champion, his first in 2006,  carded a flawless opening 66, three below par in two halves of 33 then followed up with two halves of 34  in round two for 68. Klimas took the bronze medal for second place with cards of 72 and 68.
The Ross-shire championship was held at Fortrose & Rosemarkie where Invergordon's  Lyle McAlpine was attempting a hatrick success but in another low entry of 28 the former Scottish Youth champion although taking the first round lead was caught and passed by first time winner Alan Cameron from the home club.
The defending champion had a four birdie first round card of 68 (34/34) but a second round bogey laden card of 78 where he was six over par for his final nine holes raised his second card to 78 but still held on to second place.
Cameron who is a Fortrose resident, but considered Inverness as his home club up until the start of this season, marked his return as a home club member at Fortrose & Rosemarkie by winning the championship for the first time with shots to spare.
His two under par opening 69 (36/33) was from an inward 33 after birdies on the 15th and 18th holes.   Two early bogies in his second round was partially repaired with a birdie on the par five 6th hole in an outward 37. This was followed with a three bogey and three birdie inward card of par 35 for 72 and winning 36 hole aggregate of 141.

Third Inverness County Championship Triumph for Inverness Golfer
Inverness's John Forbes captured the Inverness County Championship title for a third time last Saturday. his first when playing over his home Culcabock golf course.

Forbes previously won the Inverness-shire event  in 2005 at Boat of Garten and then 2010 at Newtonmore. Like the recent North District championship event over Culcabock he had  to go extra holes to win.
With rounds of 75 and 70 Forbes was in a tie with club mate Laurie Chancellor who had posted 70 and 75 and the first and eighteenth holes were again selected for the play off. With an assisting wind Forbes drove the first green and holed his fifteen foot eagle putt for an immediate two shot advantage. Facing the wind at the 18th hole both players made bogey five's for Forbes to win the silver medal and leave Chancellor with bronze.

145 J Forbes 70/75, L Chancellor 75/70 (Forbes won two hole play off). 147 G Daun 74/73. 149 D Cheyne (Newtonmore)74/75.



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