Tuesday, July 10, 2012



The course may measure under 6000 yards but James Braid's classic creation on Channory Point proved a tough test in last weekend's Black Isle 36 hole open competition sponsored by Ness Motors, Inverness.
Even the local members who normally cope with the testing winds which periodically sweep across the exposed links struggled to stay clear of this season's tortuous rough that has encroached on every north golf course but from where he is perhaps more accustomed to playing out of deep rough,  Marriott Dalmahoy Hotel Golf and Country, Edinburgh, Ian Wilson became the first non local player to win the Black Isle Open scratch trophy in several years.
In the severe conditions over the 36 holes just two players in the field of 88 came anywhere close to matching the par of 71 as the CSS rose in both rounds. Cards of 73 from Graeme Murray (Strathlene) in round one and club secretary and holder, Michael MacDonald in round two were the pick of the day. 
But MacDonald's second round effort came too late to retain the trophy after disaster in round one when he missed the narrow 17th fairway, not once but twice from the tee, and the cost of losing two golf balls to the whins ran up a score of nine in his first round 78.
MacDonald escaped with a second place as locals Peter Cameron (77 74) and Chris Gaittens (77 77) came into the reckoning alongside Strathlene's Murray whose first round 73 rose by six to 79.
The blow of losing a local scratch winner was softened when members Euan Skinner and Duncan Bridger fought on to win their respective handicap sections.
Four handicapper Skinner had a very good gross 74 to post nett 70 in round two for a nett a winning nett aggregate of 143 while in the higher section Bridger, off 10, shot nett 74 and 70 for 144 and a comfortable seven shot win over club mate Lewis Patience.

Black Isle Open  at Fortrose and Rosemarkie. 
CSS Round 1 – Home 72 reduction only and Away 72 reduction only.
CSS Round 2 – Home 72 and Away 72 reduction only 
Players from Fortrose and Rosemarkie unless stated
150 I Wilson (Dalmahoy) 75 75,
151 M MacDonald 78 73, P Cameron 77 74.
152 G Murray (Strathpeffer) 73 79.
154 C Gaittens 77 77.
Section 1 – E Skinner (4) 143 (73  70); G. Fraser  (9) 144 (70 74); K MacKay (Inverness) (5) 145 (74 71); K. Gaittens (4) 145 (73/72); J Fair  (6) 146 (78 68)
Section 2 – D. Bridger  (10) 144 (74 70); L Patience  (10) 147 (73 74); G. Leonard  (12) 149 (75 74); S Gammie (12) 149 (74 75); D. Patterson (10) 150 (75 75)


Murcar Golf Club's Bryan Innes, who became another North East golfer to master Royal Dornoch's championship golf course twelve months ago, retained the Sinclair Cup at the weekend,leaving once again a local member losing his winning chance in round two of the 36 hole competition.
Playing last in the field of 69, the entry lower in numbers from previous years but not in quality the final grouping all holding handicaps of plus, the lowest Innes at plus three opened his defence of the cup with a sub par card of 69 (34/35), four birdies, 5th, 9th , 12th and thirteenth and three bogies 2nd, 11th and fourteenth.  
Last July local Kevin Matheson went into the event as Sutherland's County Champion and but for a three putt on the 17th green might have denied the Murcar visitor. Last week it was the plus one local Chris Mailley, recent runner up in the James Braid at Brora, whose shoulders carried the home flag and he was just one shot behind from his first round level par 70 (36/34).
But Mailley was chasing the leader not by one shot but by five as early as the second tee of their second round. His opening drive had missed the fairway and the Dornoch rough left to toughen up for the forthcoming Scottish Amateur championship did not reveal the ball until after what he considered his permitted five minute search time was over. With the provisional ball he had put in place Mailley took a triple bogey seven while playing partner Innes began with a birdie three to fall five shots behind.
Mailley fell to six five behind after the first nine holes, 41 to Innes's 36, but with creditable resolve he made inroads in the deficit on the homeward stretch by matching the par over the first six inward holes before a bogey at the sixteenth against a run of four bogies from the 13th to 16th by Innes and the gap was back to just three shots then cut to two with Mailley's birdie on the 17th  hole. The fightback from the local member was over when the last hole was halved in par four but it was a relieved Innes who returned to Murcar with the cup as  a two shot winner. 144 to 146.
Scratch golfer, Philip Robb (Peterculter) matched the par in round one and added a second round 77 for a third place and finish one ahead of Matheson (76/72) while a Sutherland prize list again featured Inverness's David Joel with his 78 & 74.
Local Don Cruickshank with the aid of a second round nett 71, off 12, headed the handicap list by virtue of his better second after a tie with Colin Taylor (Dunbar) and at the end of the handicap list came last year's local club champion with a nett 148, off 3. Club mate Brian Urquhart picked up a best scratch score of the day out-with the prizewinners with a 72 while another Murcar low handicapper, Gregor Stewart, had the best nett of 71, off 1.
CSSS members 75 and 75. Non members 74 and 74
Sinclair Cup
144 B Innes (Murcar Links) 69 75
146 C Mailley (Royal Dornoch) 70 76.
147 P Robb (Peterculter) 70 77.
148  K Matheson (Royal Dornoch) 76 72.
152  D Joel (Inverness) 78  74. 
 D Cruickshank (Royal Dornoch) (12) (74  71) 145; C Taylor(Dunbar) (6) (72/ 73)145. D Mair (Moray) (6)  (71/76). C Percival (Moray) (18) (78/ 70) 148.  N Munro (Royal Dornoch) (3)  (74/ 74) 148.
Best Scratch Round - B Urquhart (Royal Dornoch) 72.
Best Handicap Round - G Stewart (Murcar Links) (1) 72 

Captain's Success at Royal Dornoch
After presenting the prizes from the previous day's tournament Royal Dornoch's club captain Hamish Macrae was on the opposite side of the trophy table when the following evening he stepped forward to collect with the G K Mackay Trophy from Sunday's men's foursomes event.
The Captain teamed up with his brother John to score a fine gross 83 and nett 71 to win by one shot from visiting pair Paul Killorn (Stirling) and partner Mark Baxter (Forester Park).
The leading scratch score was returned by local Stephen Derry and Joe Walsh from West Lancs, a 77.
G K Mackay Foursomes
 Handicap - H Macrae and J Macrae (Royal Dornoch) (12) 71; P Killorn (Stirling) and Mark Baxter (Forrester Park) (7) 72; D Albutt and C  Campbell (Royal Dornoch) (7) 77.
Scratch S Derry (Royal Dornoch) and J Walsh (West Lancs) 77.  I Rennie (Royal Dornoch) and C Moffat (Edinburgh Thistle) 81.     

Durness Sisters win at Brora
It is not unusual to see Tain's trio of Russell sisters making golf headlines but last weekend at Brora the spotlight fell on three Ross family siblings from Durness who triumphed over the Brora Golf Course in a women's three ball competition.
Northern Times north west golf correspondent Lucy Mackay, her sister, Anne Mackenzie and Joan Duncan who now resides in Brora combined to record a nett better ball score of 58, eleven under par and leave no fewer than five other teams in their wake with scorecards s of 61.
Local team member Joan Duncan set the Durness ball running with a nett eagle at the first hole as and with five more red figures they reached the turn in 28 then home in 30.
Matching the winners'  outward count of 28 over their final nine holes to earn second place by virtue of a better last six were the home trio of Wilma MacGregor, Anne McCree and  American summer visitor Jan Beaton, the latter again proving her demand as a team player having already won a club three-ball competition followed by a n open mixed foursomes.  Their outward half was 33 for 61. With the same halves (33 28) were third placed Alison Darlington, Angela Grant and Judith MacLeod (Golspie) also 33/28.
The other 61s came from a Fortrose and Rosemarkie team of, Kay Bissett, Trish Fraser and Sue Nelson (33 28), locals, Lesley Beaney, Fiona MacLennan and Angela Sutherland (32/29) and Fiona Risk, Linne Moore and Ann Robertson (30/31).



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