Friday, March 29, 2013


 Left to right: Joel Hopwood, Brian Harper, Alliance jt sec Dave Wilson, Hamish McNaughton and Alan Gall. Picture by Cal Carson Golf Agency.

Royal Aberdeen Golf Club staff professional Joel Hopwood and Newburgh-on-Ythan GC five-handicapper Brian Harper won the North-east Alliance foursomes scratch title with some sparkling golf in the spring sunshine at Murcar Links today (Friday).
Hopwood and Harper were two or three under par in beating two amateurs, Jim Duncan (Newburgh-on-Ythan) and David Nelson (Aboyne), by 7 and 6 in the final.
Aboyne man Hopwood - he had his first golf lesson from the late Innes Wright - and Harper took a grip on the proceedings by winning the first three holes with a birdie-par-par start.
With Hopwood outdriving his amateur opponents by as much as 100 yards, by the turn he and Harper  were six up, having won four holes in a row from the sixth with a one-under-par run, highlighted by a birdie at the eighth.
There was no way back for Duncan and Nelson. They lost the 10th to go seven down but delayed the inevitable by winning the 11th - only their second success of the match - and an 8ft birdie putt at the 12th for Hopwood and Harper finished the one-sided match.
Hopwood, 24, who did his PGA assistant training at Skibo Castle's Carnegie links,  will be a married man by the time of next year's tournament. His wedding will be in late September.
The handicap final was a much closer contest with Hamish McNaughton (Cruden Bay) (12) and Alan Gall (Deeside) (5)0 beating Tommy Collie (Kemnay) (12) and Jackie Forrest (Northern) (9) by one hole. McNaughton and Gall were conceding three shots but were able to make a winning comeback from three down after 11 holes.
They won the 12th and 13th, halved the 14th, and won the 15th and 16th to surge into a one-hole lead. The last two holes were halved.
The North-east Alliance 2013-2014 season begins on September 4 at Auchmill Golf Club.

Murcar Links Golf Club


 (Evening Express Shield)
Joel Hopwood (Royal Aberdeen) and Brian Harper (Newburgh) bt Jim Duncan (Newburgh) and David Nelson (Aboyne) 7 and 6.

         Brian Harper and Joel Hopwood with the Evening Express Shield.
(Press and Journal Shield)
Hamish McNaughton (Cruden Bay) (12) and Alan Gall (Deeside) (5) bt Tommy Collie (Kemnay) (12) and Jackie Forrest (Northern) (9) 1 hole.

      Hamish McNaughton and Alan Gall with The Press and Journal Shield.



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