Tuesday, March 31, 2015

North Spring Opens round-up

Darren Hexley robbed of victory by weather 

Brora and Golspie's scheduled double-header Kincraig-sponsored Spring 18-hole events at the weekend turned into a single round at Brora on Sunday, due to non-Spring-like weather hitting Golspie on Saturday.
Golspie-born left hander Darren Hexley, a greenkeeper on Inverness's Torvean golf course, travelled up early from his Inverness home on Saturday and by lunch time had posted a gross 71 over his early years' golf course by the time the wind strengthened. 

By mid-day Hexley's card looked a safe winning score but by early afternoon competitors began to walk off the course finding the ever increasing gale conditions impossible to play in.
Shortly afterwards the competition was abandoned and all the competitors called from the course for Hexley's scratch win to be denied.
Next day it was the turn of Brora Golf Club and again Hexley was an early starter in the field of 68 and he was the early scratch leader in the clubhouse with a repeat 71.

 He got his card under way with two opening birdies and with boges at the third, fifth and seventh holes he turned for home in one over-par 36. Nine strait par figures followed on the inward nine and his 71 stood until later matched by the local head greenkeeper, James MacBeath.
MacBeath found himself having to make up ground on the leader after an opening bogey 5 but with a birdie at the fourth hole to cancel that out he was in the lead with a level level par outward count of 35. 

Wedged between a birdie on the par five 11th hole, MacBeath dropped shots to par on the 10th and 12th holes before signing off for an inward 36. On the card play-off against Hexley this inward score relegated MacBeath to second behind the Golspie member.
Local secretary Tony Gill, with halves of 36 and 37, had the third best scratch score from four handicap into a three-way  net tie on 69. 

Gill won this card play-off ahead of David Walker (Dunkeld and Birnham) 76 (7) 69 and local Daniel Norrie 80 (11) 69 to take first place in the low handicap section.
In Class 2 Frazer Gillespie (The Nairn) headed his section with a net 65, off 14, ahead of another Spring visitor, Andrew Kinnes (Panmure) whose net 70, off 17, was blighted by a quadruple bogey on the 12th hole. 

Local Mike Howells was two strokes further back with net 72, off 14.
With Gill's elevation to first handicap voucher, the third scratch voucher went to Royal Aberdeen's Stewart Finnie with a gross 74. From an entry of only five in the women's competition Finnie's wife Michelle was runner up behind the Brora women's captain, Anne Clarke whose net 75, off 16, led Mrs Finnie a nett 77, off 12.

Cameron has repeat win at Tain.

From a high quality field of low handicap golfers at Tain Golf Club last Sunday Fortrose and Rosemarkie's Alan Cameron repeated his scratch first place from the same event 12 months ago as the hosts launched their 2015 summer season of open fixtures.
The entry of 134 included four players carrying +1 rated handicaps, local members Munro Ferries and Dougie Thorburn, Inverness's David Joel and Cameron. 

Cameron rose above them all o a new handicap of +2 after returning a three under par card of 67. His new rating guarantees his entry into the Scottish amateur stroke-play championship later in the season which is being played at Moray Golf Club, Lossiemouth.
Cameron had bookended birdies at the first and 18th holes on his card of 67 (34-33). After an elusive birdie 3 on the Alps hole (11th) he also reached the par five 13th green in two shots to move to three under par but then gave a shot back with a three putts on the undulating 15th green before his closing birdie.
Thorburn, the 2014 North District champion, will be joining Cameron in the North team of six for the forthcoming Scottish area team championship at Blairgowrie (May 15 to 17). With much less golf played than Cameron over the past six months, the member from Caithness still showed he has held his 2014 form with two halves of 35 for 70.
Local Bill Ferries, 37 and 35, and Inverness's Joel 35 and 37 shared third place on 72 but the higher placing went to the local member for his better inward half.
Three local members topped the Class 1 Handicap section - Stewart Greig (12) 66, John Bell (12) 68 and Rob Hudson (9) 68.  In Class 2 another local won followed up by two visitors - Michael Brown (17) 65, Neil Jaffrey (Fortrose and Rosemarkie) (14) 73 and Phil Woods (Walton Hall) (16) also 73.
Tain's handicap winners in Class 1 were all local members: Stewart Greig (12) 66, John Bell (12) 68 and Rob Hudson (9) 68.  Class 2 – Michael Brown (Tain) (17) 65, Neil Jaffrey (Fortrose and Rosemarkie) (14) 73 and Phil Woods (Walton Hall) (16) also 73. 



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