Friday, March 20, 2015

                    Scratch foursomes winners - Keil and sister Kimberley Beveridge 
                                   Pictures by Cal Carson Golf Agency


It was Aboyne's place in the sun at Craibstone Golf Club today (Friday) when three players from the Aberdeenshire village figured on the winning side in the North-east Golfers' Alliance scratch and handicap foursomes finals, writes Colin Farquharson.
Brother and sister Keil (31) and Kimberley (19) Beveridge, like all 16 match-play qualifiers randomly paired by a computer, won the scratch final for the "Evening Express" Shield and retired helicopter pilot David Nelson from Aboyne partnered Craibstone member Lenny Duncan to victory in the handicap final of "The Press and Journal" Shield tournament.
Kippie Lodge teaching professional Keil and two-handicap Scotland women's international Kimberley, an Aboyne Golf Club member, won by one hole against Tony Robertson (Peterculter) and John Borthwick (Craibstone).
"Kimberley's putting was the difference between the two sides," said Borthwick.
"The clincher was on the 16th where she holed from more than 40ft for a birdie to put them two up with two to play."
The Beveridges had squared the match at the 13th and gone one up at the 15th. Robertson and Borthwick won the 17th - their first success since the 10th - but it was too little, too late. The last hole was halved, leaving the Beveridges as winners.
"I have coached my little sister all her golfing life and it was nice to team up with her, albeit thanks to a computer, for the first time to win something," said Keil whose girl friend is LET rookie Laura Murray.
David Nelson, like Kimberley, is a member of Aboyne Golf Club.
 and his victory with Lenny Duncan over Neish Chisholm (Kemnay) and David Bisset (Banchory) was the third time he has been on the winning side in "The Press and Journal" Shield handicap foursomes.
"I won it, with different partners, as long ago as 1992 and again in 2006," said Nelson.
Chisholm and Bisset won the first two holes but after being pulled back to all square by losing the fifth and sixth,they generally played second fiddle for the rest of the match.
Duncan and Nelson went one up at the eighth, two up at the 10th and, with the benefit of a stroke concession, three up at the 13th. That virtually was the end of the contest which finished on the 16th green.

 Handicap foursomes winners - Lenny Duncan (Craibstone) on left and David Nelson (Aboyne) on right.
SCRATCH FINAL (Evening Express Shield)
Keil Beveridge (Kippie Lodge) and Kimberley Beveridge (Aboyne) bt T Robertson (Peterculter) and J Borthwick (Craibstone) 1 hole.

HANDICAP FINAL (Press and Journal Shield)
L Duncan (Craibstone) (14) and D Nelson (Aboyne) (9) bt N Chisholm (Kemnay) (12) and D Bisset (Banchory) (9) 3 and 2.

Colin Farquharson's viewpoint
The scratch final winners earned £150 apiece, cash to pro Keil, voucher to amateur Kimberley
The handicap final winners received amateur vouchers worth £100 each.
Although the value of the Alliance foursomes prize fund doubled for this year's tournament it was very disappointing to the organisers that only three professionals instead of eight played in the foursomes.
Time to drop the "pro-am" tag and simply call it the Scratch section and the other the Handicap section.
How does one persuade professionals to support the foursomes which, in days gone by, was the highlight of the Alliance season?
Answers on a postcard to jt secs David Wilson and David Mackay. 

TRAIL-BLAZERS: Keil and Kimberley Beveridge are the first mixed gender pairing to win either the scratch or handicap foursomes.  
VENUES: Next year's North-east Alliance championship will be played at Portlethen (first round) and Craibstone (second round) probably as the last fixture of the Alliance season rather than, as for the last two years, the penultimate fixture. Which would be a good move.
The scratch and handicap foursomes will again be played at Craibstone.

ORDERS OF MERIT: The Orders of Merit added a fair bit of interest over the closing weeks of the season. They will continue next season with Brimmond Bistro again rewarding the 1-2-3 in the scratch order of merit, perhaps with a slight increase in the value of the vouchers or keeping the same value and adding a fourth prize? Worth thinking about.
Willie McKenzie of WLM Golf is keen to sponsor the Class 1 and 2 handicap orders of merit again, possibly extending it to give 1-2 or even 1-2-3 prizes in both categories.

HAZLEHEAD COMEBACK? In the days when I played on the North-east Alliance circuit, fixtures were quite common on the municipal courses of Hazlehead, King's Links and Balnagask (Auchmill had not been opened then!)
Dave Wilson thinks there is just a chance that Hazlehead could figure on the 2015-2016 schedule. Watch this space.
On the subject of next season's fixtures,  am I alone in thinking that a touch of variety about the weekly format would not go amiss?
Instead of 25 or so 18-hole individual stroke-play events, what about introducing a pairs better-ball competition one week, perhaps a Stableford on another - the computer can work out the points!

LENNY IN LUCK: Craibstone's Lenny Duncan had a memorable Alliance season. He made his debut in the weekly competitions and went all the way in the foursomes to win the Handicap title with David Nelson. Well done, Lenny - was it just beginner's luck?



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