Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Chris Mailley wins Sutherland Championship  for fourth time

 Chris Mailley, added his name to the impressive Sutherland Championship trophy for a fourth time at Brora on Saturday.

Mailley, a plus three handicap golfer and also a member at Brora where he is the reigning club champion, played his best golf through the first round gale force conditions after halves of 33 and 36 for a one under par 69 to take a three shot lead over former triple champion Roddie Cameron (Brora) (34/38).  Mailley's outward 33 card was compiled from seven par figures and two birdies, the short 6th and long eighth holes.

Golspie born Cameron collected his first of three winner's silver medals at Golspie nine years before Mailley's first win. His compact 72 arrived from a three birdie first nine hole count of 34 and a three over par inward half of 38 to place him one shot ahead of his now Brora club mate and course greenkeeper James MacBeath. MacBeath still holds the record low winning aggregate of 134 (65/69) when he won his title at Brora in 2003 and registering a first round 73 (35/38) on Saturday.

Other first round scores from former champions in the field included the Royal Dornoch trio of David Pearson 76 (37/39), Alex MacDonald 76 (34/42) and Kevin Matheson 77 (38/39). The only left handed golfer to lift the cup, defending champion Darren Hexley (Golspie) began with a disappointing 78 (36/42).  Still in the mix for a first a first time win were Dornoch's Craig Sutherland 74  (35/39) and Neil Munro 75 (37/38) and Brora's Robert MacDonald 75 (36/39).

With no abatement to the wind for the second round Mailley repeated his outward count of 33 with his birdies arriving at the fourth hole and then again at the 8th hole.  After his first bogey at the tenth he birdied the second par five 11th hole to restore his card to two under par which he maintained until the remaining four holes where most Brora scores are lost.  His lapses began at the 15th with bogey five then after overshooting the seventeenth green he took another four shots to hole out in six and with a collapse at this point at Brora it always continues to the final par three hole where the mandatory bogey four is recorded.

Mailley's signed card read 72 (33/39) but a more than safe 36 hole aggregate of 141 when Cameron slipped back to fourth place with a 78 to allow MacBeath win a sixth runner's up bronze medal with a repeat 73.  Neil Munro excelled with his putter both on and off the greens  to record a second round72  (35/37) and climb into third place on 147.

Leading scratch scores (CSS 70 both rounds)
141 C Mailley (RDGC) 69/72. 146 J G MacBeath (Brora) (73/73). 147 N Munro (RDGC) (75/72). 149 R N MacDonald (Brora) (75/74). 150 R S Cameron (Brora) (72/78). 154 K Matheson (RDGC) (77/77), D Pearson (RDGC) (76/78), A MacDonald (RDGC) (76/78). 155 D Hexley (Golspie) (79/76). Nett Scores -  N Munro (RDGC) (3) 141 (72/69),  R N MacDonald (Brora) (4).971/70).  A Dunn (Brora) (9) 142  (72/70). D Norrie (Brora) (9) 144 (67/77).               



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