Thursday, August 13, 2015

Inverness Golfing Champions

Soundly beaten in the final of the Inverness Courier four-day tournament at the beginning of July by a youthful David Grindell retired school teacher Laurie Chancellor bounced back to show his stroke play credentials and win last Saturday's Arnold Clark 36 Hole Open over his home course, writes Robin Wilson. 

Chancellor lifted the Challenge Trophy he last won in 2008, with rounds of 71 and 72 for 143 to win by a shot from club mate Andy Philip.  Keiran Mackay who two days earlier won the Tain Four- Day competition ender his good week with a third place after his card play off with Head Greenkeeper Brian Fraser was concluded on the last hole. They both shared 145 totals and in fifth place came another home member, Cmeron Nelson.

The difference between first and second place in the handicap competition was also one stroke and winning the trophy was local Craig Cuthbert with 140 and runner up Ruaridh Greenwood on 141

Away from home three Inverness members made news at Brora and Tain. Bryan Fotheringham was the first reigning North District champion to play in the Brora 4-day competition and won the W J Henderson medal as leading qualifier with two 69's. But in a surprise first round match he was beaten by the sixteenth qualifier Stewart Murray (Falkirk) who produced a four under par round.

Inverness club mate David Joel required only twenty-six holes to clear his first two hurdles in the match-play rounds and then fought through a mid round back muscle spasm to edge past Fotheringham's conqueror on the last green in to take his place in the final against the holder of the Clynelish Salver, local Roddie Cameron.

Joel struggled to the first tee for the final but Cameron's local knowledge and artistry with the putter from afar retained the Salver on the sixteenth green.

Just over the Sutherland border at Tain Golf Club and in his first year as a full member of Inverness Golf Club, Keiran MacKay (19), who showed great promise as a junior, won his first major tournament against his elders from the final of the Tain Four Day.

In the final, MacKay, who also holds membership at Tain faced a replay of the Tain Club championship final which he lost to Alan Everett but with pin splitting iron play, so close were his approaches three birdies were conceded to him without putting, the teenager reversed the result of the local championship on the penultimate green to win the McVitie & Price Cup and a £500 voucher.

Mackay was selected into a North District youth team which took on the youths of the north East District at Elgin on Sunday. Played in stroke play format with seven scores counting the North won with a total of 521.

Three of the North team won individual vouchers with leading 18 hole scores, Cameron Franssen (Inverness) 72, Ross Proctor (Forres) also 72, and Ryan Asher (The Nairn) 74.  Best from the North East was a 75 from Craig Steven (Aboyne). Other North returns were Alasdair Ross (Fort William) 76, Keiran Mackay (Inverness) 75, Andrew Moir (Elgin) 75, Finlay Asher (The Nairn) 77 and the disregarded 88 from Jonathan Keith (Inverness).

After rounds of 65 72 69 and 66 over the Leven Links Jeff Wright (Forres came very close to becoming the second North golfer to win a SGU Order of Merit tour event last weekend..

Last month, and also in Fife, Nairn's boy internationalist Sandy Scott won the East of Scotland stroke-play and last weekend over Fife's Leven Links Wright tied after four rounds with ex professional Barry Hume (Haggs Castle) recently recalled to the Scottish team for the forth coming Home Internationals.

In the sudden death play-off Hume won the Leven Gold Medal at the first hole.         



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