Sunday, February 07, 2016

Torrance Park pip Kintore for Belhaven Best 

Scottish club title in sunny Turkey

Lanarkshire club Torrance Park have been crowned Belhaven Best Scottish Club Handicap champions after Scottish Golf’s first-ever overseas event in sun-kissed Turkey.
Thanks to a ground-breaking new sponsorship deal, the Grand Final of Scotland’s biggest participation event was taken abroad this weekend to the magnificent Regnum Carya Golf and Spa Resort in Belek, Antalya, a European Tour host venue for the Turkish Airlines Open this November.
In glorious conditions on the south coast, Torrance Park duo Grahame Lockhart and Scott Gould (pictured above with their trophies) sparkled in the sun over the 36 holes to earn the title of national champions among the 20 club pairings who had qualified through regional finals back in Scotland.
It proved an incredibly close finale, as Lockhart and Gould finished on the same four-ball, better ball, two-over-par total as North-east club Kintore, represented by Brian Gilbert and Robbie Lawrence, but Torrance Park’s better back nine saw them lift the coveted trophy.
The move to host an event abroad is part of Scottish Golf’s ongoing campaign to provide exclusive benefits and unique golfing experiences to its 222,000 member golfers, achieved thanks to sponsors and partners Belhaven Best, Turkish Airlines, the Regnum Carya Golf and Spa Resort and GolfKings, Scottish Golf’s official travel partner.
Competing over the Carya layout today, following Saturday’s opening 18 holes at the National Golf Club,ockhart and Gould surged through the field with a closing 68, while Kintore’s Gilbert faltered with two late bogeys. 
In the end, Torrance Park’s back nine of three-under 32 was better than Kintore’s by two shots to claim victory.
Hayston pair John Paul Linning and David Carr finished third, thanks to a closing 69, pushing Cruden Bay duo James Booth and Eric Whiteside into fourth by a stroke. 
Lothians club Aegon and Sanquhar from the south shared fifth spot.
Grahame and Gould only joined as members at Torrance Park last year and have swiftly reaped reward, having won the Regional Qualifier for Turkey at Uphall.
Grahame, 43, a 19-handicapper from Bellshill, said: “It’s been a phenomenal experience this week and now a tremendous achievement for us, so I’m a little lost for words. We all came here to try and win it, but being here in Turkey itself was the first prize, to be honest.”
The production manager for McQueens Dairies added: “I can’t thank all the sponsors involved enough for this opportunity, as the facilities here are beyond five star for me. It’s an unbelievable resort.
"I’d also like to thank Scottish Golf for running events that give the average golfer the chance to live the dream for a few days.”
Gould, 33, a nine handicapper from Carluke who is also a dairy worker, added: “Never in a million years did I think I would be somewhere like this playing golf. It’s been the experience of a lifetime.”
Kintore were left to rue what might have been and Gilbert, 36, who plays off two, said: “We thought we had missed out by a couple of shots, so losing to a better back nine is a little frustrating. We threw away silly shots with a few three--putts, but finishing runner-up is still a great result and, overall, it has been a brilliant trip.”
All finalists have been starring in front of the Scottish Golf TV cameras, another added bonus for the 40 club golfers who battled through Regional Finals last year to qualify for the Turkey showpiece.
The Belhaven Best Scottish Club Handicap Championship has been the country’s biggest participation event since its launch in 1999, with around 20,000 club members taking part in local qualifying each year. 
Belhaven Best has been Scottish Golf’s official partner since the inception of the event, making it one of the longest standing sponsorships in the domestic game.

Par 142 (2x71)
 144 Torrance Park (Lockhart, Gould) 76, 68; Kintore (Gilbert, Lawrence) 74 70 (Torrance Park won with better inward half in second round)
145 Hayston (Linning, Carr) 76 69
146 Cruden Bay (Booth, Whiteside) 76 70
147 Aegon (Ede, Hislop) 74 73, Sanquhar (MacFarlane, Bigger) 74 73.
151 Alva 80 71, Dalbeattie (Henry, McDowall) 76 75.
152 Caldwell (Arthur, McGuire) 80 72, Kirkhill (Maitland, McPhillips) 78 74.
153 Peebles (French, Dickinson) 81 72
154 Strathpeffer (Mackay, McKie) 76 78
156 Milnathort (Brown, Carver) 83 73, Nairn Dunbar (Barron, Quinn) 82 74.
157 Pitlochry (Stewart, Dunbar) 81 76
163 Earlsferry Thistle (Campbell, Sim) 84 79, Hawick (Revel, George) 82 81.
165 Michelin (Brodie, Petrie) 86 79.
Retired: Torvean (Chancellor, Tolmie) 84 ret
Disqualified: Dumbarton



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