Sunday, July 17, 2016

 Top seed Morgan needs only 12 holes

to win Lothians Championship

Leading qualifier Lee Morgan (Dunbar) won the Sharkey Group-sponsored Lothians Championship at a blustery Renaissance Club on Saturday afternoon, defeating holder Sean Marc (Broomieknowe) by 8 and 6  in the 18 hole final.
In a rare occurrence, last achieved by Stuart Smith (Duddingston) in 1993, Lee won the Stuart Cup as leading qualifier and then fought through four rounds of match play to take the title and the magnificent Edinburgh Evening News Trophy.                                          
 The new champion is in a rich vein of form, having also won the Newbattle Open Whitburgh Cup in early June and then the club championship at Broomieknowe within two weeks of joining there recently.
 In a somewhat one-sided final, watched by a crowd of about 40 people, Lee went ahead with two birdies in the first three holes and built a commanding lead at the turn with some excellent ball striking in a challenging wind. 
Sean, who had defended his title valiantly, eventually conceded defeat on the 12th green.
In the morning semi-finals Sean had got the better of 2010 champion Allyn Dick (Kingsfield) having edged ahead by 1 hole at the turn and then only dropping one shot to par in a steady back nine culminating in a 3 and 1 victory. 
Lee, not for the first time this week, found himself three down early on against Barrie Lewis (West Lothian). He then turned the tide by winning 7 holes in a row, including three successive birdied from the ninth, before running out a 3 and 1 winner.
The new format, that has seen the championship moved back from May to July and with the qualifying and match play over the one course, seems, from initial feedback from the players, to have been a big success. 
The entry was 34% over subscribed and produced our best field for many years with the highest handicapped player off 2.5.  A major factor has been the opportunity to play the event, for the first time, on the magnificent Tom Doak-designed Renaissance Club course with its excellent all-round facilities. 
A huge thanks is due to the owners, members and staff who have been most welcoming and efficient all week. The new sponsorship deal with the Sharkey Group has also allowed us to support our players in a positive way.



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