Sunday, August 13, 2017

Banchory's Jack Harling (21) wins Carnegie

Shield at Royal Dornoch

Left to right – Garth McGimpsey (Silver Medal Winner as leading qualifier), Robert Mackenzie (E C Fraser Trophy winner), Jack Harling (Carnegie Shield winner), James Herbertson (Davidson Trophy winner),  Alan Ramsey (Captain of Royal Dornoch GC). Picture by Robin Wilson

Young Jack Harling from Banchory Golf Club has become the first North-east golfer to win the Carnegie Shield open tournament at Royal Dornoch in the prestigious competition's 104th year. 
He beat American Andrew Biggadike at the 19th hole in the final.

It was Harling's first appearance in the event but the 21-year-old is no stranger to the world famous Dornoch links. For the past three years he has played the course while a student at the University of the Highlands and Island's campus in Dornoch, studying for a golf management degree. He got his degree this year and next month leaves to take up a placement at the Kauri Cliffs Golf Club on New Zealand's North Island.
Biggadike, from the Olympic Club, California,   was seeking a fourth Carnegie triumph since 2003 and this was his sixth final. 
In the semi-finals Biggadike blasted Fortrose and  Rosemarkie's Alan Cameron out of the competition by 7 and 6  while Harling put out the last local hope, Ian Rennie, now a member at Hindhead GC Surrey, on the 16th green.

The final went into an extra hole but through the stipulated eighteen both players had a share of control. Harling won three of the first four holes before fluffing a chip from below the fifth green which saw Biggadike win two of the next three holes, the 7th and 8th to draw level.

But from the ninth tee the three time winner pulled left beyond the posts defining the lateral water hazard and his bogey six lost the hole to Harling who from the eleventh tee excelled with fine long iron play to the 11th and 12th greens. Biggadike saved losing these holes with single putts from length then with another chip and single putt at the par three at the 13th hole he squared the tie once more.

Harling took the lead for the third time with another superb iron shot to 12 feet of the pin on the 16th green for birdie but Biggadike responded with birdie on the next green before the drama of the concluding final two holes.

Both players missed the final green with second shots. Biggadike short and in the hollow, Harling long left and over the road to the beach. Biggadike to play first after a delay when Harling asked he be given relief because of one foot was on the tarred road surface. Biggadike pitched to 12th feet and Harling's drop into the rough did him no favour and he only hacked out to the fringe cut. Both halved in bogies and proceeded to the 19th tee.

Advantage swung back to Biggadike after splitting the fairway and Harling pushed wide into the rough. But if anything Biggadike was too close to the green and with the fear of over hitting his approach past the pin and over the he came up much too short. Meanwhile the Banchory student's second from the rough found the back hollow of the green and a difficult first put which he almost holed was conceded a four.

To put it simply, Biggadike, unlike the previous chip had a “rush of adrenaline”  and almost went off the green with his first putt. The return was missed to hand Harling the Shield for the first time.

Aberdeen solicitor James Herbertson, who still regards Royal Dornoch as his home club, won the first handicap Davidson Trophy with a 17th hole success against Alister Candlish (The Wisley). They both played with handicaps of seven so it was a scratch match but Herbertson bettered his handicap on the outward half and held a four hole lead.  He lost the tenth and 13th hole, the 13th to birdie, but with his two hole lead still intact on the seventeenth green he picked up the trophy with the required half.

The Royal Dornoch members at the previous evening's AGM gave their approval to the alterations to the seventh hole as suggested by golf course architect Tom MacKenzie. One member who gave his full support to the changes, the fairway will be move to the right to overlook the sea and the eleventh hole will be Tom's teenage son, Robert, who came out on top of the high handicap final on the last green to win the E C Fraser Trophy against Max Yates (Royal Wimbledon). 





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