Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Muir of Ord's  John Mackay wins Scottish left-handers' championship

Left-handed golfers are not found in big numbers throughout the northern area of Scotland. They are at their most populous in the shinty areas of Inverness and Ross-shire, where the golf clubs of Newtonmore, Kingussie, Muir of Ord and Strathpeffer are their main habitats.
Envied for their short game, and four North "lefties" come to mind - Munro Ferries (Tain), John MacKay (Muir Of Ord), Dods Krzyzanowski (Strathpefer) and Darren Hexley (Golspie) who have held their own with the many who swing from the right.
Last weekend I visited the Scottish left handers' championship when it made a return to the Muir of Ord Golf Club where I came across three of the afore-mentioned who have lots of left-handed Scottish championship titles to their name: Dods Kryzanowski four times, Darren Hexley twice and, the most of all, John MacKay with seven wins stretching back to his first in 1987. Surprisingly, Ferries is the only player of that group not to have won.
The traditional home of the championship was Kingussie where the late Inverness doyen of the North "lefties," Taylor Bullock won in the first year of the championship, 1971, and all these years later Golspie's Hexley was the defending champion only to lose his grip on the trophy by one shot to local member John MacKay who went on to set an astonishing total of eight wins since 1987, his last 23 years ago in 1995.
MacKay (49), pictured, pipped the recent new left handed member to Tain Golf Club, Mike Bartlet, by one shot. Also scoring 72 was another former Muir of Ord champion Vince Tillman. Both he and Hexley were beaten for second place on card count back. For the first time Royal Dornoch provided a new recruit, Jeremy Mattie, who, on his début, returned a gross 78.
(All Muir of Ord unless stated)
Scratch – 71 J R Mackay. 72 M Bartlet (Tain) bih, D Hexley. 
Handicap – C Farren (20) 65; S Jack (17), V Tillman (9) 67; D L MacDonald (16) 67; J Fraser (9) 68. 
Seniors' Cup - B MacLennan (Gairloch) (12) 68.  

The visit of the James Braid Society to their maternal home always brings a good entry to Brora Golf Club's first 36 hole open competition of the Summer.
Braid's own trophy is confined to Society members but there are cups  to be won by members and visitors. 
The scratch Howey Cup was won last year by Chris Mailley (Royal Dornoch) and locals Andy Stewart and Alistair B Sutherland won respective handicap sections.  The following day there is a mixed foursomes open competition.

Royal Dornoch's home members were outgunned by America-based members through the final rounds of the men's stroke-play club championship last weekend.
Six time champion Chris Mailley was outshone by Wesley Harden from South Carolina while the senior scratch and handicap trophies both crossed  the Atlantic, both won after 36 holes by Cliff Martin from Los Angeles. 
Mailley (74 and 75 for 149), in his defence, trailed Harden (77 and 69 for 146) by three. In joint second place on 147 were Ian Rennie (74-73) and Daniel Holden (76-71)

+Pictured are the Royal Dornoch champions, Wesley Harden (left) and Cliff Martin (right)



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