Thursday, June 14, 2018

 Gullane winner praises Brora greens

Brora captain Ken Lorimer (second left)  has beside him three of the prizewinners at Brora . On left is Willie Hutcheon (Inverness), with the cup is Iain Michie (Gullane), and on the right Keith McFarlane (Dunfermline).
Three members of Nairn Golf Club, Robert Smith (57), Pat Tomisson (71), and Walter Morris (60)  who last month lifted the Senior Northern Counties Cup for a second time, raised the profile of the Brora Seniors Open last Saturday and each returned home with prize vouchers before the overall winner came from farther afield.
Iain Michie from Gullane has just turned 55 and was playing in his first senior open event where he belied his 11-handicap with a gross, four-over-par 74. A birdie 2 on the ninth hole eradicated his double bogey 6 on the first inward hole in his halves of 36 and 38 for a net 63 and maiden win.
 The Scottish Open is being staged at Gullane next month but Mitchie said that the Brora greens are the best he has played on this year.  
Robert Smith, who still holds a plus one handicap, won the scratch for a second time. His last win was in 2016, the same year and venue where he won the North District Macallan Senior Championship trophy three months later.
Smith's gross 67 was a four-birdie card (eighth, ninth, 16th and 18th)  in halves of 33 and 34 with just the one shot dropped shot, at the 12th hole.
Philip Bannerman of Strathpeffer Spa prevented a Nairn clean sweep of the scratch vouchers. To complete his one over par 71 (38/33) Bannerman made a hat-trick of birdies over the last six holes.
The third scratch prize went to another former Senior Northern Counties winner, David Bunker of Nairn Dunbar, with a 74 from equal halves of 37.
Winning the first age group section (55 – 62) was Mike Morrison from Fortrose and Rosemarkie who netted 68 from his 22 handicap allowance followed by Nairn's Walter Morrison (3) 69, then Keith McFarlane (Dunfermline) (8) 69.
It took until the next two age sections before a local member enjoyed the now fast running fairways, to get among the prizes.  Brora club vice-president Andrew Smith had to settle for second place in the group 63-70 with a net 65 off 15.
A net 64, from seven-handicapper Willie Hutchison (Inverness) just missed out in the Senior Cup by a stroke, while local Gavin Steel returned a net 66, off 10, for third place.
In the final age group (70+) the host club saw their first winner in past president Alistair Risk who beat clubmate George Sutherland on count back from their net returns of 70. Sutherland finished his last three holes, double bogey, triple bogey, double bogey for an inward count of 44 after being out in 37. The third members on Nairn's Northern Counties Cup winning team, Pat Tomisson got his voucher for third place with net 74, off 5.
With the added advantage of playing their home course nobody expected that the women of Tain would be beaten in the Ross-Sutherland inter-club team competition at Tain last weekend but, with one of their three low handicap Tain players missing the event, the Royal Dornoch first team claimed the G A Gordon Salver with a magnificent 24 shot victory.
After breaking a 15-year domination by the women of Tain at Bonar-Bridge two years ago, the Royal Dornoch women had won the scratch trophy 17 times in the 40 years of the competition since it was first played in 1953.  Then began a domination by Tain Golf Club which, by 2017, had brought their record winning years up to 41.



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