BRIGHTER SKIES AND A MOODY WIN
There is a general feeling that we could do with a headline that does not contain the name "Andrew". The first step in that direction would be a competition result without an Andrew in the top three positions. And that did not happen last Wednesday when some familiar faces filled the top spot in the strokeplay competition.
Cal Robertson posted the lowest gross score of the day, a one over par 69 that translated into a nett 67. He had consecutive birdies on the Memorial and Redan but it was his third birdie, on the final hole, that eased Cal into fourth spot.
One stroke better, Colin Gilmour managed to avoid pressing the self-destruct button over the closing holes. Despite playing some excellent golf, the home straight has proved to be the undoing of a handful of promising rounds this season. On his occasion, Colin dropped only one shot over the final six holes, and was rewarded with third place.
A couple of weeks ago, we predicted that Iain Moir would soon return to a single figure handicap. We may find it almost impossible to actually play the game properly ourselves but we are still able to recognise good golf when we see it. Of course, as we might also have predicted, hardly had the glowing reference to Iain Moir been printed, when his golfing ability melted away. He redeemed himself in midweek by filling the runner-up position, courtesy of an excellent nett 65.
The winner was again Andrew Mackenzie on nett 65. His better inward half, helped by a birdie on the Whins, gave him his fifth win of the year and another reduction in his handicap allowance.
A dry, breezy Saturday was the setting for the competition for the Healthworkers' Charity Trophy. For the field of almost fifty, the good news was that no one with the name "Andrew" was listed on the start sheet.
Iain Moir continued from where he left off in midweek. An outward half with two double bogeys was eclipsed by a level par inward half that had birdies on the Miller and Cup. His nett 65 put Iain in fifth place and gave him the bonus of a single figure handicap allowance.
When Iain Macleod rolled in a long eagle putt on the Manor, he sparked an excellent round that also included birdies on the Memorial and Caberfeidh. His nett 64 gave Iain his first sub par round of the season and fourth place.
Mick Butterworth made only his second appearance of the year and he certainly made his presence felt. A useful outward half left him with seventeen strokes of his handicap intact and Mick still had plenty to spare at the end of his round. His nett 64 just edged out Iain Macleod for third spot.
Marten James' long and tortuous sojourn to improved golf was all made worthwhile in an outstanding round of nett 62 that came within a whisker of winning the trophy. Marten reached the halfway point just four over par. Despite a few nerve-jangling moments on the inward half, a steady finish with only three dropped shots over the last six holes gave Marten a well-deserved share of the winning total and the runner-up prize.
Calum Moody already has one victory under his belt this season and added the Healthworkers' Charity Trophy to his collection of silverware with an excellent nett 62. A double bogey on the opening hole was not the ideal start but it proved to be the only slip-up in the round. There were birdies on the Manor, Redan and Ranol as Calum joined the ranks of those playing golf with a single digit handicap allowance.
In the Ladies' Section, the Healthworkers' Charity Trophy was also the weekend prize. There were only three participants and all posted scores of nett 75. Liz Carmichael, already the winner of two competitions this year, had to settle for the runner-up spot, as she edged out Ann Galbraith. Jane Nicolson finished with a crucial par on the final hole to win the trophy, thanks to her better inward half.
This weekend, the Golf Club hosts another charity competition in aid of the Western Isles Kidney Patients' Association. Looking further ahead, there is an inter-club match against Ullapool on 20 May. This is one of the best golf outings of the year and is highly recommended for those who like to visit the mainland occasionally, but only for a few hours at a time.