SILVER FOR ROGERS AND BLACK
A pair of two round competitions and matchplay deadlines made for a busy golf course last week; a mixed bag of mostly autumnal and, occasionally, wintry weather resulted in the longest days of the year seeming darker than usual.
The midweek event was the final round of the competition for the Neil Morrison Trophy. In the scratch section, David Black held a three stroke lead over Cal Robertson after the opening round. Despite a birdie on the Manor, Cal was two over par after five holes with his chance of victory receding rapidly. However, his usual consistency returned and he ran up ten successive pars before a couple of late bogeys left him with a gross 72 and an aggregate total of 140, four over par.
In previous seasons, Cal's total would probably have secured the Trophy. This summer, David Black is in imperious form and his level par opening half, including an eagle on the Memorial, increased his overall lead. Back-to-back birdies on the Caberfeidh and Miller were the icing on the cake, as David posted another sub-par round, a gross 66, to win the Trophy. His five under par aggregate 131 is almost certainly the lowest winning total since this competition began.
In the handicap section, the first round pacesetters, Martin Flett and Kenny Macleod, both struggled from the start, opening the door for the half dozen challengers within a shot of the lead. Eventually, it was John R Gillies who edged ahead, posting a nett 67 for an aggregate 132, to win by one stroke. In a generally woeful season, here was a golden opportunity to fill the golf notes with an embellished account of how that was achieved. Unfortunately, that open goal coincided with a particularly busy week of golf and so the details will have to be held back for another day - possibly a talk and slide show later in the season.
Bryan Geddes added a nett 68 to his first round nett 65 to finish runner-up in the handicap section. Despite the pace of play slowing alarmingly as the evening went on, both Bryan and David made it to Stornoway Airport on time last Saturday and are now in Sweden, representing the Western Isles in the NatWest Island Games, along with fellow team members Neil Rowlands and Donald DJ Macleod. The standard of golf at the Island Games is exceptionally high but we are certain that both the experience and competition will bring out the best in the Western Isles team. We hope that the opportunity afforded by the Games will also be an inspiration to many of the talented junior golfers in the islands.
The strengthening wind towards the weekend took its toll on the first round participants in the competition for the Thomson Bruce Trophy. Only 24 players completed their rounds and, with only one astonishing exception, none broke par. Arthur Macintosh and Andrew Mackenzie put in gritty performances to post nett level par rounds and fill second and third spots respectively. Far ahead in the distance was Neil Maciver, making only his second appearance of the season. Neil would still have been in Winter League mode, a distinct advantage last Friday evening, as he negotiated the course in nett 63, which would have given him a healthy lead going into the final round on the following day.
Fortunately for the rest of the field, Neil was unable to play the final round. In the scratch contest, Eddie Rogers came from two strokes back to win the Trophy with an aggregate 151, edging out Norrie "Onions" Macdonald thanks to a final round 74, an outstanding total in gale force winds.
Arthur Macintosh took first place in the handicap section, finishing on an aggregate 141, one stroke clear of Stewart Macqueen, whose final round nett 72 lifted him from fifth to second spot.
In the Ladies' Section, the leading places in the previous week's Cancer Relief event were reversed. Ann Galbraith followed up her win in that competition by taking second place in the Ball Competition, with a nett 73. Runner-up in the Cancer Relief stableford, Jane Nicolson won this time around with an excellent nett 69, which included birdies on the Memorial and Avenue.
Jane also took the honours at the weekend, winning the Charity Bowl by one stroke from Liz Carmichael. Ann Galbraith was third, a further two strokes adrift.
Finally, Golf Week commences on 8th July. Entry sheets are available in the main foyer.