Golfers on course to score low

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There are some incidents in golf that make you stand by in awe: bunker shots exquisitely executed, recovery shots to save par, rounds close to perfection. And then there are those that make you think, “No, that shouldn’t happen”.

Into the latter category comes Martyn Macleod’s final hole in the midweek competition for the Bain Morrison Shield.

His tee shot soared out of bounds over the wall and bounced wildly on the road to Lews Castle. It eventually came to rest on the practice putting green at the first tee, miraculously back in play.

The route back to the green was virtually impassable but Martyn sent a towering wedge shot over the trees to land some twenty feet from the flag. It is easy to sympathise with Martyn’s playing partner, Chris Kelso, saying: “If you sink that putt, I’m not signing your scorecard”. Martyn made the the putt.

Martyn’s nett 69 was not good enough for a top five finish, despite the fact that the competition was played in high winds nudging 40mph.

One stroke better, Griddy Macleod matched the lowest gross score of the day with a 73. His strong inward half edged him ahead of three other golfers on nett 68: Iain Macritchie, John Cunningham and Kenny ‘Wang’ Macleod.

It certainly was a strong inward half. With birdies on the Miller and Cup, only a matter of inches on the Avenue green prevented Griddy from recording a three on each of the last six holes.

Griddy took third place but it was the Winter League partnership of Lewis Mackenzie and Angus Innes that grabbed both first and runner up spots.

Lewis also had a strong inward half, a birdie on the Miller helping him to a two over par back nine.

That and a solid opening half gave Lewis an impressive nett 65. The remarkable round put together by Angus Innes is even more extraordinary given the difficult conditions.

However, like the weather, Angus simply blew the field away, his nett 61 giving him a comfortable margin of victory and his first trophy of the season.

Angus birdied the Memorial in a one over par outward half. There was a second birdie, on the Caberfeidh, as Angus posted his lowest ever gross score. He is now within one good result of a single figure handicap.

The wind had relented a little by last weekend but the main difference was made by the dawn until dusk sunshine of Friday and Saturday. The course had dried out and there was a feeling that scoring would be low amongst the field of 50 in the charity competition for the Healthworkers’ Trophy. In the end, a dozen golfers posted rounds of par or better.

The lowest gross score was recorded by David Black. His consistency is enviable and this was a prime example.

There was only one bogey on his card, on the penultimate hole, and that was immediately redressed by a birdie on the last.

Otherwise, his scorecard comprised another two birdies, on the Heather and Miller, in a sea of par holes for a gross total of 66. His nett 65 put David into fourth position. More importantly, it nudged him closer to being a scratch golfer.

Calum Tom Moody continued his excellent form with a nett 64 and finished in third position. Calum made his move on the back nine, a birdie on the Caberfeidh being part of a surge to one over par on the final seven holes.

John Cunningham survived the jinx usually associated with making par on the opening hole, but he did struggle a little on the holes that followed.

However, from the sixth hole onwards, John dropped only five shots to par, helped by a birdie on the Miller.

For someone with a handicap of 17, that is excellent form. His nett 64 came close but John had to settle for second spot.

The winner was Stevie Bryden, whose nett 61 proved far too good for the competition.

A quadruple bogey on the opening hole did not augur well for Stevie but he soon settled down. The inward half was completed in a superb two over par, helped by birdies on the Miller and Avenue.

There was a healthy turnout for the ladies’ charity competition, with the Healthworkers’ Trophy again the prize. Liz Carmichael and Ann Galbraith were third and runner up respectively, but it was Jane Nicolson who emerged as the clear winner.