Top two locked on level points

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Malcolm Macrae had another momentous year in 2014.

He has developed a method of converting worthless, wrinkled, slimy seaweed into exclusive cosmetic products that prevent the skin from becoming, ahem, wrinkled and slimy.

All of that alchemy would have paled into insignificance as Malky played his best golf for years on Boxing Day.

Malky’s final total of eight under par was not quite enough to win the sweep competition outright. Martyn Macleod also posted nett 35 after a sensational start to his round.

Martyn would have been excused a slight trembling at the knees as he stood on the eighth tee, having birdied five of the previous seven holes.

A similarly healthy field contested the Christmas Eve sweep competition. For winning junior golfer Mark Morrison, Father Christmas arrived early in the form of an outstanding nett 35 and the sack of money that comes as a bonus.

Mark continued his winning form in the New Year’s Day competition for the Hangover Trophy.

Traditionalists often grumble when someone who quite clearly is not suffering from a hangover takes the Trophy. In this case, it would be of more concern had Mark suffered from even the slightest of hangovers.

His superb nett 36 was three strokes ahead of runner up Duncan Maclean, who quite possibly did have a hangover.

The Golf Club Burns Supper will be hosted on Friday, 23 January. This is always an enjoyable event and excellent value.

Tickets are on sale at £18 each or £30 for a pair. When the announcement on tickets was made, Stewart Macdonald could barely control his excitement, despite the fact that he will be on holiday in Spain at the time.

Stewart was fascinated by the quandary of who would meet the criteria for the discounted ticket price. Would it have to be a spouse or partner or could it simply be a random pair of individuals who both intended to buy a ticket?

Such was Stewart’s glee that anyone could buy a pair of tickets that it seemed for a little while that he might actually cancel the Spanish break in favour of a cut price Immortal Memory.

The cancellation of Winter League golf on the previous Saturday meant that every effort would be made to ensure that there was no repeat last weekend, even if that involved playing on frost covered fairways and ice bound greens.

And so it transpired that the first round of 2015 in the Car Hire Hebrides Winter League was played on a course that was decidedly more white than green.

The expectation should be that, in such conditions, scoring will be relatively high. In fact, that was not the case and a score of one under par was required for a paltry point.

The serious points were awarded at four under par. Magnus and Murdo Johnson posted nett 39 to claim the runner up spot and twelve points.

A bogey on the Castle was the only blip in an otherwise level par outward half. A second birdie on the Ditch helped redress that slip before one more birdie on their penultimate hole, the Short, proved to be vital in lifting them above a handful of teams on nett 40.

The winning score was an outstanding nett 37 posted by Ken Galloway and Adam Longdon. Like the Johnson twins, Ken and Adam played in the hard frost of the morning, when the bounce of the ball was unpredictable and putting was a lottery.

A bogey on the Glen was quickly forgotten after an eagle on the following hole, the Heather. Despite a bogey on the Long Caberfeidh, Ken and Adam were level par at the halfway point.

The inward half was ignited by a birdie on the Manor and they completed their round with a birdie on the Foresters. Like their nett 37, their gross 41 was also the lowest of the day.

The leading positions in the overall Winter League table remain have changed after last weekend. Liam McGeoghegan and Bob Rankin drop four places to ninth, while Angus Innes and Lewis Mackenzie, despite picking up four points, slip down from fourth to sixth.

The pairings moving upwards, sharing fourth spot on 37 points, are Pete Middleton and Iain Moir and perennial challengers Magnus and Murdo Johnson.

Andy Macdonald and Arthur Macintosh retain third position on 38 points, three points behind the joint leaders.

David Gray and Gordon Kennedy remain locked in top spot with Alasdair Gillies and Calum Tom Moody.