One of the problems with participation in the Hangover Trophy played for on New Year’s Day is that any competitor with a hangover is unlikely to feature amongst the prize-winners. Despite the fact that most competitors have had only a few hours sleep, the standard of golf is traditionally high and so it proved to be once again this year.
It seems fitting that someone with the nickname “Boozy” should at least share first place in the competition. Iain “Boozy” Macdonald had three birdies in the outward half of the course and finished with an impressive twenty seven points in the stableford event. Sharing top spot was Griddy Macleod, whose preparation for the event was certainly helped by being on call for the fire service over Hogmanay. He may have had very little sleep but, on the positive side, his blood has probably not had as little alcohol in it since he was at school – primary school, that is.
Griddy had a spectacular eagle on his scorecard: his huge drive on the Cup finished pin high, but above the green, and his hopeful high lob spun back into the hole to make the New Year more memorable than usual.
Murdo O’Brien and Pat Aird were tied in third place two points behind. That rounded off an excellent festive period on the golf course for Pat, who also won the Boxing Day stableford. The advice to Pat should surely be to treat every day on the golf course like Christmas and New Year rolled into one, but the consensus is that he already takes this approach.
The Car Hire Hebrides Winter League returned last weekend, with an excellent turnout. Despite an afternoon deluge, scoring was once again very impressive, with scoring points being awarded to those teams posting two under par or better. As is often the case at this time of year, not one of the top ten teams in the overall competition managed to score points. Iain Macdonald, clearly utterly drained by his New Year’s Day efforts, was ill at home and so the eleventh placed team in the league table was represented by the solitary figure of David Black. An excellent round of gross 46 (nett 43) earned three scoring points and lifted David and Iain into seventh place overall.
Garry Murray and Eddie Rogers began and ended their opening half with birdies, on the Ard Choille and Foresters. On the inward half, bogeys pegged them back before a birdie finish on the Long Caberfeidh gave them a nett 42 and the reward of seven scoring points.
Three teams tied for second spot on nett 41, picking up ten scoring points each. Jamie Duncan and George Macaskill have all the attributes of a team that should be in contention every year for Winter League honours. For some reason – perhaps a combination of George being absent too often and Jamie concentrating too much on his singing career – the two have never quite met expectations. A birdie on the Manor was the highlight of a solid round and, still playing off a handicap of five, this could be their year.
Andrew Reeves and Iain Morrison have taken some time to ignite their challenge. With a handicap of eight, a round that includes six pars and a birdie, with nothing worse than bogey on the remaining holes, could have provided the winning total on another day.
Anyone who played alongside Donald John Mackenzie over the festive period would have been impressed by how straight he is playing at the moment. As everyone knows, when his partner Steven Bryden hits the ball, he really does hit it. The pair picked up seven scoring points on their previous Winter League outing and their ten points last weekend came courtesy of a round that belies their double digit handicap.
The winners by one stroke were Chris “Tex” Graham and Martyn Macleod. A bogey on the Memorial was the only blip in an otherwise par golf display on the outward half and a birdie on the Manor the only blip on the inward half. Their level par gross score of 45 was the lowest of the day and, with the benefit of a handicap of five, their nett total was unmatched.
The overall league table shows little change this week, with the exception of Jamie Duncan and George Macaskill, who have shot up into fifth place on 53 points, two points behind Peter and Murdo O’Brien. David Gray and Gordon Kennedy remain in third position on 56 points and the leaders on 58 points are unchanged. Ken Galloway and George Mould share top spot with Bryan Geddes and Colin Macritchie.