The competition for the Tupper Cup is unique in the Stornoway golfing calendar, as the only fixture that is effectively matchplay against the golf course. Strong winds and driving rain combined to ensure that only five participants finished ahead, with another all square. The remainder of the field, some fifty golfers, were defeated by the course, many comprehensively. Chris Kelso started brightly by winning his opening hole before losing the next seventeen.
Neil Maciver finished level to take fifth place, while Cal Robertson, Kevin Macrae and Iain Macleod all won by one hole. Griddy Macleod was two under par after six holes, thanks to birdies on the Castle and Memorial. That put him three up at that stage but slip-ups pegged him back to a single hole ahead at the halfway stage. A birdie on the Caberfeidh was the highlight of an inward half that gave Griddy a final total of two up on the course.
Murdo O'Brien matched that score but a back nine of only one over par gives a good indication of why he won the Tupper Cup on count-back. A birdie on the Manor was matched by another on the Cup and it was his strong finish, winning two of the final three holes that sealed victory for Murdo. This was his best score since May and his first trophy of the season.
The Caledonian Medal final was held in midweek and the winner was one of the most improved golfers of this season. Dave Macmillan won by four strokes with nett 66, a total made even more impressive by the fact that it included a quadruple bogey on the Dardanelles. By way of redressing the balance, David's scorecard also included three birdies, on the Manor, Short and Caberfeidh. Just to make his victory less emphatic, Dave generously ran up a second quadruple bogey on his final hole. Neil Morrison finished second on the day with the lowest gross score of the competition.
Dave Macmillan made it two trophies in three days with a win in the final of the Bain Cup. His opponent, Murdo Alex Macleod, took Dave all the way to the 20th hole before the match was settled.
The Burns Cup final was another closely fought contest between two colourful Davids - Gray and Black. It was won on the 19th hole by David Gray, who achieved something very rare these days: defeat for David Black in a matchplay final.
In the Stornoway Cup, Ken Galloway defeated son Richard to set up a final against Donald "Sweeney" Macsween. Once again, the final proved to be tightly contested, with Sweeney eventually winning on the first extra hole.
The Consolation Cup final was between the Gillies twins and Pat Aird and Arthur Macintosh. The latter pair took an early lead and were never caught, sealing victory on the Cup by 4 &2.
Pat Aird proved he was something of a matchplay specialist by winning the seniors Clansman Trophy. There was very little between finalists Pat and Ken MacDonald with Pat taking the Trophy on the last hole. Pat may be successful at the senior citizen end of the golfing spectrum, but his niece is excelling as a student across the Atlantic. Emily Aird, Ladies' Champion at Blairgowrie, recently won a golfing scholarship to Newman University in Kansas. While Pat was winning in Stornoway, Emily was helping her university team to third place in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Championships in Colorado. Perhaps Margaret Aird, Pat's mother and Emily's grandmother, should consider belatedly taking up golf. It's definitely in the genes.
Members of the Golf Club and the wider community in the Western Isles were shocked and saddened to learn of the death of Sharath Shetty last week. Sharath was a gregarious, intelligent and respected member of the Club for a number of years. He was also a very talented golfer, winning the Senior Western Isles Open Championship less than two months ago. On his last visit to Stornoway, Sharath donated an electric golf trolley for the use of visitors. That gesture summed up his personality neatly as generous, thoughtful and kind-hearted. He will be sorely missed and our condolences go to his wife and family.
Finally, the prize-giving takes place on 28 September. Tickets cost £25 each, which includes a sumptuous three course dinner, followed by speaker Alan Tait of Sky Sports and a ceilidh dance. Please let the Club know of ticket requirements so that numbers can be catered for