For the second successive Saturday in this Winter League campaign, calm weather set the scene for low scoring and it required a four under par nett total to collect any scoring points at all. Unfortunately for some teams, the day coincided with another morning after the night before. A hugely enjoyable Burns Supper meant that some golfers prepared for Saturday’s sporting endeavour with a generous serving of haggis, neeps and tatties followed by a Tipsy Laird that turned out to be extremely tipsy. It is unlikely that any athlete achieves peak performance on such a diet and, indeed, that proved to be the case once again.
Only one team featuring in the top six last Saturday had attended the “poetry reading” on the Friday evening. That team of Iain Macleod and Norman L Macdonald doubtless observes the maxim of moderation in all things and they demonstrated the benefits of that approach by returning a nett 40 for a share of third place. They did show some signs of lethargy in their opening holes, staggering to a three over par total at the halfway stage. However, five straight pars put them firmly back in contention for major points and that was confirmed by a birdie, on their closing hole, the Cup/Foresters.
Three other teams also posted nett 40 and each picked up 8 points.
Seumas MacTaggart and Rod McKinlay have made only two previous Winter League appearances this season and picked up points on one of those visits. That irritating habit continued at the weekend with another solid performance. The only blot on an otherwise excellent opening half was a double bogey on the Short Caberfeidh. Dropping two strokes against par on the inward half, with a handicap of 11 – probably the only benefit of not being able to compete regularly – ensured that they posted a healthy total.
The father and son partnership of Dougie and Arthur Macintosh reached the turn one under par, thanks in large part to an eagle on the Dardanelles. Having done all the hard work, Dougie then retired to the comfort of the clubhouse, leaving Arthur to complete the inward half in a creditable two over par.
The final pairing on nett 40 was another father and son combination. Colin and Willie Macaulay picked up a birdie on the Short Dardanelles on their way to a one over par outward half. They put in a strong showing on the way home, with the exception of a bogey on the last that denied them the opportunity to secure third place on their own.
David “Kiwi” Macleod and Stephen Moar opened their round with a bogey but immediately set that right with a birdie on the Ditch. Three pars followed and a bogey on the Cup/Foresters gave them a one over par halfway total. The return leg had one 5 and five 3s, including a purple patch of successive birdies on the Glen, Heather and Memorial. Their nett 38 would have been enough to win maximum points on almost any other week but last weekend it put them in the runner up spot.
It is fitting that two young competitors should take the honours on a day when their elders, many of whom should know a great deal better, allowed over-indulgence to spoil their prospects on a perfect day for golf. The clear winners by two strokes were David Black and Euan Morrison; we trust that they will have taken note of some struggling fellow competitors and vow that they will never allow themselves be in that condition. After par on the opening two holes, birdies followed on the Heather, Memorial and Short Caberfeidh for an excellent gross 19 at the halfway mark. That total was mirrored on the inward half, courtesy of one 4 and five 3s. For the record, the birdies were made at the Miller, Redan, Short Dardanelles and Cup/Foresters. Their stunning gross 38 became nett 36 but, for the rest of the field in the overall competition, there is some consolation. If David and Euan are to repeat last week’s nett 36 this coming Saturday, they will have to manage a gross total of 35 because they have now crossed the points threshold for a plus handicap.
As was the case two weeks ago, the weekend results have changed the look of the leaderboard for the overall league table. Their weekend exploits have catapulted David Black and Euan Morrison into first place with 68 points. Murdo and Peter O’Brien drop to second position and are now twelve points behind the leaders on 56 points. Alistair and Allan Macleod picked up two scoring points and that lifted them to 54 points and a share of third place with Alistair Maclennan and Neil Macleod and Sharath Shetty and Andrew Sim.