If there this such a thing as a perfect day, those golfers who took part in the County Championship event in Harris last Saturday have at least one to look back on. The endless blues of the huge sky and shimmering Atlantic Ocean provided the perfect backdrop for playing golf on the breathtaking Scarista course. Over fifty of the islands’ golfers entered the competition and the winner of the scratch competition was Colin Macritchie, who was defending the title he won in last year’s inaugural competition. Colin returned a solid level par 68, two strokes ahead of runner up Griddy Macleod. Allan Macleod was an excellent third, meaning that the top three positions were filled by members of Stornoway Golf Club. The local interest was maintained by Tormod Morrison, who won the handicap competition on his home course with a superb nett 60.
If there is such a thing as a perfect evening, last Friday certainly comes into that category. The event was a fundraiser for the Western Isles Island Games golf team, with seventeen teams participating in a Texas Scramble competition. Glorious weather and some incredible scoring made the event even more successful than anticipated. To give some indication of the level of performance, the team in last place – a formidable combination of Kevin Macrae, Graham Morrison, Kevin “Lava” Macleod, Griddy Macleod and “Scrumpy” Jack – finished ten strokes below par. In fact, the aggregate nett return of all teams was an incredible 227 below par.
The lowest gross score of 53 was recorded by the team in third place. David Black, Andy Macdonald, Murdo Maclennan and Neil Rowlands played the first six holes of the course in an astonishing nine under par, comprising birdies on the Castle, Ard Choille and Glen, together with eagles on the Manor, Heather and Memorial. By the time they completed the course, their card showed six pars, nine birdies and three eagles. A miserly handicap of 3.3 took them just under nett 50, falling one stroke short of the winning total.
Gordon Kennedy, David Gray, Jonny Gray and Adam Longdon took runner up spot on nett 49.2. The highlights of their round were an eagle on the Manor and an impressive senior debut by Adam Longdon.
The winners by a narrow margin on nett 48.8 were Donald John Smith, Innes Smith, David S Macleod and Eddie Rogers. A run of three birdies in succession on the outward half gave them a useful fillip and they went on to birdie six consecutive holes from the Short to the Miller. Their final haul of eleven birdies and a generous handicap gave them victory on a night when simply taking part was more than enough reward.
There were idyllic conditions on the following day for the inaugural competition for the Western Isles Kidney Patients Association Trophy. Eric Anderson has played little competitive golf this season, but his matchplay performances should have been an indication of his current good form. Birdies on the Gunsite and Ranol took him to an excellent nett 64 and third place.
On the same nett score was Eddie Rogers, fresh from his Texas Scramble success less than twenty four hours previously. His strong finish, with birdies on the Ditch and Cup, was enough to edge out Eric and take runner up spot.
The winner was Kevin “Lava” Macleod, who clearly never tires of winning and once again managed to lower his best gross score of the year. A solid first half was eclipsed by a back nine of only three over par and was more than enough to transform his nett 64 into the winning score.
The ladies’ weekend medal competition was won by Ann Galbraith, three strokes ahead of Gill Chadwick. Third place went to Liz Carmichael, who notched up her tenth top three finish this season.
The midweek Caledonian Medal qualifying competition produced a couple of significant firsts. Steffan Gwent, in his debut season in Stornoway, took top spot in the second division for the first time with nett 69, his best score of the year.
Alistair Henderson won his first competition of the year with his lowest gross score for a long time. Despite a double bogey on his opening hole, birdies on the Manor, Glen, Redan and Gunsite took him to the turn one under par. That was immediately followed by a birdie on the Whins and a final total of nett 63 for a comfortable win.
Alasdair Maclean continued his fine form of late with a nett 66 for second place, while Ken Galloway rediscovered his form with a similar score for third position.
Lewis Golf Week is less than a month away and entry sheets for all events are now displayed in the main foyer. This Saturday, all sections compete in the Greenkeepers Benefit competitions and the midweek men’s event is the final round to decide the winner of the Neil Morrison Trophy. There are still places available on the team to travel to play Ullapool next weekend.