THE JF Nuclear Reay Safari Open lived up to its name as competitors had to contend with biting insects, tropical temperatures, thunderous downpours and some exotic wildlife on Saturday.
The 36 hole event was contested by teams of four players, with the three best nett scores in the morning and afternoon rounds counting towards the team total.
After round one it was the ‘Tiger’s Wood’ team of Andy Mackay, Bill Budding, Colin Munro and Peterculter’s Simon Robb who led the way on a level par total of 207. This was largely thanks to Robb, who used his handicap of 10 to great effect to post a blistering 64, the lowest nett score of the day, and Mackay, who recorded a fine 68.
One stroke behind were defending champions the ‘Haw Hawes’, comprising father and son Tim and James Hawes, along with youngsters Ian D. Mackay and Jack Fidler. Star performers for them in the first round were James Hawes with a superb 65 and Fidler who posted a round of 70.
Other notable scores in the first round included a nett 65 from three handicapper Gavin Sutherland representing ‘The Reay Wickers’, whose gross 68 was the best of the day, and nett 66s from Lee Parnell, of the ‘3-Jab Monkeys’, and Pete McCartney, of ‘Dizzy’s Rascals’.
With only 22 strokes separating the first and last placed teams there was still all to play for in the second round of the day. As round two got under way, it soon became apparent that two teams, the ‘3-Jab Monkeys’ and ‘Rossy’s Giants’, were making decisive moves up the leaderboard. For the Giants, Ross Munro and Harper both posted early nett 68s, backed up by a solid 73, from John Hunter.
Despite the odd clap of thunder, the ‘3-Jab Monkeys’ were also making excellent progress on the course, with Richard McDonald carding a 68, Murray McGlasson 70, and Parnell a nett 69. Steve Efemey could not improve the scores of his team-mates and the Monkeys set a fine aggregate score of 4 over par 418 for the rest of the field to chase.
The final member of ‘Rossy’s Giants’, Evan Sutherland, posted a solid round of nett 71, to give a team total of 420 but it was not enough to catch the leaders and the ‘3-Jab Monkeys’ secured their third Safari victory in seven years.
Other notable second round scores included 67s from youngsters Euan Munro, Allyn Sutherland and Ruari McCartney – a tally matched by Aly Mackay – while Gregor Munro and Fidler carded nett 68s, with Donald Mowat round in a nett 69.
The Haw Hawes put up an excellent defence of their trophy to finish third on 422, with the ‘Reay Wickers’ team of Alistair Gunn, Gavin Gunn, Aly Mackay and Sutherland taking fourth on 424.
Outwith the team prizes, Sutherland gained some consolidation as he took the individual prize for the best scratch aggregate score, with Andy Mackay deservedly claiming the individual prize for the best nett aggregate score after two fine rounds.
The trophies for nearest the pin were secured by another father and son combination with Ian A. Mackay and Alex Mackay taking the spoils for their fine tee shots at the 5th and 18th respectively. Prizes were presented to the winning players by club captain Graeme Dunnett.
Tomorrow sees the ladies take centre stage as Reay hosts the inter-county competition.
The men will contest the Banks Medal on Sunday.