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Durrand wins by a country mile in second round of Summer League at Thurso

By Ali Morrison

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The latest round of fixtures at Thurso Golf Club started with the A & A Mackay Builders Summer League round two on Thursday, June 18. The fairways at Thurso have been very busy since the lockdown restrictions were eased – many new members have appeared as well as some well-kent faces. This was evident on Thursday when no fewer than 92 players teed it up.

With so many playing, some good scores were inevitable. Jim Sangster raced to the turn in two-under-par 33 (22 points) and a steady back nine had him one under after 15 holes. However, Sangster’s last three holes were anything but steady.

A blocked 3-wood approach to the 16th resulted in a lost ball and a disastrous quadruple bogey eight.

Sangster’s response was to birdie the last two holes. His finish of 8-3-3 has probably never been done before and it gave him fourth place with 39 points.

In third place was one of Thurso’s promising youngsters, Cameron Reid. Cameron’s round was a lot less dramatic than Jim’s with nothing more than a six on the card on his way to 40 points.

Runner-up was Scott Mackay with an excellent 42 points.

This week’s winner, by the proverbial country mile, was James Durrand.

Durrand, who had 38 points in round one, improved his score by a massive 10 points. His 48-point total is the highest Summer League score in living memory.

His score included no fewer than five nett eagles. His handicap has been adjusted accordingly.

Summer League round two results: 1 James Durrand, 48 points; 2 Scott Mackay, 42; 3 Cameron Reid, 40; 4 Jim Sangster, 39.

Saturday’s entry of 67 for the delayed May Medal seemed rather small in comparison but was still a great turnout.

Steven Lowe showed a welcome return to form to take fourth place with his 79 (12) 67. Ben Durrand was in third with 96 (29) 67 – not quite as impressive as his brother’s score but still a good effort.

Tyler Gordon put in his fourth consecutive under-par score to take the runners-up spot with 79 (14) 65 and another handicap cut.

Adam Higgins had a disastrous start, running up an eight at the par-four first hole. However, what followed was a steady stream of birdies, pars and bogeys and, despite another blip at the 13th, Higgins finished steadily for a winning score of 82 (17) 65.

Peter Sangster had the lowest gross score of the day with a round of 71 that included seven threes.

May medal results: 1 Adam Higgins, 82 (17) 65; 2 Tyler Gordon, 79 (14) 65; 3 Ben Durrand, 96 (29) 67; 4 Steven Lowe, 79 (12) 67.

The third round of the Summer League was played on Sunday in somewhat less than ideal conditions. Almost non-stop rain and a fresh breeze made the course play much longer than of late and scoring was understandably poorer in the field of 40.

Jordan Youngson has been playing some steady golf so far this season. His 36 points was further proof of this and good enough to take fourth place.

Steven Lowe followed his success on Saturday with an excellent 36 points, pipping Youngson by virtue of a better back nine.

Big-hitting Chris Williamson took his first podium place of the season after a very steady opening nine holes resulted in 19 points. The back nine included two no-scoring holes and two birdies for 18 points, giving him 37 points and the runner-up spot.

In first place was Callum Mauchlen. His first nine consisted of seven pars and two bogeys, resulting in a huge 25 points. The back nine was much more conservative with 13 points giving Callum his winning score of 38 points.

Summer League round three results: 1 Callum Mauchlen, 38 points; 2 Chris Williamson, 37; 3 Stephen Lowe, 36; 4 Jordan Youngson, 36.

In the first two weeks of the season there have been almost 400 rounds of competitive golf played. This provides a welcome boost to the club’s finances.

Upcoming fixtures: Thursday, Summer League round four. Saturday, June Medal (club championship round one). Sunday, J Waters Cup (two-man Russian Stableford).

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