Fraser leads way in cup challenge
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THURSDAY heralded a welcome improvement in the weather for the eighth round of the Newsbeat Summer League at Thurso.
There was still a strong warm wind and this kept the scoring in check. First was Roddy Harper with a steady round of 37 points. Harper had two bogeys and two birdies along with five pars to cover the first nine holes in 20 points. Two bogeys on the back nine restricted the inward half to 17 points.
Three players – Bryan Ronald, Ali Simpson and Dougie Thorburn – all managed 36 points. Ronald took second spot on countback, with 19 points on the inward holes, after a birdie at the 11th compensated for a bogey at the long 16th.
Simpson’s haul of 18 points on the inward nine holes relegated Thorburn into fourth spot.
Four players scored 35 points and finished in the order of Donald Sutherland, Stephen King, Sid Campbell and Jimmy Meiklejohn.
On Friday, the wind had eased and the scoring at the top of the leaderboard reflected the easier conditions. Jim Telfer covered the first eight holes in six over par for 20 points before taking a triple bogey at the short ninth. Telfer scored at all the holes on the back nine for 19 points and a winning total of 39 points.
Countback was required to separate Jason Simpson, Nicky Doherty and Darren Oag after all accumulated 37 points. Oag looked the favourite for second place after scoring 25 points on the first nine holes, however, two no-scoring holes and a succession of one pointers on the inward nine gave him fourth place.
Doherty’s opening-nine-holes score of 20 points was undone on the inward holes by a bogey, double-bogey finish which allowed Simpson to take second spot having scored 19 points on the back nine.
On Saturday, for the first round of the Ulbster Cup, the weather remained benign. This round was also the second qualifying round for the club championship. Three of the first four places were taken by EGGS, a testament to the age of electronics and handicapping.
Out in front with a nett 64 was Ian Fraser. Second place went to the youthful Bryan Ronald, despite losing a ball at the 17th hole, with a nett 65. Ronald, along with Dougie Thorburn, had the lowest gross score of 67. Countback was required to separate Pat Valentine, Bob Robertson and Stephen King, who all had nett 66. Valentine, finishing with three pars, took third spot with Robertson coming fourth. Four players – Dougie Thorburn, Ron Matheson, Alan Kennedy and Alf Williamson – all had nett 67 with Ali Simpson and Alan Swanson a shot more.
The good weather continued into Sunday for the Bert Loomes Memorial competition.
Donald Sutherland produced another fine round to win with 39 points. A birdie at the first hole shocked Sutherland into bogeying three of the next four holes before recovering to play his last 10 holes in level par.
Walter Rutherford was one shot back with 38 points for second place. After playing the first nine holes in two over par for 23 points, Andrew Main finished off his round with a seven to collect only 14 points on the inward holes. Main’s 37-point total was good enough for third place. Three players scored 36 points. David Irvine could not beat the two Willie Shearers after countback with W.J. relegating his namesake into fifth place.
There was a big turnout of seniors for the 10th round of the EGGS Summer Stableford on Tuesday when the weather was overcast and showery.
The conditions did not distract the players who produced some good scoring which points towards a close finish to the competition at the end of this month.
Telfer was the pick of a high scoring trio on Tuesday with a winning 38-point total made up of 19 points for both nines.
His scoring was pretty even with the highlight a four-point birdie at the 11th. Playing partner Jack Johnstone also had a four-point hole, courtesy of a birdie four at the seventh, in a 19-point outward nine, and just failed to match the winner after 18 more points on the way in. His 18 points were enough, however, to relegate Donald Jack to third place after he also scored 37 points.
Ronnie Gray also had a good front nine and finished in fourth place on 36 points, one ahead of Jim Hawthorn, the third member of the winner’s group, and Alan Simmonite.
Jack’s 37-point effort gave him an increase of 11 points in his best six-round aggregate of 210 and he now shares the lead with Pat Valentine, who improved by a couple of points. Billy Hossack is two points further back in third place after improving by a point.
Meanwhile, the ladies competed for the June Medal on Tuesday. This competition was also the third qualifying round for the ladies’ club championship.
Laura Durrand produced a sub-par winning score of nett 69. This resulted in her handicap being cut back to seven. Some way off in second place was Angela Williamson with a nett 78.