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Haw Hawes in front on Reay safari

By SPP Reporter

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Safari Open winners The Haw Hawes – (from left) Ian D. Mackay, James Hawes, Jack Fidler and Tim Hawes.
Safari Open winners The Haw Hawes – (from left) Ian D. Mackay, James Hawes, Jack Fidler and Tim Hawes.

ON Saturday, Reay hosted a unique event in the Caithness golfing calendar, the Safari Open, jointly sponsored for the first time by NDSL and JF Nuclear.

The format of the safari sees teams of four competing, with the best three nett scores in the morning and afternoon rounds counting towards the overall team score.

Players had travelled far and wide to compete in the safari, with teams including players from Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Dornoch, Wick and Thurso, as well as a strong contingent from the host club.

Conditions in the morning were dry, with a strong wind predominantly coming from the north-west making life difficult for players, and this was reflected in the CSS which rose to 72.

Setting the early pace following a fine nett 70 was Andy Mackay, representing the Irish Rovers, with Lee Parnell, of The 3-Jab Monkeys, and Gary Inglis, of Capt Pugwash’s Crew, a further shot behind.

However, the best scores of the morning were reserved for some of the later starters with John Hunter of, The Spargonauts, firing an impressive nett 68, and youngsters Ian D. Mackay and Jack Fidler, both representing The Haw Hawes, recording a nett 70 and a nett 67 respectively. Fidler’s round was particularly notable as it was the lowest nett score of the day.

The low scores of Fidler and Ian D. Mackay, added to a steady nett 72 from James Hawes, gave The Haw Hawes a considerable lead over the rest of the field with a further 18 holes left to play in the afternoon.

Fastest out of the blocks in his second round was another youngster from the home club, Gregor Munro. Munro has had a fine season at Reay and his nett 68 saw his team, The Young Loons, go shooting up the leaderboard. Munro’s 68 was matched by Murdo Macdonald, representing The Workers, with the next best score in round two being a nett 70, recorded by Parnell, Thurso’s Greg McEwen and Ian D. Mackay.

In the final analysis, it soon become apparent that The Haw Hawes, whose line-up was Tim Hawes, James Hawes, Ian D. Mackay and Fidler, had won the safari by a superb 24 shots from their nearest challengers with a total of 421.

Taking a distant second place were The Irish Rovers of Fred Groves, Andy Mackay, Grant Coghill, and Jock Eunson. In third place on 448 were defending champions The 3-Jab Monkeys.

Parnell produced two blistering rounds and will be disappointed that his team mates, Murray McGlasson, Steve Efemey and Richard McDonald, did not contribute more to the cause.

Taking fourth place were the McDizzy Rascals of John Disbury, Ian Ross, Pete McCartney, and Tom Sinclair, just edging out the Lastminute.com line-up of Colin Paterson, Andy Bain, Willie Steven and John Hunter. Winner of nearest the pin at the fifth was Andrew Crawford, with Ian A. Mackay securing the prize for nearest the pin at the 18th with an effort which was inches away from securing him a hole in one. The day was notable for the number of good scores recorded by the younger members of the Reay club, who were once again a credit their coaches This weekend Reay hosts two competitions, the Gibby Morris Memorial medal tomorrow, and the Donald Campbell Open on Sunday.

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