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Open competition marks 150th anniversary of Wick Golf Club

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Dougie Thorburn, winner of the scratch prize in Wick Golf Club's Sesquicentennial Open on Sunday.
Dougie Thorburn, winner of the scratch prize in Wick Golf Club's Sesquicentennial Open on Sunday.

Wick Golf Club marked its 150th anniversary with the Sesquicentennial Open on Sunday, sponsored by Brough Consultancy.

Heavy squalls swept the course, interspersed with sunny but breezy spells which dried the golfers out somewhat until the next front arrived.

This did not deter the 86 stalwart golfers, male and female, who battled their way around the course which for the most part stood up well to the heavy rain. The scores reflected the conditions, with the CSS at 70 for members and 71 for visitors.

The ladies were hit harder with 72 for the home players and 73 for visitors.

The ladies' section was won by local player Dee Macangus on 84 (7) 77, while visitor Eleanor Tunn from Reay took second place with 83 (5) 78.

Category three was won by veteran Alan Farquhar, who has found his form again. His 88 (18) 70 was enough to take the victory over another senior player, Willie Wydmuch, on 95 (23) 72, followed closely by new boy Andrew Scott with 96 (22) 74.

Category two was also a close-run thing with another battle between a relative youngster and a crafty veteran. Greenkeeper Owen Cormack, playing in his first competitive year, turned in an excellent 81 (11) 70 to pip George Calder on 85 (14) 71 for first place. Third went to Reay player D C Mowat with a fine 84 (13) 71.

Category one saw another visitor take the honours with a fine 75 (7) 68 as Nicky Doherty of Thurso found his usual great form at Wick, beating the winner of the monthly medal series George Sutherland into second place with 78 (9) 69. Sandy Sutherland regained his form to take third place on the exact same score as Sutherland but with the back nine counting.

Overall handicap went south as David Nicolson of Lybster scored an excellent 71 (4) 67 to lift the £150 cash prize. His card showed bogeys at the second and fifth holes and then a run of pars to the finish.

Alan Forbes went out in a very respectable 38, considering the wind and rain, and continued his fine play to come home in 34 and take the scratch second place slot. But card of the day must go to Dougie Thorburn. Although he had been out since before first light putting the course in order, he shot a remarkable 66 to take the scratch prize.

A bogey on the seventh resulted in a one-over-par 36 to go out but birdies at 11, 12, 16 and 18 saw him back in 30.

There were nearest-the-pin prizes on all par threes and they were won by Alan Forbes (second), Nicky Doherty (fourth), James Howden (ninth) and Thorburn on the 11th and 14th.

Straightest drives on the seventh were Alan Forbes (category one) and Forbes Sinclair (category two). Longest drives on 16th went to Tom Ross from Reay and Kenny Harrold in category two.

The competition brought Wick's summer season to an end and the winter schedule will start on Sunday. There are some winter memberships available, so anyone interested should contact the club for details.

Club captain Cat McLeod said: "The sponsors and Wick Golf Club would like to thank everyone who played and helped out on Sunday."

She added: "We had so many plans to celebrate our 150th anniversary, including a pro-am run in conjunction with the Scottish PGA, an exhibition match against a team from Royal Dornoch and a Caithness Links Open in partnership with Reay Golf Club and the NC500.

"All fell to the restrictions surrounding Covid-19 but we have to ensure that we follow the rules and maintain as safe an environment as we can for our members and their families.

"My time as captain is over in December and I hope that the incoming captain and committee will be able to hold some commemorative events in our 150th plus one."

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