Osborne holds his nerve in McVitie and Price final at Thurso
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The McVitie and Price Trophy was presented to Thurso Golf Club in 1924 for an annual competition by the well-known biscuit maker. It is one of the oldest and most prestigious trophies at the club and is played for annually in a gents' nett matchplay knockout series.
This year saw 35 entrants and five rounds of competition over the summer before the final was contested last Friday. In the semi-finals Ed Wyllie had beaten Brian Suttar, while Steve Osborne defeated Jim Sangster.
The final was played in cool overcast conditions but it did not dampen the level of play between Wyllie (handicap 6) and Osborne (11). The odds were stacked against Wyllie as he was giving away five shots to his opponent.
The first advantage went to Osborne, winning the second in par to go one up, but Wyllie took that right back with a fantastic chip-in for his birdie on the par-three third.
Osborne won the fourth to go one up. The fifth and sixth were halved and Osborne won the seventh with a net birdie to go two up.
Again this stirred Wyllie into action and he won at eight and nine to make the match all square.
The good play continued with Osborne winning 10th (nett par) and 11th (par) to go back to two up. After a rich tee shot, a tremendous long putt at the par-three 12th gave Wyllie another birdie but it was only enough to halve the hole as Osborne sank his putt for a par (nett birdie).
The 13th was won by Osborne to go three up and Wyllie countered that by winning on the 14th to take it back to two up for Osborne. A good par at the 15th for Osborne was enough to take the game to dormie three (three up with three to play).
Wyllie, refusing to give in, played the long par-four 16th brilliantly, knocking in an impressive birdie putt to take that hole and himself back to two down. He kept the pressure up by winning the 17th to take himself to one down with one to play.
On to the 18th tee, but Osborne never crumbled and held his nerve at the last to halve the hole and win the match one up.