Wyllie leading the way in Thurso Golf Club's Winter Stableford
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The winter season at Thurso Golf Club suffered its first casualty of the season on October 31 with round four of the Winter Stableford falling victim to the weather.
However, as the weather improved, players reconvened on November 7 for the monthly medal. There was a sizeable turnout of members and playing conditions both overhead and underfoot were excellent. Five players managed to beat par and there was only one no return.
Taking third place was Ross Williamson with 91 (23) 68. Williamson, who has enjoyed a fine rookie season, went to the turn in 48 but shifted up a gear on the back nine to come home in just 43 shots to take a podium position once again.
Runner-up was Scott Mackay with 81 (14) 67, two steady halves of 40 and 41 taking the silver medal position.
Winner of the November medal was Mick Ross, his score of 83 (17) 66 pipping Mackay by a shot. Ross reached the turn in 43, level par (nett), with some very steady play.
Despite a minor blip, with a six at the 10th hole, Ross continued his consistent form and a birdie three at the last clinched the medal.
November Medal results: 1 Mick Ross, 83 (17) 66; 2 Scott Mackay, 81 (14) 67; 3 Ross Williamson, 91 (23) 68.
Sunday 8th saw the latest round of the Winter Stableford (round five) being played. A smaller field than usual took part but there was still some notable scoring.
Jim Sangster took third spot with 35 points. Sangster reached the turn in two-over 37, his only glitch coming at the par-five seventh.
A steady back nine of 36 completed his round. Sangster’s score was helped considerably at the five par threes, where he had four pars and a birdie.
In second place was Sangster’s playing partner Alan Swanson.
Swanson raced to the turn in only 30 shots, with birdies at the first, fourth, fifth, sixth and eighth holes, running up an impressive 23 points. A somewhat less spectacular back nine followed, including two bogeys, and one more birdie at the 15th.
However, after negotiating the difficult 16th without inflicting any damage, disaster struck at the 17th. A wayward approach shot found an unplayable lie and some tree trouble, resulting in a seven, a real card-wrecker. Swanson finished with 38 points.
In first place, by some distance, was Ed Wyllie who racked up a superb 41 points. After parring the first two holes, Wyllie dropped three shots over the next two. He then parred all the remaining front nine to reach the turn in 38 shots, yielding 19 points.
The back nine was, as usual, playing the harder of the two halves and, with the southerly wind strengthening, scoring was becoming difficult. Wyllie, however, thrived in the difficult conditions. His performance on the back nine could perhaps be described a Faldoesque as he parred all nine holes, with his winning round including no fewer than 14 consecutive pars – quite an achievement in such difficult conditions.
Winter Stableford round five results: 1 Ed Wyllie, 41 points; 2 Alan Swanson, 38; 3 Jim Sangster, 35.
Round six followed on November 14 with 23 members taking to the fairways. On this occasion the leader board was dominated by some of the more mature players.
Clark Grant’s 38 points was good enough for third place. A fairly mediocre opening nine holes resulted in 16 points but the was greatly enhanced by a fine three-under-par back nine of 21 points.
The highlight of Grant’s round was four points at the difficult 223-yard par three 12th hole.
Jim Farquhar, back golfing after an absence of many years, has shown glimpses of his past form this season and this continued with a fine 39 points. Despite starting with a double bogey at the first hole, Farquhar had amassed 22 points before turning for home – this despite a bit of a disaster at the ninth where no points were recorded.
A fairly steady back nine yielded a further 17 points to give Farquhar second place.
Gordon Munro, whose job involves guiding oil rigs around the seven seas, has seemingly learned how to navigate round a golf course too. A somewhat eclectic opening nine holes resulted in 19 points. However, it was full steam ahead on the back nine.
Munro’s four-under-par 22 points included three nett eagles and a nett birdie to give him his winning total of 42 points.
Winter Stableford round six results: 1 Gordon Munro, 42 points; 2 Jim Farquhar, 39; 3 Clark Grant, 38.
Due to horrendous weather only two players played in round seven. As this was less than the minimum number of players required, the competition was non counting.
The latest round was played on November 28 with the usual suspects making up the field.
Ronnie Gray continued his good winter form to take third place on 32 points. Ed Wyllie, who is leading the race for the title, improved his chances further with another decent effort of 34 points to take the runner-up spot.
Winner on this occasion was Steve Osborne with a great effort of 35 points. Despite running up two sevens in his first four holes, Osborne steadied the ship and reached the turn in 15 points. His back nine was trouble-free, including a birdie two at the short 14th, as he managed to add another 20 points for his winning score of 35 points.
Winter Stableford round eight results: 1 Steve Osborne, 35 points; 2 Ed Wyllie, 34; 3 Ronnie Gray, 32.
With two rounds to go the leader board is now taking shape. Ed Wyllie leads on 144 points, with Cameron Reid, his nearest challenger, lying six points adrift.
Leader board (best four rounds) after round eight: 1 Ed Wyllie, 144 points; 2 Cameron Reid, 138; 3 Ronnie Gray, 134; 4 Steve Osborne, 134; 5 Stephen Spargo, 134
This weekend’s fixtures are the December Medal on Saturday followed by the Winter Alliance at Wick on Sunday.