In a slight change of format this year's 36 hole Club Championship was spread over two days. The jury remains out on this but it did mean the excitement was extended to a whole 24hrs.
On Friday evening things got underway in style! Ray Heddle starting at the 9th made a birdie via a bounce off the OB wall and then another 3 at the tenth before holing his tee shot at the 11th for a 3,3,1 start! He held it together to post a 68 gross which was also matched by defending champ Denis Harvey who despite a poor start blitzed the middle part of his round with birdies at 8th, 10th and 12th. But Friday night belonged to Dougie Slater who knowing he needed a win to make the Wilson Cup team responded by posting his lowest round of the season with a 67.
In nice conditions 33 players took to the links on Saturday seeded by their gross score the night before and hoping to improve...
In the penultimate group it was in-form Kenny Inkster who added a very steady 69 to his 71 the night before to set the target for the last group. Ray couldn't add any more aces and had a 76 to finish fourth. Denis and Dougie were closely matched up to the 10th but youth trumped experience as Denis parred his last 8 holes while Dougie's hopes were dashed with a double bogey at 11 and a deflated run of bogies to finish. His 75 left him in third while Denis's second 68 meant he triumphed by a clear 4 shots from Kenny for a very well deserved retention of his title.
A clearly delight Den celebrated long
into the drinks cupboard...
In the nett section things ended up being very much closer after Den was extracted from the equation. It left Philip Sinclair and Eoin Harcus tied on nett 127. The dreaded countback was required and it was Eoin who prevailed. Philip's putting lesson from Angus wore off just a few holes too early!
Thanks to our sponsors Julia from Julia's Bistro and Steven from Aurora Jewellery for the continued support to the Club, it's very much appreciated by everyone. Also thanks to Rae and Lee for preparing the course so well although I am worried that the rate the 18th pin is working it's way up the back left it will soon be appearing on the ladies 5th tee!
Stromness Open Entry
The entry forms for this year are now out and can be picked up at the club or download here:
Stromness Open 2018 Entry Form
Hamilton Cup & Pit Stop
We had some scoring extremes on Saturday with good scoring conditions and a field of 60.
After the first round the Nett section looked all over after early starter Richard Ballantyne blew everyone away with a nett 56. Next best were Jon Tait and Wayne Monkman on nett 60s but Wayne had his eye on the gross after his 68 was tied for the lead. In fact the gross was altogether a much tighter affair with 68s from Wayne, Denis, Kenny, Andy and Ewan. Steven Rendall also broke 70 with a 69 to make it a six horse race.
Richie couldn't quite perform the same miracle score in the second round but a 69 nett still left him in the hunt. That was until Jon returned a 65 nett to edge him on countback. With an eye on both prizes Wayne added a 71 gross to his 68 to give him the clubhouse lead in both. With just two groups left on the course he still was leading but Denis Harvey's second 68 meant Wayne had to settle for 1st Nett - not a bad consolation!
Denis's 136 total was pipped by Kenny in the last group after he shot a second round 67 for 135 but the day, as so often, belonged to Orkney's all time leading major champion Steven Rendall. A mid round birdie blitz of 6 birdies in 7 holes saw him come within inches of equaling the course record with a fabulous 62 gross. This gave Steven his 9th County Champion title and the 8th in a row.
Thanks go to as always Gary for his continued sponsorship. Also to Jean for the welcomed halftime meal - can't beat a bit of fish 'n chips. And also of course to Rae & Lee for preparing the course fantastically despite our current drought conditions.
Despite the warm sunny spell we've been enjoying it was a rather cool misty Sunday morning for this year's cups.
The wet rough which is now getting its summer coat also contributed to the rather surprisingly high winning scores.
Kenny Inkster's 71 was the best gross on the day beating out Robert Gatt and Shane Stanger by a shot while in the nett it was 10am specialist Colin Innes who triumphed with 'just' a 63 nett.
After a solid first appearance of the season on Wednesday night Steven Poke obviously got his eye in for goal as he netted first nett with a fantastic 71 gross, nett 59. After a couple of tough seasons it great to see his handicap heading back in the right direction.
In the gross it was a last gasp tap in birdie from Stromness specialist Andy Bonner (67) who saw him edge the cup by a single shot from Dougie Slater (68).
The club owes a big thank you to Northlink for their continued sponsorship and hosting of this popular event. Also thanks to Mr & Mrs Bevan for presenting the prizes and supplying the all-day buffet - the mini patties proving somewhat popular with over 400 being consumed!
Thanks also to Rae & Lee for presenting the course in great condition.
Click on the link to see the draw and results for this year's Matchplay Championship:
2018 Orkney Matchplay Championship
If you wish to join our club then just fill in and return this form (with some cash of course!).
2018 SGC Membership Form
Course footage by drone
Some great drone flyover footage from Scott here:
Course fly by
Holes 1 to 3
Golf in Orkney
Here's a good feature on golf in Orkney: Golf Passport