The first weekend in August is traditionally the spot for our biggest event of the year in the Mens, Ladies & Juniors sections with our Stromness Opens. After a year out we’re grateful to see them return this year.
Mens Stromness Open (36 Holes) Saturday 7th, August.
The stiff SE wind made for some tough conditions but yet still scorable, but this may have accounted for high percentage of home players in the prize lists as a bit of local knowledge went a long way.
The first round belonged to one person, Andrew Woodward. His level par 65 nett 61 was the best in both sections and was a joy to watch. Straight off the tee and perfect distance control on approaches led a stress-free round while those around him scrambled best they could. Next best in both gross and nett was Stuart Thomson who also eased round in 67 nett 62 thanks in no small part to a stunning birdie, par, birdie start to his day! In the nett section home players Robbie Stanger and Steven Poke were the only other players to break their HCs both with 62 netts while in the gross it was plus handicapper Gavin Sutherland that was the only other player to break 70 with his 69.
Round two saw a best nett of the day from Erlend Grieve (nett 59) propel him up the leaderboard and set an early target of 133. This was beaten by former Nett Champion Paul Robertson who added a 67 to his 64 for a 131 total and he was joined on this by Angus Sutherland but by this stage Angus was eyeing up the gross as his +11 total found himself well and truly in the mix.
The Nett Championship however was won by Richard Linklater who added a 64 to his 65 for a 129 total. Remarkably steady scoring in the tough conditions despite opening with a double bogey in round two he ran out with pars and bogeys for the remainder of the round to win the trophy by 2 clear shots. His name on the cup and a rather nice bottle of 18yr old HP to sip out of it – Well played Titch!
Over in the gross section things were hotting up with Andrew struggling and nobody else capable of making a charge. The +11 total set by Angus was starting to look like the score to match. Stuart Thomson managing to par the last 4 holes however to add a 73 to his 67 for a +10 overall and those still out on the course knew what was required. In the third last group both Denis Harvey and Andrew Woodward fell just one shot short with +11 totals while in the penultimate group Kenny Inkster got the birdie at 17th he required but then 3 putted the last to fall a shot short. It was then left to the last group. Gavin needed to finish with an eagle/birdie finish to tie and remarkably chipped in for Eagle at 17th but could only par the last. Michael Schinkel needed a birdie, birdie finish to tie and actually managed it! So that stunning finish meant we had ourselves a sudden death playoff.
The 18th was the scene of drama in normal time so only fitting the playoff should begin there too with a large Covid protocol obeying crowd watching! Stuart stepped on to the tee first and promptly stuck his 300yd driver onto the back of the green. Michael’s hybrid found the right rough 50 yds short. A flicked wedge found the green around 20ft from the hole. Faced with a tricky 35ft putt over the hump in the middle of the green Stuart showed the short game touch that had got him this far today and laid his putt to the side of the hole. After Michael’s attempt slid past, Stuart tapped in to win the Stromness Open and join the major club. 45 years ago Stuart’s grandad Stewart Young had also won the Open against a strong field so this must now qualify as a family tradition…?!
A complete list of prize winners:
1 Stuart Thomson
2 Michael Schinkel
3 Kenny Inkster
4 Denis Harvey
5 Gavin Sutherland
6 Andrew Woodward
1 Richard Linklater
2 Angus Sutherland
3 Paul Robertson
4 Erlend Grieve
5 Ronald Thomson
6 Kris Bevan
7 Robbie Oag
8 Eddie Dunnett
9 Gerry O’Connor
10 Graham Bevan
11 Paul Kemp
Best Gross out with prize list: Steven Walls (68)
Best Nett out with prize list: Robbie Stanger on countback (last 6) from Steven Poke (62s)
Nearest the Hole – Jim Winterburn & Kenny Inkster (8th), Jordan Youngston & John Norquoy (18th)
Now for the thanks of which there are many. Firstly, to all the competitors, from our friends at OGC to those from further afield who came and took part in the event. It’s your presence that makes this event so special and the highlight on our golfing calendar. The Club greatly appreciates your support and hopes to see you all again soon. A huge thanks next to our sponsors Highland Park and the Bank of Scotland. Both have been long time supporters of this event and in these tough times your continued sponsorship is very much appreciated. Thanks also to the Peedie Chippy for the catering, barstaff and George & Eric for giving up their day for starting and finishing duties!
Finally, a special mention to Rae and Lee our greenstaff who despite the harsh conditions this year have somehow managed to get the course and greens looking the best they have ever been. Stunning effort guys.
Ladies Stromness Open (18 Holes) Sunday 8th, August.
Thankfully the forecast was as accurate as my putter and it turned out to be a lovely day for the 47 who took part in this year’s Stromness Open.
In the gross a birdie at the last capped a wonderful day on the links for Kathleen Sutherland who eased round in 73 shots, four strokes clear of Audrey Poke’s 77 with Thurso’s Laura Durrand the only other player to break 80 with her 79. Shona Slater’s 80 was next best while Adele Flett’s 83 rounded out the top 5 scores on the day.
In the Nett, Audrey’s 77 gross resulted in a nett 64 which proved easily the best of the day and it was regular visitor Angela Williamson from Thurso who claimed 2nd Nett with her 90 nett 70. Karen Dunnett’s nett 71 proved good enough for 3rd Nett while the beloved countback was finally brought into operation to separate the nett 73s of Ann Sinclair and Marina Stanger and it fell in Ann’s favour this time as they rounded out the top 5.
Sponsored by: BDS
Junior Stromness Open (18 Holes) Sunday 8th, August.
Just five competitors in this year’s event but still we saw a great couple of winning scores.
In the Gross section it was Thurso’s Ben Durrand who knocked it round in 80 (+15). Not bad off a 12 HC on a foreign course! While in the Nett Archie McDill obviously learned from his caddying the previous day and showed how it should be done with a nett 60 ensuring his HC will continue to shrink this season.
Sponsored by E. Flett Butchers