Golfers of all ages compete in Campbeltown Open

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Machrihanish Dunes Golf Club’s Campbeltown Open was played in very mixed conditions at the end of June.

Good entries were received for both the men’s and ladies’ tournaments and the competitors set off in high spirits on the Saturday morning, only to be halted in their tracks by a lengthy delay for thunder and lightning.

Early starters Alan O’Neill, George MacMillan, Ian McLeod and David Lamont returned good scores before the weather interrupted proceedings, and once play resumed it seemed that some of the later starters struggled to find a good vein of form.

Anne Laing had an untroubled romp to victory in the ladies’ open, cruising round in an excellent score of 73. Lyndsay Mathie finished second. Shelly Johnstone won the handicap section of the event, with Kim Topping finishing a single shot behind.

The Sunday dawned a very different day. The oppressively muggy temperatures of the previous few days had been replaced by a chilly westerly wind and fleeting but nonetheless annoying rain showers.

The change in conditions seemed to have little effect on the scoring, however, with most players returning totals similar to those they had amassed on day one.

George MacMillan emerged victorious with a total of 150, just a single shot ahead of David McLean.

Defending champion Kevin Brunton finished a shot further back and claimed third place ahead of Bobby Willan. Kevin Brown won the handicap section, finishing a stroke ahead of Michael Morrison.

In the final act of the ladies’ competition, Ann Gallacher won the eclectic competition to claim the Colin Chrystie Quaich, improving her Saturday score by six strokes. Ailie MacBrayne finished runner-up.

Lee Mathieson emerged as winner of an extremely closely-contested men’s eclectic competition.

While all the prizes were being fought over out on the course, the annual junior drive, chip and putt competition was being played out on the practice facilities.

A huge army of volunteers descended on the driving range and practice greens to lead children aged from five to 14 around various fun skills challenges.

A club spokesperson said: ‘It was heartening to see so many parents make the effort to bring their sons and daughters down to this event, and then to see the children enjoy it so much!’

Once play had finished and the cards had been returned, all present enjoyed an excellent barbecue prepared by chef Colin Bellamy.

Mr YC Kim from main sponsors CS Wind graciously accepted the club’s invitation to present the prizes to the winners.

The club spokesperson added: ‘We would like to sincerely thank CS Wind for agreeing to sponsor this all-inclusive gala weekend of golf. We thoroughly enjoy running an event where there is an opportunity for everybody to get involved, and having a sponsorship agreement with a company of this standing helps us plan to grow the event in the future and to think of ways to make it bigger, better and more fun than ever before.

‘On behalf of Machrihanish Dunes, I would like to thank the following people: Main sponsor CS Wind UK; McFadyens Contractors, which sponsors the replica trophies; Glen Scotia and Springbank distilleries, which provided incidental prizes; Hilton Hotels, which donated an overnight stay package; all the volunteers who helped with the junior event; John McFadyen, for taking some fantastic images of the contestants and the course; all the players who entered the various events.

‘We hope to see you all again next year!’