Machrihanish prize-giving night a triumph

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Machrihanish Golf Club’s annual prize-giving was held on Saturday at the Argyll Hotel in Campbeltown, with a wonderful array of trophies, many of which had been saved from the clubhouse as the fire took hold in December last year.

Willie Ross, club captain, presided over the event, assisted by his wife Kirsteen and committee member Finlay Wylie.

The first prizes presented were for competitions played over the nine-hole Pans course over the season. The main prize, the club championship, was won by Ann Gallacher; the main handicap prizes were won by Lindsey Irwin who took the silver category trophy; and Jennifer Gilchrist took the title in the bronze category.

The other titles were well shared out with Lorna Ralston, Lindsey Irwin, Jennifer Gilchrist, Catherine Armour and Linda Wallace all having fine seasons. Catherine Dobbie was also in the prizes as was Elizabeth Casey, Pia Davis and Hilary Oman.

Maggie MacArthur was prolific in taking the ladies’ prizes on the championship course; her tally was bettered by young Murdo MacLean who picked up an incredible stash of vouchers for the best junior scores over the big course.

George MacMillan received the gents’ club championship after an extremely impressive and memorable competition in June. This is the seventh time George has won the championship and he did incredibly well to claim the prize this year ahead of Niels Andersen who shot a club record equalling seven under par 63 in the first round.

The handicap prizes went to Donald Laing for the first two rounds and young Kyle Colville who picked up the Bob Ballantyne for his fine golf played in rounds three and four.

Dean Ratcliff won the esteemed gold medal for having the lowest scratch score at the spring meeting and John Shaw won the Order of Merit for the most consistent performances over the year.

Stephen Kelly polished off a good season claiming the seniors’ open and the prestigious McDairmid Cup, the singles handicap match-play trophy. This is his third win in the event following victories in 1991, when he defeated current club captain Willie Ross in a final that was extended to 36 holes after the first game finished all square, and likewise, in 2016, when he defeated Iain McGougan, also at the 36th hole. This year his victim was Ian Docherty, after halving the first match over 18 holes an extra round was required to separate the players and again it was Stephen who prevailed by the score of four and three.

Ian Docherty’s brother John had a terrific season picking up a number of prizes including the George Durnan two-rounder. Alan McLean picked up two lovely pieces of silverware to try and keep up with son Murdo in the prize money stakes and there were multiple prizes for Brian Cook, Kevin Allibone, Kevin Gilchrist, Stevie Gorman and Michael Morrison who took the John McLean two-round scratch trophy despite missing the majority of the season after an accident.

The biggest cheer of the night was reserved for Iain MacKinnon for his fine victory in the Glencalladh bowl.

An excellent evening came to an end with captain’s wife, Kirsteen Ross receiving a bouquet from Finlay Wylie for all of her work in presenting the prizes.