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The weather was kinder for the third round of Dunaverty Golf Club’s Championships with warm, breezy dry conditions greeting players last Saturday.
It was very close between the leading contenders from all sections of the competition. George MacMillan led Greg Watson by three shots in the scratch section, while David MacBrayne and Bobby Dalziel were tied on 138 in the handicap. A similar situation in the seniors’ event had Donald McNeill and Duncan Watson III each on 138.
Greg produced a round of 64 to George’s 68 to move into the lead by one shot. In the handicap Bobby Dalziel edged into the lead by three shots from Don Hardman. This was the last round in the Senior Championship and Donald McNeill, with six bogeys on his card, managed to recover with a 68 to regain the senior title.
Scratch result (3rd round): 1 Greg Watson 64, 2 Keith Crawford 67, 3= George MacMillan and Donald McNeill 68, 5 Duncan Watson III 82. Handicap: 1 Sandy Watson 60 (bih), 2 Don Hardman 60, 3 Bobby Dalziel 61, 4 John Docherty 65, 5 David MacBrayne 71. Senior championship: 1 Donald McNeill 66+72+68=206, 2 Keith Crawford 68+77+67=212, 3 Duncan Watson III 66+72+82=220.
The final round to decide the scratch champion, which was played last Sunday, was anticipated to be a battle between George MacMillan and Greg Watson and this proved to be the case.
Both players birdied the first, Greg bogied the second and sixth and parred the other six, while George had a bogey at the fourth followed five pars to put him one clear on the front nine.
The back nine produced some excellent golf from the two leaders. Greg birdied 10 and 11, had a bogey at 12 followed by a birdie at 13 then a par at 14. Hole 15 cost him another bogey but a birdie at 16 put him back on track, only to incur another at 17 and a finishing par at 18 to give him a total of 66.
George’s back nine began with a bogey at 10, birdie at 11, one over at 12, birdie at 13, a par at 14, which put him one behind Greg. He then collected a bogey at 15 but he produced a fantastic finish by birdieing the last three holes to prevent a playoff, winning the championship for the 21st time.
Bobby Dalziel went into the final round of the handicap section three shots clear of Don Hardman with David MacBrayne three shots adrift of Don.
Unfortunately for Bobby, a card littered with double bogeys and three triples put him out of contention.
David MacBrayne, playing in the third group, had a career best scratch score of 66, having had one bogey and one birdie on the front nine to see him out in 32 strokes. He followed this up on the inward nine with three bogeys, three pars and three birdies for a 34. This gave him a fantastic nett score of 54.
John Docherty, lying fourth at this stage, made a valiant attempt to catch David and although unsuccessful he came through the field with a nett 60 to finish in second place.
Results: Club scratch championship: 1 George MacMillan 67+65+68+64=264, 2 Greg Watson, 67+68+64+6=265, 3 Donald McNeill 66+72+68+68=274, 4 Keith Crawford 68+77+67+67=279, 5 Duncan Watson III 66+72+82+69=289.
Handicap championship: 1 David MacBrayne 64+64+71+54=253, 2 John Docherty 65+66+65+60=256, 3 Don Hardman 59+73+60+69=261, 4 Bobby Dalziel 65+63+61+73=262, 5 Sandy Watson 67+74+60+62=263.
Acting captain Raymond Harvey thanked the greenkeepers for their efforts to ensure that the course was in an immaculate condition for the championships.
He also thanked club steward Ailie Goddard and her sister Rona for providing takeaway food for the competitors as, due to the current coronavirus restrictions, access is prohibited in the clubhouse.