Dunaverty golfers compete for memorial trophies

Last year's winner Bill Brannigan, left, presents the Jimmy Graham Trophy to Donald Brown, right, the 2020 champion.
Last year's winner Bill Brannigan, left, presents the Jimmy Graham Trophy to Donald Brown, right, the 2020 champion.

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The sun shone as golfers competed for two memorial trophies at Dunaverty Golf Club.

Twenty-two members of the club’s Heidbangers and one guest enjoyed an excellent day’s golf for the 20th annual Jimmy Graham Trophy competition last Wednesday, September 23.

Jimmy passed away in 2000 and such was his popularity that his fellow Heidbangers purchased a trophy in his memory.

This year competitors played off the medal tees and club handicaps instead of the usual Heidbangers unique handicap system.

Sunshine and a gentle breeze made for ideal scoring conditions but only three players breached the 40 points mark.

Sandy Watson, first man out, had a first nine total of 17 points and came back with 20 points to set the target for the rest of the field. He held this lead until Southend’s Donald Brown covered the front nine with an excellent 22 and back nine with 19 to hold off Eric Dunlea and guest Steven Garrett by one point.

Last year’s captain John Brown made a determined effort to catch Donald but bogeys at the last two holes saw him falling short by two points.

Greenkeepers Haydn Chambers and Campbell MacBrayne worked hard to ensure that the course was in top condition while Ailie Goddard and her sister Rona in the Tea Box kept the players well supplied with food hot drinks.

Result: 1 Donald Brown (Southend) 41 points, 2 Eric Dunlea 40 (bih), 3 Steven Garrett (guest) 40, 4 John Brown 39, 5 Sandy Watson 37 (bih), 6 John Dreghorn 37, 7 Malcolm Ronald 35 (bih).

The sun shone again on Saturday when players took part in the ninth Gary Thomas Memorial Trophy competition.

The event attracted 46 teams of three and one of two. Held in memory of Gary, who passed away in 2011 while on holiday, and sponsored by his family, it has proved to be the biggest competition in Dunaverty’s calendar.

Ex-greenkeeper Willie MacMillan’s team, with a handicap of 3.8, reached the turn in 29 strokes and 31 on the way back to set the leading score of 56.2.

Not to be outdone, Ross Sinclair’s team, with the lowest handicap of 1.4 and the best gross score of 54, covered the front nine in a superb 26 and the back in 28 to forge to the front with a nett 52.6 and looked set to lift the trophy.

Close behind came the Lee Mathieson’s team on 52.9.

A further string of close scores followed but the day belonged to to the Machrihanish threesome of Robert Borthwick, Campbell McFadyen and Ryan McConnachie whose gross score of 56 included two eagles and nine birdies. Their handicap of 5.3 ensured them of a 50.7 winning total.

All competitors thoroughly enjoyed the day which was enhanced by the generosity of Dougie and Craig Thomas who supplied each of the 140 players with vouchers for filled rolls and hot or cold drinks.

The Thomas family also sponsored excellent spot prizes at nine holes.

Thanks were expressed to Ailie Goddard and her sister Rona who did a great job supplying the catering, and greenkeepers Haydn Chambers and Campbell MacBrayne who had prepared the course.

Covid-19 restrictions were well observed and special thanks go to Susan McLennan who spent the whole day ensuring that everyone’s temperature was taken before gaining access to the clubhouse.

Many of the players expressed the opinion that, despite the present restrictions, the event was well organised and more thanks were extended to the Thomas family for their continued fantastic support.

Result: 1 Robert Borthwick, Campbell McFadyen, Ryan McConnachie 56-5.3=50.7, 2 Ross Sinclair, Kenny Cameron, Bobby Willan 54-1.4=52.6, 3 Lee Mathieson, M Morrison, John Docherty 55-2.1=52.9, 4 John Brown, Raymond Harvey, Danny Halliday 59-4.3=54.7, 5 John Nutt, A McGuire, J Bruce 60-5.2=54.8 (bih), 6 Campbell MacBrayne, Haydn Chambers, Alan Goddard 59-3.2=54.8.

Spot prizes: Nearest the pin (NTP) in two at the first: Robert Borthwick (in the hole); NTP at 2nd: Donald McNeill; NTP at 4th: Scott Abraham; NTP at 7th: David MacBrayne; NTP at 10th: John Nutt; NTP at 14th: Kenny Cameron; NTP in two at 15th: Peter Duffy; NTP at 16th: Calum Dick; Gents’ longest drive at 17th: Duncan Clark; Ladies’ longest at 17th: Lindsay Ramsay.

Winners of the Gary Thomas Memorial Trophy, from left: Campbell McFadyen, Robert Borthwick and Ryan McConnachie.
Winners of the Gary Thomas Memorial Trophy, from left: Campbell McFadyen, Robert Borthwick and Ryan McConnachie.