Sandy to the four in Heidbangers honours list

Last year's winner Bill Brannigan presents the Cup to Sandy Watson while the rest of the group look on.

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Dunaverty Golf Club’s hardy members took to the fairways last week for the grand finale of their Heidbangers Cup challenge.

The Heidbangers are renowned for playing in all weathers and it has to be pretty grim to stop them.

Always played on Wednesdays, this year’s competition was disrupted by Covid-19, but it didn’t put a stop to it and an average of 15 to 18 turned out once restriction advice permitted.

Although the emphasis is on enjoyment and social interaction competition is always fierce and this year was no different.

Three members were in contention for the cup, Keith Crawford on 30 points with Sandy Watson and Malcolm Ronald one point behind.

The final round of the year-long competition was held on a cold and windy day which tested their skills to the full.

Keith has led throughout the competition up to the present time, while Sandy moved into second place in September only to be joined by Malcolm during October and both finished still tied by the last round.

Keith and Malcolm didn’t fare too well in this round and speculation was rife as to how Sandy would do.

On the day – playing in the first group – John Nutt shot a scratch 69 to give him a points total of 41, with Bill Brannigan in second place on 39 points. Sandy got off to a poor start with a double bogey at the first and a bogey at the second but he recovered to finish the front nine in 20 points.

He bogeyed 16 and 17 and just missed making a par at 18 but managed to sink a three footer for another bogey to finish the back nine on 39 the same as Bill but, with 19 points on the back nine to Bill’s 18, he moved into second place and added two points to his overall total.

This took his year’s total to 31 and enabled him to win the Heidbangers Cup for the fourth time.

Speaking after the final, competition organiser Bill Brannigan said: ‘I must thank former greenkeeper David Scullion and present greenkeepers Haydn Chambers and Campbell MacBrayne for their efforts in keeping the course in excellent condition.

‘Thanks go to Ailie Goddard and her sister Rona in the Tea Box for their excellent catering and also Sandy Watson for covering for me when I have been unable to attend. I must also thank the Courier for printing my reports.’

The last day’s play was traditionally celebrated with a Christmas presentation dinner in Muneroy Tearooms but it was not to be this year, again thanks to Covid.

Results on the day: 1 John Nutt 41; 2 Sandy Watson 39 (bih); 3 Bill Brannigan 39; 4 Eric Dunlea 37; 5 Robin Finlay 36 (bih); 6 Malcolm Ronald 36.

John Nutt also won nearest the pin in two at the fifth and nearest the pin at the 16th.

Heidbangers Cup: 1 Sandy Watson 31; 2 Keith Crawford 30; 3 Malcolm Ronald 29; 4 Willie Ralston 27; 5 Willie Young 26; 6 Bill Brannigan 26.