George’s marvellous 22nd Dunaverty championship win

From left: handicap champion Ricky Tonner, senior champion Donald MacNeil, Captain Graeme McLennan and club champion George MacMillan.
From left: handicap champion Ricky Tonner, senior champion Donald MacNeil, Captain Graeme McLennan and club champion George MacMillan.

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The final rounds of Dunaverty Golf Club’s championships were played in excellent weather conditions last weekend.

Defending champion George MacMillan, seeking his 22nd title, made his intentions clear in the third round on Saturday by posting the best round of the day with a scratch 64.

Close behind was young Alistair McConnachie who came in with a 65, one ahead of Donald MacNeil.

Alistair McConnachie, Donald MacNeil and George MacMillan, the three main contenders, on the first tee.
Alistair McConnachie, Donald MacNeil and George MacMillan, the three main contenders, on the first tee.

Ricky Tonner, handicap leader after two rounds, continued his bid to win the section by adding a nett 63 to his previous total.

Donald MacNeil held on to second spot with Sandy Watson next.

The senior championship was held over three rounds and in the final round Donald posted a scratch 66 to take the title for the third time.

Ross Sinclair was runner-up and Sandy Watson, the oldest player in the field, finished in third place.

Third round results: Scratch: 1 George MacMillan 64, 2 Alistair McConnachie 65, 3 Donald MacNeil 66, 4 John Docherty 69, 5 Ross Sinclair 70, 6 Alan Middleton 71, 7 Keith Crawford 71, 8 John Brown 71.

Handicap: 1 Alistair McConnachie 65-6=59 (bih), 2 James Williamson 79-20=59 (bih), 3 Peter Paterson 75-16=59, 4 Donald MacNeil 66-6=60, 5 John Docherty 69-8=61, 6 John Brown 71-9=62.

Senior championship: 1 Donald MacNeil 67+65+66=198, 2 Ross Sinclair 69+66+70=205, 3 Keith Crawford 72+76+71=219, 4 Sandy Watson 71+72+71=221, 5 John Brown 76+74=71=221, 6 David MacBrayne 75+74=76=225.

Going into the final round on Sunday, George MacMillan led Donald MacNeil by six strokes and he was determined to maintain that position.

He came through the front nine in 32 strokes and added 33 on the inward nine. He was chased home by Ross Sinclair, also on 65, and Alan Middleton on 66.

George’s final round score was enough for him to clinch his 22nd championship win, with Donald occupying second spot.

Captain Graeme McLennan presenting George MacMillan with the Championship Trophy.
Captain Graeme McLennan presenting George MacMillan with the Championship Trophy.

Ricky Tonner turned in another great performance to add a nett 62 to his three-round total of 179 giving him a winning margin of six over Sandy Watson.

It is important to bear in mind that players cannot win prizes in both the scratch and handicap sections.

Final scratch result: 1 George MacMillan 65+63+64+65=257; 2 Donald MacNeil 67+65+66+68=266, 3 Alistair McConnachie 69+65+65+68=267, 4 Alan Middleton 68+64+71+66=269, 5 Ross Sinclair 67+75+70+65=270, 6 John Docherty 67+75+69+70=281.

Final handicap result: 1 Ricky Tonner 61+55+63+62=241, 2 Sandy Watson 60+61+67+59=247, 3 James Williamson 67+66+59+59=251, 4 David MacBrayne 62=63+64+62=251, 5 Peter Paterson 65+64+59+63=251, 6 Neil Brodie 61+64+66+63=254.

Captain Graeme McLennan thanked all the competitors who took part and greenkeepers Haydn Chambers and Campbell MacBrayne for having the course in first class condition.

He also thanked Ailie Goddard and her sister Rona of The Tea Box for their sterling work in keeping everyone fed and watered.