81 hardy Alliance members braved a brutally cold day at Cullen golf course. With real temperatures never reaching positive figures and a couple of fearsome sleet/snow laden squalls testing the resolve of many players, it was inevitable that scores on the day would reflect the conditions.
No one breached the par of 63 but Kevin Duncan of Cruden Bay came closest with a first nine of two over par 32 and an inward 31 against par of 33 to match par on the day. That was Kevin’s fourth win so far in the 2019/2020 season and sets him up well for a hopefully warmer two week schedule in North Africa.
The most “reflective” player of the day may well be Ian Esslemont, Alliance two handicap member at Newmachar who struck the ball the same number of times as the winner but suffered an agonising two shot penalty at the very first hole following a minor rule breach. At least he was comforted by the obvious sympathy expressed by his playing partners. Professionals Greig Hutcheon and Ross McConnachie must have thought that their scores of 64 would have been good enough on the day to take the title but Kevin’s birdie 3 at the 16th hole proved to be decisive.
Class 1 handicap players were the only ones on the day to beat par (net) with Justin Barclay (Newmachar) producing an excellent 61 (67 less 6) to lead the section. Justin’s gross score was good enough to win a scratch prize but under the Alliance rules, his higher value handicap prize took precedence. The same applied to Scott Barron, a new Alliance member this season from Kemnay whose 67 less 5 won him second place, pipping Newmachar’s John Sunley on a last six holes count back.
The Class 2 handicap section was no less exciting with Newmachar’s Ally Sorley roaring back into form with a net par 63, edging out Deeside’s Gary Leslie on an inward half count back. Newmachar members seem to have done particulary well all round today!
63 Kevin Duncan (Cruden Bay)
64 Greig Hutcheon (Torphins), Ross McConnachie (Peterculter)
65 Ian Esslemont (Newmachar)
67 John Duff (Newmachar), Phil McLean (Peterhead)
Class 1 Handicap
61 Justin Barclay (Newmachar) (6)
62 Scott Barron (Kemnay) (5)
62 John Sunley (Newmachar) (7)
65 Steven Cowie (Cullen) (7)
65 Graham Riley (Craibstone) (4)
Class 2 Handicap
63 Ally Sorley (Newmachar) (14)
63 Gary Leslie (Deeside) (17)
65 Graham Watson (Deeside) (17)
65 Jim Cobban (Portlethen) (14)
66 Ken Mathieson (Kintore) (13)