Talk about strength in depth, with the highest score to get in being 74 and only 4 of the players that have qualified having made this stage last year you can safely say these 8 have proven their quality just making the draw. With only 3 former champions in the draw you might think we're likely to see a new name on the board but these guys have won 10 of the last 13 titles between them (John x 5, David x 3 & Andy x 2).
Monday 5th June 17:02 Andrew Rennie 1 hole vs Brian Kennedy 17:09 Matt Davidson vs 4&3 David Wilson 17:16 Gordon Crawford vs 3&2 Kevin MacDonald 17:23 John Ralston 5&4 vs James Cunningham
Only 3 former champions qualified and they all showed the former that earned them that status as they all line up in Thursdays semi-finals. Andy, Kev and John were all up early and while Brian got back to level Andy had just enough to edge over the line. Gordon got a run going to pegged Kev back to 1 hole, but couldn't quite get square before Kev reeled off 2 more holes to close out the match. Despite the recent good form James never really got into the match and found himself with a deficit that he never managed to threaten. The closet of the matches in the early stages had little between Matt and David, but run of consecutive holes won by David put him into a commanding lead that saw out the match.
Friday 9th June 10:00 Andrew Rennie vs 19th hole David Wilson 17:23 Kevin MacDonald vs John Ralston
With the rain gone Andy and David resumed their abandoned match at the 16th tee. 2 halves to par took them to the 18th where Andy chipped the ball 15ft past the hole in 3. Putting from near the bell David left himself 8 foot for par. Both held their nerve and sunk the putts, before a birdie on the 19th sealed the match. Kev had chances but didn't take them and against an opponent like John you have to take every chance to compete with his consistently good scoring. Another comfortable victory sees John into his 7th consecutive final.
Saturday 10th June 14:00 David Wilson vs 1 hole John Ralston
A very close final where the majority of the holes were halved. Holes 3 & 4 were exchanged before John opened up a 2 hole lead by winning the 6th and 7th. Surprisingly only 1 more hole was won in the match with David winning the 13th. There did appear to be an opportunity on 17 with John's tee shot going up to the top of the hill behind the green and I'm sure from on the tee it looked like it was in the gorse, however it managed to find a gap and rolled through back into play on the side of the hill. David had also gone long with his ball half way up the hill below the gorse however he could only manage a 4 when a 3 would have won the hole. John now takes his Championship record to 20 wins from 21 matches
Like the main draw the B section sees only 4 players return from last year with 3 of them in the bottom half of the draw for the 2nd year running. Having won the title at my first attempt in 2012 (editor: subtle) I've now lost in the first round 4 years running so it could be argued that Robin has picked up a bye for the 2nd year running. Like the main draw there's 3 former champions in the draw (Colin, Chris & Me) Defending champion George Wood wasn't able to play during qualification and although Nick Morley and John Livingstone they aren't able to play.
Monday 5th June 17:30 Steven Park 3&1 vs Robin Wilkie 17:37 Phil Caldwell 1 hole vs Colin Mackay
Thursday 8th June 07:00 Duncan Wells 8&7 vs Benjamin Tang
Friday 9th June 16:30 Jim Robertson vs Chris Gilhooly
Steven and Robin had 2 wins, 2 loses and 2 halves in the opening 6 holes of what on paper was expected to be a close match. However I won the next 3 to par and reached the turn 3 up. Wins at 10 and 12 took me to the brink before Robin had a run of 3 straight pars and a conceded birdie to win 3 of the next 4 holes, however he came up short on 17 before I put my tee shot inside 8 feet which ultimately won the hole. Both needed a par up the last for 79 scratch.
In the other match of the evening Colin reached the 15th tee with a 3 hole lead before Phil ran off 4 straight pars to pull off the only comeback win of the night and a send out a warning to future opponents that victory won't come easy.
3 over par to the turn and Duncan had Ben reeling in his wake in a one sided contest. No word yet on if Duncan even lost a hole.
Jim and Chris finally got to play and it was worth wait as Chris ran out to a 3 hole lead through 8 only for Jim to turn the match around and get to 2 up through 14. However Chris staged a comeback of his own to force the match down the 19th. Unfortunately with his tee shot in the bushes and Jim down the fairway the match was all over and a new name is guaranteed to win the title.
Friday 9th June 06:00 Steven Park vs 8&7 Duncan Wells (handicap cut to +4)
Saturday 10th June 14:07 Jim Robertson 3&2 vs Phil Caldwell
As David Wilson was kind enough to point out I was likely the first person to lose a tie today in the whole of the UK. With Duncan carding 2 birdies, 2 bogies and nothing else but pars even if I'd played well I'd have been lucky to only be 4 down through 11. However missing 7 out of 8 par putts is anything but playing well and with the large margin of victory in both his matches Duncan has an opportunity to win the title in what would surely be a record number of holes.
In the second semi final Phil ran out to an early lead with par good enough to win the first 3 holes before a birdie from Jim at the 4th saw him pick up the first of 3 holes from 4. The match was still all square on the 13th tee as both players found gorse off the tee. Both balls were found but only Jim managed to find the green after taking his drop and that proved to be the difference. The advantage was 2 after he won the 15th leading to an iron off the tee at 16. Phil sent a long drive down the middle and was unlucky to see his approach finish above the hole. While Jim to 3 shots from the left side of the green Phil left his first putt above the hole before missing the putt to win the hole. To compound matters his putt back up to the hole lipped out and the match was over.
Wednesday 14th June 18:05 Jim Robertson vs Duncan Wells
Duncan came into the final with two big wins , Jim had closer games but was the Bookies favourite. Jim started the better with steady golf and with Duncan not playing as well as he had previously Jim was 3 up after 6. The seventh was halved and at 8 Duncan over hit the green and with Jim on the green in 2 he went 4 up. He followed this up with a fine tee shot at 9 and with Duncan on the10th fairway and despite a good pitch up , Jim was 5 up at the turn. The tenth was halved and then Duncan won 11 and maybe the come back was on. 12 was halved and Duncans good tee shot at 13 gave him a 3 whilst Jims long putt just missed for a half but he was still 3 up. 14 was crucial and Duncan found the bushes on the left , Jim was over the mound to the right. Duncans ball was found and he was 3 to the back of the bunker behind the green. Jim was 2 in a similar place. Duncan played a well judged chip to 4 feet , Jim was at 8 feet and just missed the putt. Duncan missed his for a half and Jim was dormie 4. Jim went on to win 15 and the final with a score of 5 and 3
C Championship 2017
Having slipped in the back door due to a withdrawal last year Andy Montador carded 89 to make sure he was in the mix this year for the chance to be the first ever player to defend the title. Playing the only other past champion (Alan Kay) this looks on paper to be the most likely section to have a new name on the board. Breaking 90 for the first time sees Steven Smith pick up a high seeding, however he missed out on top seed as Dave Clark closed in on 50 years at the club with a last minute 86 to claim that honour. As there were only 8 qualifiers if we have a withdrawal the draw will be redone to account for the top seed being entitled to a bye. Amendment: Due to the course being closed on Tuesday and other commitments meaning Steven Smith has had to withdraw so the draw was redone to account for change in seedings and the fact that as top seed Dave Clark gets a bye in the quarter finals.
Wednesday 7th June 17:30 Andy Montador 2&1 vs Vincent Gill 17:37 Alan Crawford vs 7&5 Ben Stenson
Friday 9th June 18:05 Robbie Mott 4&3vs Alan Kay
While Viny was busy playing water sports on the 6th tee, defending champ Andy built up a commanding lead and was 4 up thru 11. Viny staged a comeback to get back to 2 down thru 15 before Andy sealed the match with a half on 17. In front of them Ben was built up a 5 hole advantage to the turn (and won the Allermuir sweep). It was dormie in no time and Alan winning on 12 simply delayed the inevitable by one hole.
Another much delayed tie finally got under way with Robbie quickly building a 3 hole advantage after winning 3, 4 & 5. The next two holes were halved before a flurry of exchanged holes with Alan winning 8, 10 & 13 as he tried to cut the deficit, but Robbie responded winning 9, 12 & 14 so the deficit never got to less than 2. Robbie then won on 15 to seal the win.
Friday 9th June 14:00 Andy Montador vs 4&3Ben Stenson
Saturday 10th June 14:14 Dave Clark vs 6upRobbie Mott
In the words of Andy "that was an ass kicking". After taking out Andy's double partner the night before Ben set about the defending champion from the off to get ahead early. Despite Andy's best efforts he could do nothing to compete with as Ben showed no mercy claiming another scalp with plenty to spare. This result that means the C Section has still never been successfully defended and coupled with the the days other result means a new name on the board.
A sublime pitch at the 2nd to guarantee par and a half was followed by another par at the 3rd as Dave took the early lead. Robbie levelled the match on 5 before Dave drained a long putt on 6 for par and the chance to retake the lead, however Robbie kept his composure to hole his 8-10 foot putt for par. After that the momentum was all with Robbie as he won 6 on the trot to be 6 up with 6 to play, however a miscount by both players led them to believe it was 6&5 so hands were shook and the match was over (Edit: Has been confirmed no miscount, match was conceded).
Wednesday 14th June 18:12 Ben Stenson vsRobbie Mott
Those in the know had Robbie down as the Favourite but the Bookie had the short odds elsewhere and Ben came into the final by beating him thus creating an interesting game. Robbie played the steadier golf over the front 9 and was 2 up but Ben was determined to give a good account of himself. To confirm this he holed long putts at 10 and 11 for halves and then hit a good tee shot at 13 to make a par to Robbies 4 and so was only 1 down . The next couple of holes were halved before Robbie won 15 and 16 with pars to take the game and the final with a score of 3 and 2
Geroge Wood John Ralston Andy Montador
Club Championship 2016
1 débutante in draw, only 2 past champions in the field (5 last year) so will we get a new name on board this year?
Not if John or David have anything to say about it.
Monday 6th June 5:02 John Ralston2&1 vs Sandy McFeat 5:09 Rankin Taylor vs 3&2James Cunningham 5:16 Robert Kay vs 4&3Nick Morley 5:23 Matt Davidson vs 5&4David Wilson
Despite a stellar performance from Sandy (level par through 17), John showed why he's top seed as the other seeds were all beaten. With only 1 hole in it through 11, James found an extra gear to get over the line. All square through 8, Nick ran off 4 holes on the trot and that proved to much for Rab. Matt had the misfortune of being in the firing line as David channelled his trolley frustration into a 4&3 victory.
Thursday 9th June 5:02 John Ralston3&2 vs James Cunningham 5:09 Nick Morley vs 5&3David Wilson
It was tight at the turn with James 1 down having let chances slip by. A ball in the gorse at 10 and John seized the opportunity to take control. David was 4 up through 7 before Nick reeled off 3 holes on the spin, but a loss to birdie at 11 halted the momentum and David then pulled away for a victory that looks more comfortable than it was.
Friday 10th June 5:02 John Ralston1 hole vs David Wilson
It was one of the highest standards of finals in many a year with John beating yet another opponent who was level par to take his Championship record to 17-1 and 5 titles in 6 attempts. Such was the standard that a birdie at 11 to take David to -3, only saw him go 1 up in the match. A bogey at 12 squared the match and a missed opportunity at 16 ultimately proved costly as John won the 17th to take the lead for the first time since the 10th tee.
B Championship 2016
3 of last 4 winners have been B
Section débutantes, but with only 2 débutantes in field and they've been drawn against each other this trend may be at and end. Like last year 3 former
champions in field. Ronnie McIntyre qualified but not able to play.
Monday 6th June 5:30 George Wood 5&4 vs Alan Murray 5:37 John Wallace vs 2 holesColin Mackay
Tuesday 7th June 5:02 Steven Park vs 6&5Duncan Wells 5:09 Steve Conn vs byeRobin Wilkie
George showed why he's defending champion and top seed with Monday's biggest victory. In the only match to go down the last Colin won the 18th to guarantee there will be at least 1 former champion in the field. Robin received a bye and Duncan set the tone for the night with the first of 3 6&5 victories.
Thursday 9th June 5:16 George Wood 1 hole vs Colin Mackay 5:23 Duncan Wells vs 1 holeRobin Wilkie
2 tight contests that could have gone either way. With both players finding the bunker on 13 it was George who got out at the first attempt in what proved to be a key moment in the match. By the time he boarded the 16th tee he was 3 up, but Colin was never going to throw in the towel and after winning the next 2 looked like extra holes could be on the cards before George got up and down at 18 to close out the match. In the other match Duncan also had a 3 hole advantage, but in this case it was after only 9 holes. Robin also staged a comeback, winning the back nine by 4 holes in a game of two halves.
Friday 10th June 5:09 George Wood 4&3 vs Robin Wilkie
With his run of good form, top seeding and defending champion George was always fancied to retain his title and looked to get the job done as quick as possible as he racked up a 4 hole lead. This time there was to be no comeback for Robin as George's steady scoring left little opportunity for his opponent and the first title defence since Matt Davidson in 2007.
C Championship 2016
The only section without the defending champion in the field (now a B section player) and with only 2 past champions in field (and in same half of draw) there's a real chance for a new name on the board. Ben Stenson qualified but not able to play. Amendment: Alan Crawford has had to withdraw through injury and with no other eligible qualifiers Derek Baird earns a bye for qualifying as top seed.
Tuesday 7th June 5:16Alex Dick6&5 vs Alan Kay 5:23 Vincent Gill vs 1 holeAndy Montador 5:30 John Livingstone6&5 vs Morris Forbes
Alex and John got on the 6&5 bandwagon, while Andy won the 18th with a birdie in the closest match across all sections. Thursday 9th June 5:30 Derek Baird vs 1 holeAlex Dick 5:37 Andy Montador2&1 vs John Livingstone
Two players that know each others games better than their own locked horns and it was no surprise to see how evenly match they were, but it was the wily veteran that had that little bit extra on the night for a narrow win. Someone joked on Tuesday that John had a great chance for the title as long as his opponents called off (that someone then received a 6&5 thrashing in the B's), but it was Andy who'd have appreciate his opponent not showing as he was once again taken the distance in a match that could easily have gone either way.
Friday 10th June 5:16 Andy Montador4&3 vs Alex Dick
It looked like both players would go the distance for the second night on the trot with very little to separate them after 10 holes. A birdie at 11 then a win at 12 put Andy 3 up, before Alex won 13. Andy immediately struck back with well played pars at 14 and 15 and that was enough to win both holes and seal the win and a new name on the board.
George Wood John Ralston David Marr
Club Championship 2015
2 débutantes drawn against each other, 5 past champions in the field, Danny's record year? and John drawn against the only man to ever beat him in the match play.
Monday 5:02 Nick Morley vs Robert Kay 2&1 5:09 Danny Cameron 3&2 vs Andrew Rennie 5:16 David Wilson3&1 vs Brian Kennedy 5:23 John Ralston 3&2 vs Gerry Curran
Top seed out, but other 3 seeds through to Semi Finals.
Thursday 5:02 Robert Kay1 Hole vs Danny Cameron 5:09 David Wilson vs John Ralston 4&2
For the 2nd year running we've got a débutante into the final, but John makes the final for the 5th year running and with 3 titles to his name once again shows he's the man to beat.
Friday 5:02 Robert Kay vs John Ralston 7&6
All square through 2 was as close as it got before John played the next 8 holes 3 under par to leave Robert reeling. It's now 4 titles in 5 attempts taking his match play record to 14 wins and 1 defeat.
B Championship 2015
Last 3 winners have been B Section débutantes, 2/3 débutantes in field along with 3 former champions. 2 shot handicap reduction for the rest of the year for whoever puts out the Match Secretary.
Monday 5:30 Duncan Wells 5&4 vs Colin Mackay 5:37 Steven Park vs Alan Murray 1 Hole
Tuesday 5:02 Chris Gilhooly vs Sandy McFeat 4&3 5:09 George Wood 6&5 vs Gordon Hunter
Like the main draw 3 seeds through and Alan's handicap cut by 2 with immediate effect. All 3 former champions out so we're guaranteed a new name on the board.
Thursday 5:16 Duncan Wells vs Sandy McFeat 2&1 5:23 Alan Murray vs George Wood 3&2
Like the main draw the bookies favourite makes the final, but can he overcome a veteran of the hills.
Friday 5:09 Sandy McFeat vs George Wood 3&1
A match that was close throughout saw George win 11 and 12 to gain the upper hand moving 2 up. Sandy struck back at 13 and 15, however on both occasions found bushes off the next tee and after missing for par on 17 it was all over.
C Championship 2015
Possibly the most likely section for a new name on the board with 4 débutantes, with David and Andrew favoured due to their good form seeing them now classed as B Section players. The 3 past champions in the field will no doubt have something to say about that.
Tuesday 5:16 David Marr21st Hole vs John Wallace 5:23 Derek Baird vs Vincent Gill 21st Hole 5:30 Fraser Mackay6&5 vs Alan Kay
Wednesday 6:00 Andrew Best6&5 vs John Livingstone
2 comfy wins and 2 that went the distance and then some, as all 3 sections see 3 seeds through and 1 out. 1 former champ makes it through.
Thursday 5:30 David Marr 6&5vs Vincent Gill 5:37 Fraser Mackay vs Andrew Best 1 Hole
Again the bookies favourite makes the final and in doing so guarantees a new name on the board. With their recent handicap reductions it looks like for the 3rd time in 4 years the final will be contested by players that will be ineligible to defend the title next year.
Friday 5:16 David Marr 4&3vs Andrew Best
Another close match saw David 2 up through 12 when he found the bushes off the tee before finding the green in 3. However Andrew let the advantage slip as he went above the hole in 2 and 3 putted for the half. An over hit pitch from the back of 14 handed the opportunity for David to go 3 up before he holed (as Mr McLelland informs me) a sweet putt at 15 to secure the win.