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Hundreds of golfers take to the course for The Spring Swing

By Andrew Henderson

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Three 18-hole open events over the links of Brora, Golspie and Tain last weekend saw 300 golfers take to the course for The Spring Swing.

Muir of Ord greenkeeper Darren Hexley won the first scratch voucher at Golspie in the Spring Swing.
Muir of Ord greenkeeper Darren Hexley won the first scratch voucher at Golspie in the Spring Swing.

Poor conditions raised many scores at the latter two, with some even binning their cards before completing their rounds.

The two best scratch cards at Golspie were returned by greenkeepers – Darren Hexley (Muir of Ord) and James MacBeath (Brora).

Both returned gross 73s with matching halves of 38 and 35, so it was Hexley’s par four on the final hole compared to MacBeath’s five that made the difference for the first scratch voucher.

Royal Dornoch’s Chris Mailley was two strokes behind on 75, while his clubmate Iain Murray shot net 64 from gross 81 to win the handicap.

Golspie’s assistant greenkeeper, Jack Harrison, came second in that category with net 66 from a handicap of 20.

At Tain the wind was even stronger than at Golspie, but Alan Cameron (Fortrose & Rosemarkie) shot an outstanding one-over score of 71 to lead the remainder of the field.

There were notably early eagles from locals Frankie Sutherland and Bill Duff.

With the CSS rising to 75, only Cameron and the two section handicap winners had their handicaps reduced.

Muir of Ord’s Thomas Nicholson won the Class One with the second best gross score of the day, his 74 being reduced to a net 69. Local Alastair Kennedy (12) was the runner up with net 72, followed by Inverness’s William MacCrone’s 74.

North Golf Alliance secretary Ali Melville (Tain) brought in the winning Class Two score on his home course, with a net 73 off 13.

The weather for Sunday’s competition at Brora improved dramatically, and 14-year-old local Finlay MacGregor set about making a good first impression.

He has been given a first senior handicap of 35, which was enough to reduce his gross 98 to net 63 to win his first big prize voucher.

At the top of the scratch list was Dornoch UHI student Danny Ward, who broke the course par of 70 with a 69.

Matching par for second was Strathpeffer-based Gary Ross.

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