Mackay finds rough in back-to-back bid at Tain Golf Week
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Alness-based golfer Kieran Mackay failed in his bid to become only the seventh man to win back-to-back McVitie and Price Scratch Cups since the inaugural competition in 1924 in Tain last week.
Mackay led the qualifying leaderboard into the match-play stages with cards of 70 and 69, with the next three seeds being Fortrose and Rosemarkie’s Euan Gill, followed by local pair Bryan Campbell and Iain Cowper.
A final berth did beckon for Inverness-member Mackay, who saw off Cowper in the last four with three holes unplayed.
There he came up against a familiar opponent in Ross Moir (the Dukes Club, St Andrews).
The two golfers also contested the final of the 2018 edition of the tournament, and Mackay took an early lead as he looked to make it two in a row.
But Moir, who beat Campbell in his semi-final, would not go away quietly, and a four-hole swing would see the Dukes man two ahead going into the latter stages.
Mackay’s confidence was clearly dented, and missed opportunities at the 16th and 17th greens gave Moir his first Tain Four Day win.
In the three handicap match-play sections 12-year-old Michael Toal stole the show.
Toal, a junior member of the Old Ranfurly Golf Club in Bridge of Weir, has been holidaying in Tain for years but was not even entered when he arrived in the area.
Toal made it all the way to the final of the Brookes Cup where he beat local 23-handicapper Andy Durrand to become the person believed to be the youngest ever winner.
Last year’s Stirling Cup runner-up John Bell was back in that final to face clubmate Robbie Ross.
Bell went one better this year though, running out a three and two winner.
Toal’s father Gary was a beaten semi-finallist in the Munro Rose Bowl to eventual winner, Invergordon left-hander Kenny Hearton, who defeated Brora’s Donald Sutherland.