Oliver Armour won his first Club Championship at Machrihanish with a fine wire-to-wire victory. Oliver led after the end of each round of the 72 hole strokeplay competition and held his nerve with a brilliant back nine on the final day on Sunday coming home with eight straight pars and a final hole birdie to beat past champion,George MacMillan, by 4 strokes. This was all the more impressive as George was two shots in front standing on the tenth tee in the final round. By winning his maiden club championship, local boy Oliver maintained Machrihanish’s recent winning streak following David Graham’s victory last year.
The first two rounds of the club championship took place the weekend before. The first round on Saturday 1st June was played in testing conditions with the early starters experiencing some showers and then from around midday the wind picked up fiercely making scoring difficult. The second round, the following day, was in near perfect scoring conditions, with a light wind and some sunshine. Despite slower greens, due to seeding, the scoring over the first 36 holes was excellent. The halfway joint leaders were Robbie Chrystie and Oliver Armour with a combined total of 141. Past champion, George MacMillan was handily placed on 142 with two other former club champions, Calum MacPhail and Ross Currie next on 144.
The final 36 holes were played the following weekend with the third round being played on Saturday (8th) in calm conditions, following a delay of about an hour and a half due to thick fog. On quicker greens and played over a course in excellent condition, Oliver regained the lead on his own following a 73 with George matching this score to remain one shot behind going into the final round. Robbie and Ross both dropped slightly off the pace with 76. The final round on Sunday resulted in victory for Oliver with a fine 70. This despite losing his ball with an errant second shot to the first hole, resulting in a double bogey 6 and giving George great hope after his opening birdie to move 2 shots in front. However, Oliver showed great composure covering the remaining 17 holes in 2 under par in a strong, testing wind. His four round total of 4 over par (284) cementing his first championship. Ross moved into 3rd place with an excellent last round of 70 while Robbie had to be content with a tie for 4th shooting 77. A poor inward half of 43 proving very costly. Morris Howat made a substantial move up the leaderboard to tie 4th, shooting 72, 71 and 73 on the last 3 days. The final total scores were as follows:
1st: Oliver Armour 71, 70, 73, 70 = 284
2nd: George MacMillan 73, 69, 73, 73 = 288
3rd: Ross Currie 72, 72, 76, 70 = 290
4th=: Morris Howat 78, 72, 71, 73 = 294
4th=: Robbie Chrystie 74, 67, 76, 77 = 294
In the senior championship (over 55’s), played over the opening 36 holes, the winner was Machrihanish GC greenkeeper David Irwin, who used his vast knowledge of the course to good use. Scores of 78 + 77 won David the title by the a single stroke from David Campbell (82 + 74).
In the junior championship, Andrew Wallace retained the Malcolm Lang Shield with a combined nett score of 142 (77-8=69 + 81-8=73).
The Jim Scally Memorial Trophy, for the first 36 holes combined handicap, was won by Robbie Chrystie with a total nett score of 137 (74-2=72 + 67-2=65). Runner up was club captain, Angus Brown with 138 (Best last 18) (86-13=73 + 78-13=65).
The Bob Ballantyne Memorial Shield was played for over the last two rounds and was won by former club champion, Hector Thomson with a total nett score of 137 (73-7=66 + 78-7=71).
A special mention to John Shaw who had a hole in one at the 16th during the first round.
8 June 2013