Any hopes the chasing pack had of catching Bute Golf Club’s Winter League pacesetter Robert McKirdy were washed out by torrential rain at the club’s Kingarth course on Saturday.
Only 11 players braved the appalling conditions for the final round of the stableford tournament - and they all failed to make inroads on the lead of McKirdy, who lifted the McArthur Cup for a second successive year.
The six-handicapper finished six points clear of runner-up John McBride, with a total of 316 points from eight counting rounds.
The other main challengers for the title were Leighton Thomas (308), David Coll and Graham McArthur (both 304), Pat McDonald (302), Jim Thom (301), and Peter Martin (292).
It was only the third time in the 30-year history of the tournament that a player has successfully defended the title. The other successive winners were John Kernaghan in 2008/09 and Andy Docherty in 2013/14.
Twenty-handicapper Pat McDonald coped best with the conditions in the final round on Saturday when he led the field with a tally of 37 points. He played his best golf over the first nine holes which he completed in 38 strokes for 24 points.
Robert McKirdy (6) and John McBride (12) shared second place on 36 points with Graham McArthur (6) third on 35 which included the only two of the day at the third hole.
* Kingarth golfers begin their summer season on Saturday in the April medal with the usual 8.30am ballot at the clubhouse, and they are back in action on Monday in the Easter/Spring medal, when competitors should make their own playing arrangements throughout the day.
Only golfers who have paid their annual subscription will be eligible for these competitions.