Bute Golf Club’s hopes of a dream finish to a memorable Firth of Clyde Trophy inter-club competition at Kingarth on Saturday were dashed in a dramatic climax.
The hosts were relegated to runners-up after young Millport player Scott Turnbull snatched victory for the Cumbrae club with a superb two-under-par 66.
A flawless back nine of two-under-par 32 helped Turnbull secure the W.E. Turner Trophy for the leading individual scratch score and gave Millport the team award in an event which is believed to be the oldest inter-club tournament in the world.
Clubmates Craig Pirie and John Jack returned rounds of 70 and 71 respectively for the winning three-score aggregate of 207. Turnbull’s contribution catapulted Millport to seven shots clear of Bute’s total of 214, with Graham Bolton (69), Donald Standaloft (70) and Graham McArthur (75) their counting players.
The much-improved Kingarth course provided an exacting test for competitors, and Turnbull was the only competitor to beat par.
Skelmorlie, who were defending the trophy, finished in third place with a 219 aggregate while Cowal were fourth on 222 and Largs fifth on an aggregate of 225.
George Reynolds led a Rothesay team which had to settle for sixth with a round of 73 while team-mates Tom McCready and Steve McDonald added 77s for their 227 total.
The Gourock team, two shots further adrift on 229, included a remarkable player in two-handicapper Josh Greer, aged 14, who contributed to his club’s score with a round of 77.
Winning team captain John Jack of Millport described the course as a real “hidden gem” as he praised the condition of the links and the general organisation of the competition when he spoke at the presentation of awards in Kingarth Hotel.
Btue captain Steven Neilson thanked the part-time greens’ staff of Jim Speirs, Bobby Speirs, and Jock Sommerville andthe group of helpers who contributed to the Bute club’s first hosting of the tournament.