Golf round-up: Docherty captures RNLI Shield at Kingarth

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THE ever-improving Andy Docherty continued on his winning way last Saturday when he secured the RNLI Shield in the first trophy competition of the new season at Bute Golf Club.

The other winner on the day was the RNLI itself, which benefited to the tune of £70 as Kingarth golfers rallied to support the charity.

Docherty, who returned a net score of 61 off a handicap of 16, took the honours by one shot - thanks mainly to a run of level par for six holes from the tenth, which included the only two of the day at the 12th.

Harry Lloyd (10), runner-up in the Winter League at the end of March, had again to settle for second place after a lapse on the final stages of his round when he dropped four shots over the closing six holes, a finish which marred an otherwise excellent performance with birdies at the fifth and tenth en route to a net 62.

* At Port Bannatyne, Liam Shanks kept up his good run of form to win the Spring Handicap on Saturday, making light of the breezy conditions and fast greens which ensured others’ scorecards were simply torn apart.

Liam’s net 65 (75-10) saw him finish just one shot ahead of Bob Sutherland in second, and two better than third-placed Jim Bicker.

Pete Barnett headed the McMillan Qualifier list on Sunday with a net 64 (79-15); the remaining qualifiers were Ian McFarlane on net 66 (76-10), Jim Bicker 68 (83-15) and Calum MacPhail 69 (86-17).

* Graham McArthur was the best-placed of the eight qualifiers in the Wednesday Trophy at Rothesay, winning on the better inward half after he, Malcolm Brown and Colin Nicol all returned net scores of 71 on a day when very windy conditions made scoring difficult and ensured that half the field of 24 players failed to complete the course.

The draw for the competition’s knockout stages is as follows: Graham McArthur v Ben Ward, Malcolm Brown v John Duncan, Colin Nicol v George Hanson and Tommy Duncan v Ron Cuthbertson.

The wind abated slightly for the Morris Humphreys Memorial Trophy on Saturday, in which George Reynolds adapted best to the still-tricky conditions to finish as the best of four players on net 67 thanks to a fine scratch score of 68.

Assistant greenkeeper Shaun Kernaghan was runner-up, with Craig McKellar third and Stevie MacDonald fourth despite a strong early start to his round, with birdies at the third, fourth and fifth.

Angus Murray returned the best score of the day on Sunday in the April medal, winning the division one category with a net 64, one ahead of Jim McAlister.

Malcolm Brown won the division two prize with a net 66, while Ron Cuthbertson headed division three with a net 67 - a score which earned him a handicap cut and ensures he will play in division two in his next medal round.

* Top billing on this weekend’s golfing fixture list on Bute goes to the first round of the M&M Trophy, being played at Port Bannatyne on Sunday. Round two follows at Rothesay on May 9, with the third and final round at Bute Golf Club on May 13.