Graham Bolton had to fight all the way to complete a championship double on Sunday by adding Bute Golf Club’s title to his success earlier this year at the Rothesay club.
The scratch player took possession of the Gavin North Trophy for a third time when he defeated Duncan Speirs by 2 and 1 in the 18-hole final played mainly in rain backed by a brisk westerly wind. His previous wins were in 2000 and 2011.
Speirs, who was also bidding for a third title win after victories in 1993 and 1998, put up a spirited performance against the favourite who found himself two down after four holes.
And Speirs maintained that lead until the ninth where an unusual putting lapse cost him the hole and reduced his lead to only one at the turn. Both players birdied the 10th with Bolton holing from 12 feet leaving his opponent to sink an eight-footer for a half.
A dropped shot to par by Bolton at the 11th left him two holes adrift again – but he fought back strongly to win the 12th and 13th with threes to level the score. The birdie at the long 13th where the wind was sweeping across the fairway was superb. The drive left him 150 yards from the pin and after an eight-iron shot finished within eight feet he rolled in the putt.
A par at the 14th put Bolton into the lead for the first time and, after both players halved the next two holes, victory was secured at the 17th. Speirs found trouble from his drive and conceded when his second shot failed to clear the gorse-strewn ridge above the green. * Read more from this week’s report from Bute Golf Club in The Buteman - on sale from Thursday, July 31.