New season under way at island’s golf clubs

HARRY LLOYD took centre stage at Kingarth on Saturday as he seized a first-round lead in the Sir Harry Hope Cup stroke-play tournament - the first competition of the new season at Bute Golf Club.

The 10-handicapper grabbed the limelight with a superb birdie at the 18th which put him ahead of Graham McArthur on a better inward half after both finished on net 63.

Lloyd was two-over-par 36 to the turn and scored a steady 37 on the back nine. McArthur, meanwhile, gave a glimpse of the form which gave him the trophy last season as he raced to the turn in two-under-par 32 -- a performance which included five threes. However a run of dropped shots on the back nine produced a costly 39 for a 71 gross score.

David Bryden (8), Malcolm Calder (11) and Robert McKirdy (5) were joint third with net scores of 66.

McKirdy had the misfortune of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory after standing on the final tee on one under par and needing a four for the win - only for a lost ball and a series of jousts with the Kingarth rough to see him finish with a disastrous eight.

The competition scratch score was 63. The second and third rounds of the event, with the best two scores counting, take place on Saturday, July 16 and Saturday, August 13.

Meanwhile, Jim McKirdy was the first winner of the new summer season at Port Bannatyne, lifting the Peggy Adam Trophy, donated by Gary Gabell, as his prize for triumphing in the subscription medal.

The contest proved a close one, with the better inward half deciding the outcome after both Jim and David Bodys posted net scores of 61 - a full five shots clear of the rest of the field, which was headed by three players on net 66.

Jim’s 61 was the result of a gross score of 69, less his handicap of eight strokes, while David carded a gross 70, less nine, to tie for top spot; in the end it was Jim’s better half which landed him the silverware.

Sadly the Port’s team in the Mail on Sunday five man team event exited the competition at the second round stage after a 5-0 defeat at the hands of Vale of Leven.

Finally this week, members whi have paid their subscription can collect their fixture cards from the foyer of the club and shoe tabs from the treasurer.

The new season at Rothesay began on Sunday with the subscription medal, in which Neil Ritchie’s level par round of 69 gave him the division one medal prize with a net 64.

Five players were tied on net 64 in the division two standings, with John Thomson winning after a countback, while Richard McIntyre chopped his way round to win division three with a net 67.