Bute Golf Club members were back in Winter League action for the first time in three weeks on Saturday as weather permitted normal service to be resumed at Kingarth.
And it was two-times’ winner Robert McKirdy (main pic) and David Bryden (below right) who led the way as the stableford tournament moved into its final stages after gales and rain had cancelled seven rounds since the current competition began.
Both players tied for first place with scores of 37 points apiece on a day when a strong wind was again a factor.
McKirdy (handicap 6) also recorded the best scratch score of the day with 73 which included a birdie at the par-four fifth hole. Bryden (13) also managed to get a birdie on his card with a sub-par score at the 17th.
Leighton Thomas, who is bidding for a third title win, finished next, one point behind on 36. The seven-handicapper had the only two of the round when he beat par at the 12th hole.
With six rounds remaining Thomas leads in his bid to land the McArthur Cup for a second successive year. He nudged further ahead of the chasing pack when he increased his tally by one point on Saturday to 312.
However he is one of only four players to have returned the stipulated eight counting scores and there could be a strong late challenge from several competitors in the chasing pack.
The club’s nine-hole mid-week stableford competitions have fared a little better weatherwise and in recent weeks Alex Nixon and David Wilkinson have recorded victories.
Nixon scored 20 points for a narrow win over nearest challengers Saunders Ross (19 points) and Sandy Long (18) while last week Wilkinson, with 13 points, enjoyed a one-point success over Paul Shepherd.
Competitive action continues on Saturday with the usual ballot for the Winter League, sponsored by Stephen Thomas of Optimize Financial Solutions, Ltd., at the clubhouse at 8.30am. The mid-week medal series resumes next Wednesday when competitors should make their own playing arrangments throughout the day.