Golf at Rothesay: Michael’s double Winter League triumph

Rothesay Golf Club's match secretary Willie Glen with Winter League pairs champions Michael Murty and Ivan Cowie.
Rothesay Golf Club's match secretary Willie Glen with Winter League pairs champions Michael Murty and Ivan Cowie.

The in-form Michael Murty had plenty to celebrate as the dust settled on Rothesay Golf Club’s Winter League competition at the weekend.

Michael partnered Ivan Cowie to the pairs crown on Sunday to complete a memorable weekend after he overtook Hughie Charker, Ron Cuthbertson and Frank Lee to capture the title of Winter League singles champion the previous day.

Murty went into Saturday’s final singles round six points adrift of top spot on the overall leaderboard, but returned a score of 40 stableford points to climb not just on to the podium but into top spot overall with a total score of 221 from his six best rounds.

Ron Cuthbertson, who had a ‘best six scores’ total of 218 before Saturday, had to settle for second place on the final leaderboard on 220 points in the unluckiest of circumstances after failing to find his ball on the 18th hole.

Top scorer on the day was Gary Steele, whose score of 44 points puts him among a number of players whose handicaps look like they should be falling over the course of the coming season.

The pairs Winter League on Sunday featured no such surprises in terms of the top of the leaderboard: Murty and Cowie held a commanding six-point lead going into the final round, and though Jimmy Crawford and Gary Steele managed to increase their overall tally by scoring 42 points, it wasn’t enough to catch the leaders and new champions.

Top score on the final day went to Jimmy Ewing and Bob McKechnie, who began the day in fourth place overall but climbed to third, ahead of Nicky Simmons and Darren Leonard, courtesy of a score of 45 points.

Other movers on the last day were Hughie and Craig Charker and Frank Lee and Jim McClean, who moved up to fifth and seventh respectively in the final standings.

Final pairs standings: 1 M. Murty and I. Cowie 347 points, 2 J. Crawford and G. Steele 343, 3 J. Ewing and B. McKechnie 339, 4 N. Simmons and D. Leonard 334, 5 H. Charker and C. Charker 333, 6 W. Glen and G. Shaw 332, 7 F. Lee and J. McClean 324.

After a superb final day meal the prize-giving took place with a couple of special awards given out - the first was an engraved hip flask for last year’s captain Allan Smith to commemorate the hole in one he scored in his Winter League round on November 1, while the other was three lovely new pink balls for Bobby Liddell to replace the one he lost at the eighth hole on one of the frostier mornings of this year’s Winter League tournament.