Rothesay’s Tommy takes the honours at Bute Seniors Open

Tommy Duncan receives his prize from Bute Golf Club captain Douglas Lyle
Tommy Duncan receives his prize from Bute Golf Club captain Douglas Lyle

It was with disbelief that Tommy Duncan learned he had won the Bute Golf Club’s Seniors Open for the first time.

On completing his round, the eight-handicap player, a former winner of the leading scratch award at the annual tournament for the over-55s, felt that his score of net 69 
was not enough to win overall.

And there were more tales of the unexpected from Kingarth as, on the day, no-one in a strong competitive field managed to tame this tricky nine-hole course.

Among the single-figure players in action were two one-handicappers -but the best scratch score went up 
to a surprising six-over-par 74.

Also, despite the relatively calm weather conditions, not one of the 29 handicap competitors came within three strokes of the standard scratch score of 65.

“I didn’t think my score was good enough to win,” confessed Duncan after being presented with The Burnside Bowl by club captain Douglas Lyle.

He can thank a solid performance over the back nine holes - he dropped strokes to par at only two holes - to score 37 for a gross return of 77.

And it was that better inward half which gave him victory over former Bute club champion Duncan Speirs who also scored 69 playing off a handicap of eight.

Last year’s winner, one-handicapper Ian White (Rothesay), took the scratch prize with a score of 74.

The Duncan/White duo capped a great day for the Rothesay club whose members picked up seven of the 10 prizes on offer.

The host club, which usually do well on home ground, had to be content with only two winners in Speirs and Robert McKirdy, while Robert Turnbull put Port Bannatyne on the prize list.

Winners in the 50-64 years’ age group were: 1 - Duncan Speirs (8) 69; 2 - John Duncan (7) 70; 3 - Robert Turnbull (12) 71.

65-and-over years’ age group: Neil Ritchie (10) 70; Stan Gaston (11) 71; Jimmy Ewing (9) 72.

Longest drive: George Reynolds. Nearest-the-pin: Robert McKirdy.

Club captain Douglas Lyle congratulated Tommy Duncan on his success and paid tribute to all competitors who had supported the tournament.

He also thanked the part-time greens staff of Jim Speirs, Bobby Speirs and Jock Somerville who had the course in excellent condition for the tournament.

Also at the club, John 
McBride secured his second trophy success of the season on Saturday when he added the McAlister Tankard to his earlier victory in the Sir 
Harry Hope Cup tournament.

The nine-handicapper, who had the only two of the day at the 12th hole, edged Peter Martin (26) into runner-up spot on a better inward half after both players scored one down in the annual bogey competition.

Andy Docherty (8) and David Bryden (11) shared third place with scores of two down.

Another difficult day of wind and rain sent the competition scratch score up to 67 with only the leading two scorers avoiding handicap increases.

Kingarth members are in competitive action again on Saturday in the July 18-hole medal with the usual 8.30am ballot at the clubhouse.