A flawless back-nine in the final round of the Sir Harry Hope Cup tournament on Saturday gave Graham McArthur his first trophy success of the season at Bute Golf Club.
The seven-handicapper lifted the silverware thanks to a better-inward-half tally which edged Steven Neilson into second place after both players finished on a two-round aggregate of 131.
On a day when a bitter westerly wind made scoring difficult on the exposed Kingarth course McArthur shot nine straight pars for a back-nine total of 34. This saw him finish on net 66 to add to his 65 in round one. His gross score of 73 was the best scratch return of the day.
John McBride (12) also finished on 131 but his second counting score of 67 pushed him into third place in the competition in which the best two scores from three count.
Other leading challengers were Robert McKirdy (6), Leighton Thomas (9), Jim Thom (11) and David Bryden (11) who were all four shots off the pace on 135.
Saturday’s final round was won by Sandy Long (23) with net 63, his best score of the season. The highlight of his play came at the 12th hole where he achieved a birdie two.
Peter Martin (25) was runner-up on net 65 with Jim Thom in third place one shot further adrift. He had recovered strongly from a quadruple bogey at the second hole to complete the outward half in 38 shots.
In addition to Long, McKirdy also at the 12th, and McBride, at the 15th, also recorded birdie twos. The competition scratch score was 64.
* Kingarth players travel to Rothesay on Saturday to defend the Ballantine’s Challenge Cup in the annual social match with the Canada Hill club. Team members should be at the Rothesay clubhouse between 11.00am and 11.30am.
* The re-arranged M&M Trophy tournament gets underway at Rothesay on Sunday with the second round at Kingarth on Wednesday and the final leg at Port Bannatyne on the following Sunday (May 15).
* Bute GC will play their first match in the Seniors League competition on Tuesday at Rothesay.