Golfer Jordan Leask continued his excellent form this season by lifting the scratch competition trophy at Saturday’s 36-hole Shetland Open, while fellow youngster Blair Mackay won the handicap competition.
Both players triumphed by a comfortable margin in the event, which was sponsored by The Famous Grouse and attracted a total of 78 entrants to a busy Dale course.
The first of the players set off at 6.30am in perfectly calm overcast conditions, perfect midge weather. As play progressed a breeze picked up and seemed to get stronger through the day. This made scoring conditions a bit tougher but thankfully got rid of the midges.
The first round saw some exceptional scoring considering the pins were placed in fairly tough positions. From the early starters it was Jeffrey Ma who led the way with a fine round of 82 (net 62). This proved to be the best handicap score of the first round with John A Simpson close behind with a round of 83 (net 63).
Other leading handicap scores came from young Blair Mackay with 80 (net 64) and David Smith with 86 (net 65).
The best scratch score of round one came from eventual winner Jordan Leask with a splendid round of 69 to lead by a margin of two shots. Ernie Smith and Colin Bain both returned scores of 71 to give themselves a chance and one shot further back on 72 were Ross Chisholm and Michael Boxwell.
With the stronger wind in the second round scores were noticeably higher and several of the leaders in the handicap section found it tough to maintain their form. Ma fell by the wayside and ended outside the prizes. Simpson returned another decent score of 91 (net 71) to give a total net score of 134. However, this would only be good enough to take second place as Mackay posted another fine score of 81 (net 65) for a total of 129 to win the handicap trophy by the comfortable margin of five shots.
Third place was taken by Tom Simpson with two net 69s giving him a total of 138; this was by virtue of a better second round from three other players tied on the same total. Fourth was Ian Pottinger, also with two net 69s, fifth James Ramsay (net 68, 70) and sixth Ernie Smith (net 65, 73). Another youngster, Jake Constable, was seventh with net scores of 69 and 70 for a total of 139, with Geo Sim eighth with rounds of 68 and 71, also 139.
The scratch scores were also slightly higher than the first round, with two notable exceptions. Alan Harcus shot the best round of the day with an excellent level par score of 68. Harcus was two under par after 14 holes but a seven on the 15th scuppered any chance of breaking the course record.
However, it would have taken an exceptional score from Harcus to prevent Jordan Leask from winning his first Shetland Open. Leask would have undoubtedly had one eye on Harcus as they were playing together but appeared to be in complete control with another splendid round of 69 giving him a total gross score of 138, one of the lowest scores to win the open in recent years.
Leask took first place and the Shetland Open trophy by a margin of seven shots with Harcus’s second round moving him in to second place after a poorer first round of 77 gave him a total of 145. Third was Colin Bain on 147 (71, 76), fourth Michael Boxwell on 149 (72, 77) and fifth Graeme Sandison on 150 (74, 76).
Other prize-winners who received a box of balls and a small trophy were: David Nicol – nearest the pin in two on the seventh hole; David Smith – nearest the pin on the second; Michael Boxwell – nearest the pin on the 12th; Steven Henry – longest drive on the 11th in handicap category 13 to 24; Alan Harcus – longest drive on the 18th in handicap category 0 to 12.
Vice-captain Alan Harcus orchestrated the prizegiving and thanked sponsors JW Gray and The Famous Grouse for their generous sponsorship and continued involvement with the open. There was also widespread appreciation from all players for the superb condition of the course once again, the sterling effort by Christine, Amanda and Leigh who spent a hard day in the kitchen, Michelle on the bar and Alan Preshaw, Jimmy Burgess and Michael Gray for assisting with the scorekeeping throughout the day.
Erik Burgess of JW Gray presented the winners with their prizes and concluded another highly successful Shetland Open.
The Mixed Open is on Saturday and will be followed by the summer draw and a social night in the clubhouse while the J Bruce Doubles is on Sunday.