PORT Glasgow Golf Club held its 2020 Club Championship and Junior Championship days, as it marks its 125th anniversary year.
Seventy-two members competed in the club’s annual Championship Day over three separate events with the McAuslan Trophy (Over-50s) and the Handicap Championship games playing between the two scratch Championship rounds.
Despite high winds and blustery conditions, it remained dry and sunny for most of the day.
The green staff had faced some horrendous weather conditions in the lead up to the event. Head greenkeeper Jim McCurdy and his team braved the elements all week, working tirelessly to ensure the course was in perfect condition.
The club championship saw the top 24 scratch qualifiers compete over two rounds of scratch golf.
With the blustery conditions, the morning round saw some unusually high scoring with past champion Ryan Gallagher taking an early clubhouse lead with a score of 73.
Two-time previous winner Campbell Gisbey posted a score of 74 to finish the morning round in second and, with five players within only four shots of Gallagher going into the afternoon, it was all to play for.
In the McAuslan Trophy (Over-50s), the club’s vice-captain, Chris Spencer, posted an impressive net 69 to set an early benchmark. As the high winds increased throughout the day, most of the players were finding it difficult to better Spencer’s score.
As the later matches returned, it looked at though Spencer’s score would not be bettered, however, in the penultimate group, William Logan finished strongly with an impressive birdie on the tough par-three 17th hole which helped him post a 68, clinching the title by one shot.
The Handicap Trophy saw one of the lowest rounds of the day with eventual winner Gordon Smith posting an impressive scratch 73 for a net score of 63. This could not be matched giving Gordon an overall winning margin of six full shots.
Kevin Ferguson took second place with a net 69 just edging out Ian Hendry in the count back. Ian will maybe look back on a possible missed opportunity with holes 11 and 16 proving problematic for him.
As the players teed off in the afternoon for the second and final round in the Club Championship, the competition was still wide open with only six shots separating the top 11 players.
In the early stages, players were still finding the blustery conditions difficult to handle. With the final matches reaching the turn, it was anyone’s guess where the winner would come from with the top six players separated by only four shots.
Stephen O’Kane, looking for his first ever win in this event, started his back nine very impressively with six straight pars, going on to post the clubhouse lead of 149.
In the penultimate group, Gisbey moved into the lead with a birdie on the 10th. With bogeys at 12, 13, and 14 however, he may have thought his chances of clinching a hat-trick of wins in the event were all but over.
Gisbey however showed steely determination and a champion’s winning mentality to steady the ship, making pars at the next three holes.
Going to the last hole, Gisbey would have known a par or better would eclipse clubhouse leader O’Kane but, after finding the front bunker off the tee, he left himself a tough up and down. Showing all his skill and under extreme pressure, Gisbey played a magnificent bunker shot and was able to make his par.
In the final group, first-round leader Ryan Gallagher made an unlikely error on 15 with a double bogey. With back-to-back pars on 16 and 17, Gallagher required a birdie at the last or the title would be going to Gisbey.
However at the par three, Gallagher could only manage a bogey after his tee shot missed the green, confirming Campbell Gisbey as the new Club Champion for 2020.
Sunday saw the turn of the younger members in their quest for the Junior Championship. Whilst 24 hours before the senior members enjoyed dry sunny conditions, the juniors weren’t so lucky with the rain lashing down for most of the day.
This didn’t dampen their spirits though and the day began with a pre-handicap competition of six holes and various skill challenges with 14 of the juniors taking part.
In the main competition the top seven junior players (aged from nine to 17 years old) braved the elements and plagues of midgies once more to compete over the 18 holes.
The eventual winner and Junior Champion for 2020 was Zack Docherty with a winning score of 90, with Mark McPherson winning the handicap trophy.
1st – Campbell Gisbey 74 + 74 = 148
2nd – Stephen O’Kane 75 + 74 = 149
3rd – Ryan Gallagher 73 + 77 = 150
1st – William Logan 82 – 14 = 68
2nd – Chris Spencer 82 – 13 = 69
3rd – John Leith 89 – 17 = 72
1st – James Cassidy 83 – 17 = 66
2nd – Mark Stinson 84 – 16 = 68
3rd – Colin Blaikie 83 – 14 = 69