GOLF: Record Ninth Whinhill Championship Title For John Donald

29 August, 2023 | Local, Sport

Finalists John Donald, right, and Frank McLellan

JOHN Donald was crowned club champion of Whinhill Golf Club for a record ninth time after defeating Frank McLellan by the score of 6&5.

The 36-hole Strokeplay Trophy club championship qualifier which kicks off the championship was also won by John, returning two excellent scores in very tricky conditions to hold off Paul McCarn in second place.

The last-16 matchplay knockout stages of the championship got off to an exciting start with the majority of the matches decided on the last two holes however the closest match and the standout tie, for those up watching, was edged by David Ellis as he secured victory on the sixth extra hole against former champion Stephen Donald.

The quarter finals again involved some close matches with the standard of golf on show of high quality.

The semi-finals were both closed out on the 14th green with John Donald getting the better of James Jordan and Frank McLellan seeing off Joe McArthur. Both James and Joe should be very proud of their efforts and the terrific golf they produced in this year’s championship.

John was looking for a record ninth victory in the final while Frank was looking to claim his first club championship.

The morning round of the final was played in pretty miserable conditions with a special mention to “Squeegee” volunteers Dylan Stewart and James Smith, who were on hand to clear greens, if required, during downpours.

John finished the morning round with a four-hole lead with both men playing some decent golf considering the wet conditions.

Frank staged a comeback in the afternoon round winning both the 7th and 8th to half the deficit but John’s response was emphatic, holing long putts for a birdie ‘2’ at the 9th and for a par on the 10th before a solid par on the 11th saw his lead increase to five holes up. The match finished on the 13th.

Commiserations to Frank who put up another excellent performance in the final, but, as many before him, he ran out of holes as John’s putter got hot in the afternoon round. Frank’s golf was of a great standard throughout the week and he can be immensely proud of his campaign.

Congratulations to John on his historic victory; an outstanding achievement and a testament to his competitiveness over the last 30 years. He will be a tremendous ambassador when he represents the club next year in the Renfrewshire and Inverclyde Champion of Champions event.

From left, Chris Bossley, Dougie Wilson, John-Donald and Chris Lightfoot

The club also introduced 2nd Section and 3rd section handicap championships which were well received by the membership. The 2nd section handicap champion was Chris Lightfoot, who beat Craig Robertson 1 up, and the 3rd section handicap champion was Chris Bossley who beat Craig Dillon 7&6.

Whinhill Golf Club thank the Match and Handicap Committee (in particular David Ellis and Chris McDiarmid) for their tremendous efforts in the organisation of the club championship and the busy golfing calendar throughout the year.

The club is also grateful to Vice-Captain Dougie Wilson for presenting the trophies and the committee members for organising the week and refereeing the matches; plus Millie and the bar and catering staff at Inverclyde Leisure for looking after the competitors and spectators so well and the greenkeeping staff for all their hard work over the championship week with the course being presented in great condition.

Pin It on Pinterest