Groundhog day. If it's not a 'Cumming' winning the prizes at the Isle of Skye Golf Club so far this season then it's a 'Macaskill' and this week it's Robert, chieftain of the latter clan who's added the Highland Cup to the David Murray Quaich he won seven days ago.
Robbie's obviously relishing the continuing hard and fast course conditions as this time he returned a splendid nett score of 59 to add to the 57 he signed for last weekend! His game's obviously in tatters though as he required two more shots to triumph this time around!
Out in 35 and back in 36 got the job done as his 'mark' has now been reduced to 11 and his sizzling run of form continues.
Two shots behind, Alex Munro's fine 61 was hewn from loops of 33 - splendid - and 37..Another familiar name in regular contention recently, Iain Douglas secured third place courtesy of 37 'out' and 35 'coming home'. Interestingly, these three good players and prizewinners each logged but one single birdie en route to glory so 'steady as she goes' must have been the command signal prior to the commencement of the day's play.
These scores were all recorded in category one of this competition - for players with handicaps from 0 to 12.
In category two - for handicaps 13 to 28 - it was another repeat winner, Ross Cumming, who took the honours..His nett score of 62 was one shot too good for Alasdair 'Starsky' Campbell, making a rare but welcome reappearance to the course, with Bob Beatson edging James Colven for third place, courtesy of the better inward half.
Putting some meat on the bones, then, Ross was 40 and 38 having recovered well from an iffy start to his round. Alasdair submitted a pair of 38s with a ropey beginning and end to his round. Bob Beatson took 45 and 41 shots for his two 'nines' also with a dodgy start and finish while James Colven was 40 and 45 with yet another shaky overture and coda. It would appear from that assessment then that all four had weakish beginnings, good middle sections to their rounds, but the difference between them was that Ross held his form to the very end.
Fast forward to the Wednesday Stableford and it was a blustery scene at Sconser for most of the day. The greenkeeper's rain dance had delivered the goods in spades but, unfortunately, even he couldn't arrange for the precipitation to descend outwith the hours of play so conditions weren't exactly savoury for the day's competitors.
Playing in the early morning draw young Dan Macdonald returned a respectable total of 39pts. His scores of 37(19pts) and 36(20) for his two laps of the track set an achievable target for the rest of the players but although three men equalled it none could pass by en route to victory. Next man up, Danny Steele, submitted two loops of 39(20) and 40(19) to equal the morning target leaving Ross Cumming and Iain Douglas - two players very familiar with recent podium-position finishes - to launch their attack from the midst of the evening cohort. Both players huffed and puffed in an effort to overtake the day's leading score but Ross's two-birdie and Iain's three-birdie totals drew level with but couldn't overtake the target so the club found itself in the very unusual situation of a quartet of players tied on 39pts. Eventually, even the computer couldn't separate the top two players so Dan Macdonald and Iain Douglas were declared to be joint winners with Ross Cumming in third place and Danny Steele completing the quaternity!
Round One of the Ladies Championship was played recently and as predicted by 'Mystic Marshall' last week a possible 'section-inspiring' handicap reduction has been made - and very nearly two on the same day! The players in question were Sandi Beatson and Donalda Johnston.
Sandi shot an excellent outward nine of 41 (off 27) but sadly stumbled taking 47 shots coming home. However, despite the late difficulties she still recorded a score three full shots below the CSS - competition standard scratch - for the day to achieve the reduction.
Donalda must have thought it was to 'be the day' too when she blazed to the 'turn' in a mere 39 blows (off 19) but like her playing partner the wheels came off a wee bit late on so she had to settle for playing exactly to her handicap on the day. Perhaps there was a deterioration in the day's weather that caused the disappointing finishes because between them they recorded three fives and five sixes in the last four holes-so their handicaps could and maybe should have been blown to smithereens!
Tuesday's Stableford competition resulted in victory for ever-present Donalda Johnston. Her total of 34pts was way too good for the rest of the field which was led by Sandra Dew.
Very well done ladies - now, will the 'dam burst' as MM also prognosticated seven days ago?
This weekend the ladies' competition is strokeplay while the men will play a medal.
p.s. an oft-heard mantra - 'innovation is the name of the game' was developed at the recent European Golf Tournament in Denmark featuring a hole where the players were required to promenade through a hospitality marquee (beer tent )to access the 14th tee.One wonders if there's any chance of similar innovation at Sconser in time for the Open in July?Then again how many disenchanted/disillusioned players might happily succumb to temptation and opt to remain in the howf rather than proceed through the 'unit' to continue their toil?
Fri 17th-Sun 19th May, Highland Cup, Category One (0-12)
1) R Macaskill 71(12) nett 59, 2) A Munro 70(9) 61, 3) I Douglas 72(8)64.
Highland Cup, Category Two (13-28)
1) R Cumming 78(16) 62,
2) A Campbell 76(13) 63,
3) B Beatson 86(21) 65 bih,
4) J Colven 85(20) 65.
Wed 22nd May, Stableford
1)=D Macdonald and I Douglas 39pts bih,
3) R Cumming 39pts bih,
4) D Steele 39pts.
Sun 19th May, Ladies Championship, Round One.
1) S Beatson 88(27) nett 61,
2) D Johnston 83(19) 64.
Tues 21st May, Lochalsh Leisure Stableford.
1) D Johnston 34pts, 2) S Dew 27pts.