Monday, September 24, 2007


+We have been unable to put up new golf news items on since early Sunday evening. Until further notice, all the golf news will appear on

It was another close run thing for the Wee County Golf team at Rothesay on Sunday. In the final match of the Scottish Golf Union’s area team championship qualifying, the six-man team missed out by a single point, leaving Argyll and Bute victorious over their home ground.
In the morning foursomes, the County pairing of Ross Benvie and Darren Hulston proved unstoppable in their match with the top Argyll and Bute pair, and were an estimated six under par for the outing.
The two other pairs could not match the locals with golfing skills - the final pair falling victim to the often repeated golf adage “ two up with five to play never wins.” And so the County trailed 2-1 at lunchtime, leaving them a difficult task in the singles. For a time it all looked very hopeful, but in the end, there were only three County winners, meaning a halved singles result and overall victory for Argyll and Bute.
The outstanding performance of the day was undoubtedly Braehead’s Ross Benvie who turned in another classy display against the Rothesay club champion Graham Bolton. Ross went quickly ahead by two holes and never allowed Graham back in the game. A closing birdie at the 15th finished the match.
Tulliallan’s John Maxwell continued the good work. Again an early two-hole lead proved decisive and another strong finish put another point on the board. The final singles win came from the “senior “ County team player Mike Rust who proved that he could still produce good golf when required.
Square at the 12th, he reeled off three birdies, and closed out his opponent with a par 5 at the 16th. The three remaining County players found the locals too strong over the scenic Canada Hill course, and the match tipped in favour of Argyll and Bute.

Foursomes (1-2).
Ross Benvie and Darren Hulston bt George Reynolds and Ross Currie 3 and 2.
Jamie Aitken and John Maxwell lost to Graham Bolton and Gordon Tyre 4 and 3.
Mike Rust and Mark Crichton lost to Chris Timms and Greig Watson 1 hole .
Singles (3-3).
Benvie bt Bolton 4 and 3, Hulston lost to Reynolds 1 hole, Aitken lost to Currie 8 and 7, Maxwell bt Tyre 3 and 2, Rust bt Watson 4 and 2, Crichton lost to Timms 3 and 1.
The team can now only look forward to the 2008 event where they have been drawn against Ayrshire (at home) and incredibly the other two teams in the Group are the same as this year - Argyll and Bute (away) and North-east (home)
++Hugh Hunter's image (c) above the Clackmannan team at Rothesay: Left to right, John Maxwell, Mark Crichton, Jamie Aitken, Ross Benvie, Mike Rust, Darren Hulston.

The Scottish Golf Union Club Championship reaches the final stages and Tulliallan will be hoping to emulate their successes of 1999 and 2002. Playing for Tulliallan will be Steven Horne, Mark Crichton and Gordon Lyons.

Mark featured in both the wins, and will be hoping for a hat-trick while Steven featured in the 1999 event. The winning club out of the field of 16 competing will go forward to the European Final later in the year.

In his debut for the Scottish Home International team, Callum Macaulay (Tulliallan) turned in a very respectable performance - he played in all the matches recording two wins, two halved matches, and two losses.

These matches are great tests of playing golf under pressure conditions, and Callum can be well pleased with his contribution (which incidentally attracted attention from the Walker Cup selectors) to the Scottish team, which regrettably finished in third place behind Ireland and England.
The opening match was against Ireland and Macaulay was paired with the 2006 Scottish champion Kevin McAlpine in the foursomes match which they one narrowly by one hole. In his singles match, Macaulay lost to Cian Curley at the 17th after a seesaw match. Scotland halved with Ireland in the match.
The next match was against Wales, and Callum improved with a half in the foursomes playing with Gavin Dear (Murrayshall), following that with a win against Adam Runcie. Two down after four holes, Callum fought back to take the match on the 17th green, and Scotland took the match 8-7.
The final day was a showdown between Scotland and England for the 2007 title. Playing again with Gavin Dear, they scored a vital halved match in the morning, but the afternoon singles went England’s way, Callum falling to young Ben Parker by 2 and 1.

By beating Scotland 9-6, England were crowned champions for 2007.
In the World Amateur Golf Rankings, Callum has improved by one position, while his nearest rival has dropped by one place. He is therefore still on target to take the Scottish Golfer of the year for 2007.