The final competition of the 2016 season for the juniors was held at Southerness Golf Club on Friday 28 October. The course was looking immaculate in the late autumn sun and on a windless day the fourteen players set off full of hope to enjoy the conditions and the camaraderie.
Callum McMillan (Kirkcudbright) had a steady outward nine of five over par 40 but two double bogeys at par 3’s on the back nine gave him a total score of 80. Glen Irvine (D&G) also had an up-and-down round with too many high scores and finished with 83. Out in 41, Fraser McFadyen (D&G), off a handicap of 12, played very well till the fourteenth hole where he recorded a 7. To his credit he finished the last four holes in one over par to score a total of 81 and win the handicap section.
David Sharp (D&C) got off to a marvellous start being level par after five holes before disaster struck over the next four holes and he finished the front nine ten over par. He recovered well over the first four holes of the back nine, being level par, before disaster struck again on the dreaded fourteenth and sixteenth holes and he finished on 84. Two fourteen year old members of Dumfries & County, Ciaran Howat and Robbie McIllwraith, produced some super golf on their first competitive visit to a championship course . Ciaran had a net 71 to take second prize in the handicap section and Robbie a net 74.
A birdie at the first hole got Sam Mitchell (Portpatrick) off to a perfect start and he completed the first nine in four over par 39, but three bad holes on the back nine were his ruination as he finished with a total of 83. Nathan Watson (Kirkcudbright) battled with a wayward driver and inconsistent putting over the front nine but recovered to play the back nine in two over par and a score of 84. Ellie Harkness (Lochmaben), the only girl in the field, continued her love of links golf from last year with another good score. She had five pars and six bogeys in her net score of 75 and the smile on her face showed she had enjoyed herself. Her fellow Club member, Russell Kingsley, showed his fighting spirit, never gave up and battled away to record a net 87.
Ryan Davies, from Wales and holidaying with his grandparents in Kirkcudbright, showed the South players how to do it and shot 96 – 24 = 72 to win the third prize in the handicap section. Angus Bendall (Castle Douglas) who shot a notional three under par practice round at Stranraer on Tuesday got so frustrated with his wayward driving that he posted a No Return on the fourteenth. Iain Rae (Dalbeattie) played very steadily but dropped a lot of shots on the greens. His 79 could have been so much better but was sufficient to win him the second scratch prize.
Lewis Cheetham (D&C) belied his fourteen years of age to keep a cool head and play a magnificent round of 74. Never in trouble off the tee and with a magic short game he had a matching outward nine of 37 and inward nine of 37 to deservedly win the scratch prize by 5 shots.
The photograph shows the prizewinners; from the left Ellie Harkness, Iain Rae, Lewis Cheetham, Fraser McFadyen, Ciaran Howat and Callum McMillan.