SCOTTISH AREA TEAM CHAMPIONSHIPS

The Scottish Area Team Championship was held at the Marriott Dalmahoy Hotel and Country Club over the weekend Friday 2 to Sunday 4 September 2016. This is one of Scottish Golf’s annual flagship events and attracts many of the leading male amateur players in the country.

Each of the sixteen Areas is represented by their six leading players in a stroke play qualifying format over Dalmahoy’s East and West Courses with the top eight teams qualifying for the match play stages.

In the qualifying stroke play event on Friday 2 September Scottish Internationalist Liam Johnston (D&C) led the South team to an encouraging start over the more difficult, par 73  SSS 74, championship East Course. Chris Corbett (D&G) had an excellent round of 71, two under par, Mike Grunwell (D&G) a one over par 74 and Andrew Kerr (Crichton) a 75. Liam was one under par after 12 but lost five shots in the last 6 holes to finish on 77. Clark Riddick (Southerness) fought bravely with an unresponsive putter and posted a 78. Level par after 11, Martin McNae (Lochmaben) fell away badly and could only manage an 80. With the best five scores to count South were in 9th position and good rounds over the much shorter East course could see them qualifying for the match play stages.

The East Course, with a par of 68 and SSS 63, was almost 2,000 yards shorter and this should have been a birdie barrage to the best players in South Area. However it was not to be. Nobody shot under 70, the best score being 71 from Liam Johnston. Andy Kerr had been 6 over par after 14 but got two back over the last four holes to finish on 72. Mike Grunwell also posted a 72 but Martin McNae, Chris Corbett and Clark Riddick recorded 74. The boys were very disappointed particularly when many players from other areas were shooting scores of par or better. In total the five best scores from South team were 23 over par and finished in last place over the West Course.

The combined score over the two courses, with the five lowest scores over each course to count, was 738 for South Area and a final position of twelfth. The winning team was Lothians with 692 and the last team to qualify was North with 713.

On Sunday 4 September Lanarkshire beat Lothians in a very close final by 5 games to 4

Individual Scores (West Course first)

145      Chris Corbett (D&G) 71, 74

146      Mike Grunwell D&G) 74, 72

147      Andrew Kerr (Crichton) 75, 72

148      Liam Johnston (D&C) 77, 71

152      Clark Riddick (Southerness) 78, 74

154      Martin McNae (Lochmaben) 80, 74

The photograph shows the South team in front of the James Braid statue. From the left: Chris Corbett, Andy Kerr, Liam Johnston, Martin McNae, Clark Riddick and Michael Grumwell.