The first of the four tour events towards the Scottish Boys Order of Merit arrived at Southerness Golf Club on Saturday 14 April. The course was in immaculate condition for so early in the season and on an overcast morning the six boys and three girls from the South of Scotland joined the other fifty competitors on the renowned links.
Mitchell Cowie (D&C) got off to a bad start dropping 7 shots to par on the opening nine holes for a score of 42. He put this behind him and found some consistency with birdies at 10 and 18 to shoot 35, one over par, on the inward nine for a total of 77. On the other hand, Cameron Gray (Kirkcudbright) got off to the perfect start being out in 35, level par with birdies at 4 and 5. He found the back nine a bit more difficult and dropped 7 shots coming home and a disappointed Cameron signed for a total of 76.
Taylor Kerr (Thornhill) also got off to a disastrous start and was 6 over par for the outward nine before he steadied the ship and completed the inward nine in 3 over and a total of 78. His putter was not working at its usual efficiency and he seemed to leak shots at regular intervals. The last of the Under 18 age group competitors, Glen Irvine (D&G), who has been playing well and has had a good start to the season, also started badly dropping 8 shots on the front nine but recovered on the back nine to sign for a 78.
In the Under 16 section Sam Mitchell (Portpatrick) had two triple bogeys at 6 and 9 in an otherwise steady opening 9 holes but his undoing was the long par 4 fourteenth where he took 10 shots to get the pesky dimpled ball in the hole. To his credit he then got a birdie at the fifteenth and finished with a creditable 83. David Sharp (D&C) had three disastrous holes in his outward nine of 51 but battled back on the inward nine for 41 and a total of 92.
The clouds dispersed and the sun came out after lunch and the warmer weather put a spring in the steps of all the competitors. Mitchell Cowie again got off to a bad start but began to play much steadier after the second hole and completed the first nine in a four over par 39 and a second nine in one over par for a good score of 74. Cameron Gray dropped 3 shots from the sixth to be out in 38 but again leaked shots on the inward nine before finishing with a flourish and a birdie at the last. His second round score was 77.
Taylor Kerr improved on his outward nine in the afternoon by 3 shots and played very steadily with only the odd dropped shot coming home to score 38 and complete his second round in 76. An outward first nine for Glen Irvine was a big improvement on the morning but then tiredness took over and he dropped 9 shots over the closing holes to come home in 43 and a total of 81.
The two Under 16 South boys, Sam Mitchell and David Sharp, both beat their morning scores in the afternoon. Sam had a great first nine of one over par 36 with a birdie at 9 but he also tired coming home and dropped 11 shots for a score of 81. David Sharp played the outward nine in 7 shots less than in the morning but tiredness was also his enemy on the way home and he signed for an 86.
The CSS was 73 in the morning and afternoon.
The three girls, Vanessa Ho (Newton Stewart), Ellie Harkness (Lochmaben) and Amy McKie (D&G) all played well and thoroughly enjoyed the experience of playing with more experienced players. They were not overawed and gave a very good account of themselves. The CSS was 73 in the morning and afternoon
151 Mitchell Cowie (D&C) 77, 74
153 Cameron Gray (Kirkcudbright) 76, 77
154 Taylor Kerr (Thornhill) 78, 76
159 Glen Irvine (D&G) 78, 81
164 Sam Mitchell (Portpatrick) 83, 81
178 David Sharp (D&C) 92, 86
186 Vanessa Ho (Newton Stewart) 93, 93
195 Ellie Harkness (Lochmaben) 98, 97
210 Amy McNie (D&C) 100, 110