The weather on Sunday 19 August 2018, after the overnight heavy rain had blown away, was perfect for playing golf with sunny intervals and no wind, and Powfoot Golf Course was in immaculate condition as the 34 competitors in the South Championship set off to find their champion for 2018.
Chris Corbett (D&G) set the early pace in the morning round with four birdies and two bogeys in his round of 69. A level par 71 from Gary Morrison (D&C) with three birdies and three bogeys put him in second place closely followed by Ben Irving (D&C), four birdies on the inward nine, and the consistent Alan Birdsall (D&C), on 72.
Other good rounds were produced by George Corbett (D&G), Liam Carruthers (Powfoot) and the evergreen Iain Thomson (Powfoot) who all signed for 73.
The scores from the morning promised to deliver an exciting contest – and so it proved. Chris Corbett had a 74 to set the early standard at 143 and this held for some time until Liam Carruthers equalled the total with a one under par second round 70 to add to his 73 in the morning.
A play-off was looking likely until Gary Morrison handed in his card showing a double bogey, three bogeys, two birdies and two eagles in his 70 blows and a total of 141. Ben Irving, still out on the course, was having a roller-coaster of a round. He finished with 69 which included seven birdies and five bogeys and a total of 141. And so a play-off was required
A cluster of players, including Mike Grunwell (D&G) 69, Danny McConnachie (D&C) 71, Douglas Borland (Southerness) 72, David Brodie (Newton Stewart) 72, William Squires (Kirkcudbright) 72 and Colin Hamilton (Stranraer) 72, made a brave effort to win but their morning scores left them with too much to do.
The 3-hole play-off was very close for the first two holes but a wayward drive from Ben forced him to concede on the last hole and a surprised Gary accepted the proffered handshake to be crowned South Champion for 2018.
The CSS for the morning was 71 and 71 for the afternoon
141 Gary Morrison (D&C) 71, 70
141 Ben Irving (D&C) 72, 69
143 Liam Carruthers (Powfoot) 73, 70
143 Chris Corbett (D&G) 69, 74
144 Mike Grunwell (D&G) 75, 69
146 William Squires (Kirkcudbright) 74, 72
147 David Brodie (Newton Stewart) 75, 72
148 Colin Hamilton (Stranraer) 76, 72
148 Douglas Borland (Southerness) 76, 72
148 Clark Riddick (Southerness) 74, 74
The photograph shows a delighted Gary Morrison holding the South Championship Trophy.