What a fantastic final two rounds of our Harburn Masters event over the weekend. Huge congratulations go to Sid Curran in winning the A Class Green Jacket and Stuart Stirling on winning the B&C Class Green Jacket. Well done to both on their achievement and their success could not have been more contrasting.
Stuart set the standard right from the start of the competition in the B&C Class with a sensational opening pair of 66’s and gave the rest of the field a huge challenge to get close to him. He took a ten shot lead going into the final rounds. His closest challenger at the half way stage Thomas Armstrong pulled out giving Stuart a bigger cushion. Although Stuart could not repeat his heroics from the first two rounds, final scores of 73 and 74 were enough to give him a convincing 4 shot win and he could even afford a juddering 8 at the seventeenth in the final round such was his dominance. He completed his four rounds with a superb -5 under par score of 279. (I hope the Handicap Secretary reads this update !!) Kidding Stuart.
In second place was Jack Stewart who continued to eat away at Stuart’s lead in the final two rounds with scores of 71 and 69 respectively. Great credit to Jack for reducing an eleven-shot deficit to four over the closing rounds. He finished with a highly respectable -1 under par aggregate total of 283.
It was a close thing for third place, with Sam Stanton, David Russell and Brian David Lee all finishing on 290. Sam’s final round of 69 saw him win third spot through the agreed tie break scenario.
One other player worthy of mention over the weekend play is Kevin Brunton for shooting a superb 65. Well done to Kevin for picking up £25 prize money for the lowest B&C Class round over the weekend. That should give Kevin a lot of confidence for the season ahead.
Moving on to the A Class where it was played out totally differently and produced loads of excitement and drama over the final two rounds.
Starting with the first bit of drama.
Stuart Tidy who led the tournament over the first three rounds had to retire hurt after 8 holes with a dislocated finger. Unfortunately for Stuart he played from a nearby tree root and in doing so damaged his finger in executing the shot. What a real shame for Stuart having played so well in leading the event from Day 1.
With Stuart out of action it opened the door for a number of players.
Stephen Barkey who moved into second place after round 3 with a one under par 70 got off to a great start in the final round with a birdie 3 and had his sights on the Jacket right from the off. However, with a disappointing back nine 9 including a 5,5 finish he would have to sweat a little with his final aggregate score of 292 (+8).
Craig Galloway who started the final day one shot off the lead got off to the worst possible start to the round with a double bogey at the first two holes. Having four putted hole 18 in round 3 his flatstick woes continued into round 4 and although he recovered well in the back nine his final aggregate score was going to fall one short at 293 ( +9).
…and to the man himself Sid Curran, what a fantastic finish he gave us.
I bumped into Sid in the car park on Saturday after his third round. He was driving past me, stopped and rolled his car window down and said “Who’s idea was it to run this xxx!!%% event.
I asked what happened. He told me he was out in 44 shots for the first nine, disastrous for him at any time by his standards, however he recovered with a 34 back nine which gave a net 77. He did say before he drove off that his back nine gave him heart to come back and play in the final round. Other players might have thrown in the towel because at the end of round 3 Sid was last in the field and had 8 shots to make up.
As he got out of bed yesterday morning in his “10 in a row” pyjamas he must have though he was just making up the numbers. However he decided to give it a real go.
A birdie 3 was just the start he was hoping for and a 2 at the third gave him more momentum and although he played steady enough for the rest of the front nine 9 he did not find any more birdies. However, that all changed in the back nine.
Birdies at 11, 12 and 14 really put Sid into contention for the first time in the competition and a final birdie at 17,an incredible six birdies overall, saw him claw back the eight shot deficit and join Stephen at the top of Leaderboard with an aggregate score of 292 (+8).
A tie for the lead and it was all decided by the final round score.
Sid did just enough, from absolutely nowhere, to dramatically take the Green Jacket.
Brilliant golf from a fantastic golfer when it really mattered. Well done Sid.
Sid also shot the lowest round over the weekend in the A Class and picks up another £25 to his prize pot.
Well done also to Stephen for his valiant efforts, he put himself right in the mix in Round 3 and will reflect on his 7 at hole 11 and what might have been for him.
Third place went to Craig Galloway.
Craig was in contention all the way and but for a stone cold putter he might have won the Green Jacket. Whether he would have worn it is another matter!!
Huge credit to all other players for making the A Class event such an exciting one.
In closing can I thank all the players for making the event such a success, played in great spirit and fantastic camaraderie.
Thanks too for all the electronic input of scores,
Thanks also to the green keeping staff for doing a brilliant job over the four rounds to get the course in decent condition for the time of year and having to work against everything the weather threw at us in the last month.
Colin Hume, Match and Handicap Secretary and Craig Galloway deserve my thanks too for their brilliant support behind the scenes in getting results updates out quickly and managing the timely communication to the players change tee times for the final rounds, great job both.
Also thanks to Fiona and Louise for their excellent communication work on our website and social media platforms and supporting the event enthusiastically.
Finally, I would appreciate any feedback, good or bad, on whether we want to continue the event next year in the same or different format and even if we want to make it a permanent addition to our fixture list at this time of year.
Enjoy your season and congratulations to all the Winners and Finalists.