Thursday, 27 August 2009

Two East Vets to play in Senior European Team Championship

Two East Vets are in a team of six to represent Scotland in the Senior Ladies' European Team Championship starting on Monday August 31. Moira Thomson (Gullane Ladies) and Fiona Hunter (Baberton) will be packing their bags tomorrow night for a very early flight on Saturday morning over to Ireland together with their teammates Heather Anderson (Alyth), Lorna Bennett (Ladybank), Fiona de Vries (St Rule) and Mary Smith (Tain), captain Pamela Williamson (Baberton) and team manager Janet Wake (Merchants of Edinburgh).

The championship takes place on Dun Laoghaire golf course outside Dublin. Constructed in 2007 in Ballyman Glen, this is a beautiful parkland course of 27 holes, situated between the Wicklow Mountains and the sea. These 27 holes allow different combinations of each of the three nine-hole courses. The Lower and Middle Courses have been chosen for this event which will be a true test indeed for all the competitors. Despite generous fairways, wayward shots risk running the gauntlet of streams, large bunkers, new and mature trees, water hazards and even ravines. And no one yet has mentioned the weather!

The format is basically the same as in the last two years except that this year there are only two flights in the competition. Since there are fifteen teams competing, the first flight will consist of eight teams with seven in the second. Monday and Tuesday are the stroke-play days, with Wednesday to Friday, match-play.

The agreed format is that each team has six players with an option of a seventh player to allow substitution should there be a problem. These are senior ladies when all said and done - but perhaps one should not say that. Strangely all but four of the teams have registered their intention to have seven players, which is its own safeguard. Austria, Denmark, Spain and Scotland, all being well, will keep clear of twisted ankles, joint problems and fresh seafood salads! Our captain Pamela Williamson (Baberton) jokingly said if anything goes wrong after the team has boarded the plane, she'll take up the injured person's golf clubs and play herself! Hopefully she wasn't serious and has room in her handbag for her own clubs.

The aggregate of the lowest five scores out of six on both the Monday and the Tuesday goes towards determining a total score for each team. The top eight aggregate scores will constitute the first flight (from whom the eventual winner will come) and the remainder the second flight. Naturally we expect Scotland to be in the top eight. Each flight will then have its own seeded draw. In the event of a tie, the scores from the sixth person will go towards the decision, so no pressure anyone! Our Scottish ladies have been drawn to play with fellow seniors from Slovenia, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain on the Monday and Tuesday and expect to be fluent by the end of the week.

The matchplay format (Wednesday to Friday) consists of one foursome and four singles. Win or lose every team continues to play into the second day's matchplay so there will be no time for sight-seeing! With all the usual tiring tournament- added-extras like processions, photographs, cocktail parties, etc,etc it is to be hoped they will all be fed and watered and in bed by ten o'clock!

There will be live scoring on the various websites so that everyone at home will be able to follow the day's progress just as it happens. It promises to be very exciting!

Tuesday, 18 August 2009


A little bird has let this blog know that our East Vets Captain Elise Guy has successfully contested the Bronze Championship at Gullane and is now the Gullane Ladies Bronze Champion of 2009. No details of the game are available suffice to say that it was fought very tenaciously. Congratulations Elise. What a star! Posted by Picasa

Ramsden Cup - latest (but approaching the end!)

The Ramsden Cup has been proceeding quietly but efficiently throughout the year (keeping to the specified dates despite the problems of holidays) and is now rapidly getting down to the nitty-gritty - THE FINAL.

Mary Davidson(Kingsknowe) beat Anne Brownie(Lothianburn)
Gilly Glen(Craigmillar Park) beat Norma Richmond (Murrayfield)

Mary Davidson will now meet Gilly Glen in the final. Since this IS the final and since holidays have inconveniently got in the way of a great battle, leniency has permitted an extension. The result will be determined by September 3rd.

Good luck to both.

Friday, 14 August 2009


Pamela Williamson (Baberton) was beaten on the eighteenth hole in the fourth round by Anne Ramsay of Kirriemuir. She in turn succumbed to Rachel Hanlon who had defeated Helen Faulds the previous day. Rachel was the eventual winner.

Thursday, 13 August 2009

Strathtyrum Success for an East Vet

Pamela Williamson is the only surviving East Vet in the hard-fought annual tournament at St Andrews - the Strathtyrum. Tomorrow Pamela will compete in the 3rd round when she takes on Ann Ramsay of Kirriemuir, the winner of the Munross Cup at Montrose in June.

To qualify for the matchplay stage of the Strathtyrum there are two qualifying rounds from which the top scratch 32 players go through. The first of these qualifying rounds is over the Eden course and the second over the New Course, both St Andrews. The matchplay stage is played over the Eden. Both Pamela Willliamson and Joan Marshall from Baberton qualified, Pamela having scores of 90,82 and Joan 78, 95. (Joan's daughter Karen was the top seed with a great score of 71 over the Eden and an 80 over the New) The West Vet captain Helen Faulds also qualified with scores of 83,86.

In the first round Pamela beat Marsha Button of Nuneaton by 4 and 3 and in the second, she won by 4 and 2 against J. Fallows of Manchester. Joan unfortunately lost in the first round to Lynnette Hebden of Pryor Hayes by 4 and 2. Bad luck. Helen won through in her first round against Sarah Ledinghame of Murrayfield, when she won by 2 holes. However she met the number 3 seed, Rachel Hanlon of St Regulus in the second round, and unfortunately lost by 5 and 4.

So its all over to Pamela. Good luck tomorrow.

Monday, 10 August 2009

Slideshow from Troon - better sit down and put on the kettle

The Asp Trophy

The Asp trophy was kindly donated by Asp Robertson of Gullane Ladies in 2003. She had noted the lack of something to play for - a focus in this popular annual foursomes match between the East and West, which had been running for more than 30 years. Most appropriately, the Asp Trophy stands for Amicitia Semper Palma which roughly translates as "Friendship always wins the prize" . The smiling faces and happy chatter in the clubhouse after the game speaks volumes for the aptness of this quotation. Posted by Picasa

Very Enjoyable Day at Troon Portland in East v West Foursomes

Click to enlarge

In the annual foursomes match between the East and West Vets, there was a welcome change to what was beginning to be a bit of a "bad habit" - East drew with the West 2 1/2 points each. Since 2005 the Friendship Trophy - the ASP trophy - had taken up lodgings in the Troon Portland Trophy cupboard. Certainly although the draw means it is going to stay there for another year, changes are afoot. So next year at Gullane, West Vets, watch out.

The day started off poorly as the skies were heavy indeed. Everyone peering through swishing wiper blades whilst travelling to Troon Portland, from the East and the West (and one person from Galloway) must glumly have been thinking of wet clubs and waterproofs, but by 11am, the skies had cleared and the sun came out. Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. And when the final result came up with a draw, that just seemed the perfect result .
The West had already got two points on the board when East notched up their first with Janet Wake chipping very nicely over a bunker on to the 16th green. The West (Jinty Halley and Jean-Helen Stobie) were not successful in getting out of the bunker from their tee shot - the bunkers were a little wet from the overnight rain and quite difficult. Carol Fell (West vets webmaster) and Bunnie Grant missed on the last hole to allow the East a half. Then the icing on the cake - a victory on the eighteenth by Carol McLeod and Carole Ross, after a great tussle, even although oddly enough they seemed to prefer the tourist route down the right-sided rough. Thanks girls.
Results (East names first)
Clare Bowe & Sydena Cullen halved with Carol Fell & Bunnie Grant
Maureen McRobb & Kate Johnstone lost to Enid Young & Nora McCrossin 5 and 3
Carol McLeod & Carole Ross beat Ruth Henderson & Jennifer Graham 1 hole
Gilly Glen & Ellice Cackett lost to Sandra Gilchrist & Elspeth Dewar 3 and 2
Caroline Kinnaird & Janet Wake beat Jinty Halley & Jean-Helen Stobie
Halved match

Thanks to our West friend for a great day at Troon Portland

Friday, 7 August 2009

Scottish Winners at the Jamboree in Bath

Happy smiling faces and well there should be. Scotland's victorious Vets team with the captain Dr. Lynne Terry holding the Miller Stirling Trophy. Clearly a lot of people from different angles were taking pictures! On whom to bestow the smile?

Click on the picture to enlarge

From left to right - Helen Faulds (Douglas Park), Kathleen Sutherland (Royal Montrose), Mary Smith (Tain), Dr Lynne Terry, captain (Cruden Bay), Heather Anderson (Alyth), Fiona de Vries (St Rule), Moira Thomson (Gullane Ladies), Lorna Bennett (Ladybank), Fiona Hunter (Baberton)
Not in the picture Pamela Williamson, vice-captain (Baberton)

Hope you all got home safely, girls. Thanks to Helen Faulds with her able assistant Kathleen Sutherland for the supply of pictures.

Thursday, 6 August 2009

Scotland win the Miller Stirling Trophy at Bath

It may not have been the traditional method of winning the Jamboree inasmuch as it was a foursome short of the agreed format, but who cares. With maximum points, Scotland were the clear winners and have lifted the trophy and none of the other teams should have anything untoward to say.

In the morning, before the rains came (back in Roman times the town planners must have scoured the country to find the wettest place in which to build Bath), Scotland drew with England South in the foursomes.

Lorna Bennett and Fiona de Vries halved with two players one of whom, Carol Caldwell was a very old adversary but a weil-kent face indeed, having appeared more years than can be remembered. Our second couple, Heather and Fiona had a very tight but successful game against two ladies who were included in last year's team. Moira and Mary had a tough game against the redoubtable Chris Stirling and her partner Jeannie O'Keefe, also in last year's team. Unfortunately they lost, but only on the 17th.

So tactics were discussed over lunch and over the drawn scoreline. Helen and Kathleen, who were supposed to be 'resting' while the others slogged round the course, took this quite literally and were to be seen slumped in the top deck of the English equivalent of a 'Guid Friday' bus, occasionally rising to their feet to take photographs like their Japanese cousins.

In the afternoon Scotland took the honours four games to two.


Morning Foursomes

Fiona de Vries and Lorna Bennett halved with Carole Caldwell and Jo Rumsey

Heather Anderson and Fiona Hunter beat Irene Brien and Cathy Armstrong 3 and 1

Mary Smith and Moira Thomson lost to Jeannie O'Keefe and Chris Stirling 2 and 1

Afternoon Singles

Fiona de Vries lost to Jeannie O'Keefe 1 hole

Lorna Bennett beat Carol Caldwell 0ne up

Heather Anderson beat Jo Rumsey 7 and 6

Kathleen Sutherland beat Irene Brien 5 and 3

Moira Thomson beat Cathy Armstrong 1 hole

Helen Faulds lost to Chris Stirling 2 and 1

Scotland 5 1/2 English South 3 1/2

In the afternoon, it rained - again - but who noticed. No one needed dry things the next day. Many of the games were very close indeed. Many old scores were settled! Many games were won with a generous margin but NO games were lost in similar vein. Fiona de Vries must have been extremely disappointed to lose when she had six birdies in her game against Jeannie O'Keefe, such was the quality of the golf. Congratulations also go to the management team of Lynne Terry, Pamela Williamson, Isobel McIntosh and the invisible but tireless Jean Lambert. After the presentation of the Miller Stirling Trophy, requests over the telephone were made for interesting chitchat to the afternoon play but little was to be gleaned above the babel in the background. The Vice-captain was only just heard saying that there had been "super golf" played this afternoon. Well done everyone.
PS Pictures of the winning team and their trophy have been promised for tomorrow.

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Scotland must now be Favourites to win the Jamboree

After yesterday's torrential rain, twelve pairings of willing golfers assembled bright and early this morning for their foursomes at a soggy Bath Golf Club - four pairings were 'resting' back in the hotel oblivious to everything and they were the lucky ones since no one went out in the morning at all. Someone had forgotten to pull the plug out in Bath with consequent overflowing all over the golf course . This must be the most unfortunate of annual competitions when it would seem almost unheard of if some part of the game were not cancelled due to rain, resulting in the inevitable frenetic calculation of a winner from games points. It was exactly the same thing last year at Southerness, and before then at Strathmore, Seaton Carew, Frilford Heath etc etc.

This morning the foursomes were cancelled due to flooding on the greens and it was decided to send out eight single matches in the afternoon only, all teams getting the ninth point to make up the deficit.

Scotland took on the Midlands who had won the previous day against the South. The games were not quite so close as yesterday but the result of the whole match was. It fell to the back-marker, Helen Faulds to produce the winning point for Scotland to chalk up yet another victory - the only team so far to have maximum points.

This last game was all the more exciting because, with the match sitting at 4/3 to Scotland, a win by the Midlands would have meant a drawn match. Helen didn't make it easy on herself (or her supporters) by driving out of bounds and over a dry stane dyke at the seventeenth, where her game was all square. Minor problem - three off the tee, mid-iron to the green and a 10 yard tramliner to halve the hole in five! Eighteenth hole and still all square, saw a nice par five for Helen and bunker trouble for Angela Dawson. Hole, game and match to Scotland.

Out of the eight matches, four were won, two were halved and two were lost. Fiona de Vries met a barrage of five birdies from Janet Collingham (a former English champion) and Heather Anderson lost very narrowly at the seventeenth to Paula Parker. Lorna Bennett was one down going into the eighteenth but won the hole to get a halved match and Mary Smith likewise got a drawn match after being two down with three to play. Moira Thomson played very well to win by 5 and 4 against Andrea Stockdale. Good wins by Fiona Hunter and Kathleen Sutherland brought the total to 5-3. Well done girls.

Fiona de Vries lost to Janet Collingham 4 and 3
Lorna Bennett halved with Jo Ashmore
Heather Anderson lost to Paula Parker 2 and 1
Kathleen Sutherland beat Pat West 5 and 3
Mary Smith halved with Julie Walter
Fiona Hunter beat Denise Parker 3 and 2
Moira Thomson beat Andrea Stockdale 5 and 4
Helen Faulds beat Angela Dawson 1 up

The South who lost to Midlands yesterday, maintained their losing streak with a 6 1/2 - 2 1/2 defeat by the North who now have two points. Scotland play the South tomorrow but can assume nothing.

Scotland 4 points
Midlands 2 points
North 2 points
South nil points

Still all to play for.

Pictures from Bath

In order from the top,
1. Scotland (the official photograph)
2. Scotland (the unofficial photograph - maybe a wasp had been trying to get in on the act - either that or Pamela is practising shoulders back, bust out, Moira and Helen are comparing sizes, and Heather is compassionate. Fiona's definitely somewhere else (what's new) Fiona H. is showing off her nails and Kathleen is suitably impressed. Mary is asleep on her feet and Isobel - well she can't quite believe she's president of this motley crew. Lorna is the only one paying attention!)
3. Midlands
4. North
5. The South
Click should you wish to enlarge.

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Scottish Vets win against England North on Day 1

Scotland started off the batting by winning all of their morning foursomes against the North of England, despite two of the team being rather unwell from about four o'clock - possibly with food poisoning. No changes were made to the announced team for the morning (possibly because healthier players were fast asleep) but all was well. The North of England was fielding somewhat of a new-look team with four different faces from the 2008 lineup, but it didn't put our girls off in the slightest. In the afternoon we carried the day with a 4 1/2 to 1 1/2 victory where all games were very close and went to either the seventeenth or eighteenth holes. Helen Faulds was delighted to report that she holed her second shot at the first, for an eagle, which had no doubt helped unsettle her disgruntled English opponent from the very beginning. All that mid-iron practice helps!

Bad weather was enjoyed by all and in fact was described by our spokesperson as "hellish". Everyone was soaked through and all rooms in the hotel have more than a passing similarity to chinese laundries, (is one allowed to say that?). However, since 2009 had brought forth an adequate supply of the new teeshirts, (for which everyone is grateful) hopefully by tomorrow, with other garments and equipment dried off, the team will be up and raring to go.

Morning Foursomes
Fiona de Vries and Lorna Bennett beat Fiona Anderson and Pat Wrightson 2 and 1
Heather Anderson and Fiona Hunter beat Elaine Elliot and Caroline Marron 6 and 5
Mary Smith and Moira Thomson beat Sue Dye and Lucy Newton 5 and 4
Scotland 3 - North of England 0

Afternoon Singles:
Fiona de Vries beat Caroline Marron 2 and 1
Lorna Bennett halved with Sue Dye
Heather Anderson lost to Fiona Anderson 1 hole
Kathleen Sutherland beat Alison Wood 3 and 1
Mary Smith beat Ruth Lyndley 3 and 1
Helen Faulds beat Lucy Newton 2 and 1
Scotland 4 1/2 - North 1 1/2
Total result Scotland 7 1/2 - North 1 1/2

Two great points to Scotland. Tomorrow is against the strong Midlands team. Good luck!

Sunday, 2 August 2009

Jamboree Starts Tuesday 4th August

The annual Jamboree is upon us and the Scottish team hopefully are assembled and all systems go. They will be desperate to retain the Miller Stirling Trophy which they won last year at Southerness, although the competition was cut short after two days due to inclement weather.

Two of our East Vets are in the team, Fiona Hunter (Baberton) and Moira Thomson (Gullane Ladies). They and the other six members of the team are under the genial guidance (believe that if you want!) of Dr Lynne Terry (captain) and vice-captain Pamela Williamson(Baberton). Press-ups at dawn.

Today, Monday was practice day. If you want a look at Bath Golf Course - go into "Link" down the left hand side, select 'Bath Golf Club' and each of the holes can be brought up at the touch of a button - or mouse. Tomorrow, Tuesday, they play against the North of England, Wednesday against the Midlands and on Thursday, (whether or not this is the strongest opposition, it is ALWAYS the one to beat) our Scottish team plays against the South.

So tomorrow, three foursomes in the morning and six singles in the afternoon. Good luck to them

OK - agreed not quite an East Vet yet

So Catriona Matthew (North Berwick) isn't quite old enough to play for the East Vets but we should celebrate her anyway. Today many will have been rooted to their television screens, our Scottish Girls Team were actually there en masse at Lytham St Annes waving our flag and the Scottish Vets team, bless 'em - down in Bath for the Jamboree, getting geared up for their practice round tomorrow - may or may not have arrived in time to see the exciting but emotional finishing stages of the Ricoh British Open - depending on whether they took the least circuitous route or in fact left early enough this morning.

For the last few days , Catriona has been hogging the limelight, quietly proceeding through this competition, seemingly unflustered, smiling and generally issuing an enviable air of serenity. There have been days when the golf was fantastic, when she probably felt "it was going her way". She certainly looked as if she could putt with her eyes closed. And that's great. We all know what that's like because it generally happens so infrequently we would remember. But then there's the other days when things don't quite happen - the drives aren't so straight, the irons don't make the green, there's far too many bunkers or rough and then it gets more difficult. Was that what happened today to Catriona when her overnight lead started to look just a little less secure. But champions are made when they can buckle down, grit their teeth, ignore the less than perfect shot and still get that ball in the hole. OK, Catriona wasn't always on the fairway, with her ball spraying uncharacteristically all over the place but some of her recovery shots - to die for. And the consistency on the greens - that putter was just sizzling.

Well done Catriona - a true embassador for Scotland and surely a great inspiration for our girls down in Bath.

One small point - was that our Gillian Kirkwood by any chance advising on a bunker shot at the 14th?