Sunday, 25 July 2010

Team for European Seniors Ladies

The team for the European Senior Ladies team Championship this year in Germany between September 1 - 4, has been selected. It is captained as it was last year, by Pamela Williamson of Baberton and includes Moira Thomson of Gullane. Noreen Fenton (Dunbar) and Fiona Hunter (Baberton) are the reserves.

Scottish team:
Heather Anderson (Alyth)
Lorna Bennett (Ladybank)
Fiona de Vries (St Rule)
Anne Ryan (Tain)
Mary Smith (Tain)
Moira Thomson (Gullane)
First reserve Noreen Fenton (Dunbar)
Second reserve Fiona Hunter (Baberton)
Captain Pamela Williamson(Baberton)

We wish them good luck.


Sad News

It is with great sadness that we report on the sudden and very unexpected death of Anne Chainey, one of our East Vets ladies. Anne was very well known and always supported our competitions. She was also the present captain of North Berwick ladies. She will be sadly missed by family and friends.

Friday, 23 July 2010

Last Words on the Mary Mckenna Perpetual Trophy 2010

The Scottish Vets maybe narrowly lost the trophy this year but somehow it did not seem altogether like a loss, merely allowing the Irish Senior Select team to get the Silvo out for this year and Scotland will get it back again next year. In a way, this being the tenth anniverary of the presentation of the trophy, it seemed almost fair that they should take possession of it. It was certainly expected that they would put up a great fight.

However the team really putting up the fight was Scotland. With the original event being postponed due to the volcanic eruptions in April, the original team chosen by captain Pamela Williamson could not be reproduced 'en totale' when a replacement date was found in July, and reserves had to be brought in. The Irish team had no such problems and not only were they playing at full strength, but they had been taking the opportunity to practise on the course. Well really! There was the odd quite tricky hole or more accurately, should that be, there was the odd quite straightforward hole, such that a little extra practice in clubbing, green expertise etc wouldn't have gone amiss! Seven of the games went to the eighteenth hole and only one finished earlier at the 17th so clearly very little would have made a loss into a victory!

One of the team members Kathleen Sutherland was unable to play which was very sad for her but her place was filled by passers-by in the hotel lobby, one Jennifer Mack of Haggs Castle on Day One who partnered Lorna Bennett (Ladybank) and Pat Hutton (a former Scottish Vet Champion) of Lanark who played a singles match on Day Two - both of whom had just turned up for the Tenth Anniversary Celebrations. Their new titles are Super-Subs since both brought points to the table!

The East Vets present were Pamela Williamson (playing-captain from Baberton) and Noreen Fenton (Dunbar). Pamela was partnered by Helen Faulds in the four-ball, but the opposition proved too strong. Although in her singles match Pamela went down to the very experienced Sheena McElroy at the 17th, she was very well pleased with her game and said it was a very exciting and enjoyable tussle. Noreen partnered Mary Smith in the fourball against Rhona Brennan and Pat Doran, which they won by 3 and 2, never having being down. Pat, however was looking for revenge in the singles. Although there was a healthy exchange of holes early on, and some very nice chipping, the game was all square at the 11th. Then Pat had three birdies in the next four holes, one, pitching in from 40 yards and one chipping in from off the green. Noreen went dormie three down. She retaliated by chipping dead at the dog-leg 16th - normally a difficult par four but felt like a birdie into the quite strong wind. She won the elevated 17th hole to be only dormie one down but could only manage a half at the long 18th. Not enough.

This game is much enjoyed by all players as it is always fought in the most competitive but friendly spirit. Long may it continue and soon may the trophy come back over the Irish Sea!

Thursday, 22 July 2010

Scotland loses the Mary McKenna Perpetual Trophy

Webmaster on way to airport. Report to follow - very enjoyable day though - too bad about the result!


Alex Glennie bt Rhona Brennan 1 hole
Noreen Fenton lost to Pat Doran 1 hole
Heather Anderson bt Helen Jones 1 hole
Lorna Bennett halved with Marilyn Henderson
Helen Faulds lost to Valerie Hassett 2 holes
Mary Smith lost to Violet McBride 1 hole
Pamela Williamson lost to Sheena McElroy 2 and 1
Pat Hutton bt Phil O'Gorman 1 hole

Overall result (including yesterday's four ball) Scotland 5 1/2 to 6 1/2. Ireland wins at last on their home soil in the tenth year! Well done them. Report later with the gos.

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Draw for Day 2 Scottish Vets v Irish Senior Select

Amid great excitement and great hilarity the draw has been drawn - not out of the hat but a beer mug!!!!!

Draw (Scotland first)
Alex Glennie v Rhona Brennan
Noreen Fenton v Pat Doran
Heather Anderson v Helen Jones
Lorna Bennett v Marilyn Henderson
Helen Faulds v Valerie Hassett
Mary Smith v Violet McBride
Pamela Williamson v Sheena McElroy
Pat Hutton v Phil O'Gorman

Great things are expected!

Day 1 in the Mary McKenna Perpetual trophy

There is all to play for after the first day's fourball games at Portmarnock Links outside Dublin. The scoreline is very even indeed with two games each.

This is the tenth anniversary of the Mary McKenna Perpetual trophy, donated as one would imagine by the legendary Mary McKenna to celebrate this annual competition between the Scottish Vets and the Mary McKenna Select Irish Seniors' Team. To commemorate this grand occasion tonight, there will be a special dinner which is expected to be a greatly enjoyed. Vets and Irish Seniors from more than ten years back will be gathering to join the two teams. From Scotland, Jennifer Mack (West Vets), Nancy Duncan (North Vets) and Pat Hutton (West Vets) - all previous Scottish Captains are already here, ironing their finery.

The event has not been without its drama as last night unexpectedly Kathleen Sutherland had a slight injury and to be on the safe side, no doubt much to Kathleen's disappointment, she rested today - though turning into the team's photographer may not have been all that restful - and Jennifer Mack had her arm twisted to take her place. The weather forecast had been nothing short of dire with thunder and lightning promised but in actual fact after initial very heavy, showers, the sun came out so all felt very relieved.

One of the exciting events to look forward to tonight will be the drawing out of the hat of the ties tomorrow which is always treated with exaggerated moans and groans but always laughter and excitement.

Lorna Bennett and Jennifer Mack beat Marilyn Henderson and Sheena McElroy by 4 and 3
Heather Anderson and Alex Glennie lost to Violet McBride and Phil O'Gorman by 2 and 1
Helen Faulds and Pamela Williamson lost to Valerie Hassett and Helen Jones by 5 and 4
Mary Smith and Noreen Fenton beat Pat Doran and Rhona Brennan 3 and 2

Monday, 19 July 2010

Scottish Vets Team for the Jamboree

Scottish Vets captain, Pamela Williamson of Baberton has announced her team to defend the Millar Stirling Trophy at Seascale Golf Club, Cumbria on Tuesday 3rd - Thursday 5th August . There are some changes from the team going to Ireland tomorrow which, because that was a re-scheduled match, could not include two stalwarts due to work commitments. Both Fiona de Vries and Moira Thomson (Gullane) have reclaimed their team positions. The other changes are new vet, Anne Ryan of Tain, a Northern Counties county player and May Hughes (Lanark) the new West Vets champion.

Scottish team
Heather Anderson (Alyth)
Lorna Bennett (Ladybank)
Fiona de Vries (St Rule)
Noreen Fenton (Dunbar)
May Hughes (Lanark)
Anne Ryan (Tain)
Mary Smith (Tain)
Moira Thomson (Gullane)
Alex Glennie (Kilmarnock Barassie)
Lynne Terry (Cruden bay)

Pamela Williamson (Baberton) - captain
Helen Fauld (Douglas Park) - vice-captain

Best of luck to the team.

Team Selected for East v West Foursomes

The team that is going to wrest the Asp Trophy from the evil clutches of the West - it's called positive thinking- has been selected. The annual tustle will this year be at Gullane, at 3pm on August 9th. This is a scratch match, in foursomes format. Last year when held on West territory at Troon Portland East Vets achieved a very honourable halved match so plan to pull out all the stops and go for gold in 2010. And the team to do the business is :

Sandra Ashurst (Murrayfield)
Dulcie Barnes (Gullane)
Ellice Cackett (Broomieknowe)
Sydena Cullen (Turnhouse)
Gilly Glen (Craigmillar Park)
Kate Johnston (Baberton)
Caroline Kinnaird (Glencorse)
Carol McLeod (Gullane)
Pam Townsend (Murrayfield)
Morag Wardrop (Niddry Castle)

This is our year. Let's do it! (Webmaster reads all the correct psycho. literature!)

Saturday, 17 July 2010

Defence of Mary Mckenna Perpetual Trophy set for Wednesday

The postponed defence of the Mary McKenna Perpetual Trophy necessarily re-arranged because of volcanic problems last April, is now set to be played on Wednesday 21st and Thursday 22nd July over Portmarnock Links, outside Dublin. For a while volcanic eruptions were the first headline in the news and television but now, it's almost a distant memory. The Scottish Vets are re-ironing the teeshirts, and adjusting the waistbands on the navy trousers all in readiness to board their aeroplanes on Tuesday. Surely nothing can go wrong this time.

The team to do the needful is slightly different in that Fiona de Vries (St Rule) and Moira Thomson (Gullane) unfortunately cannot manage to play due to work commitments. Their places have been taken by the first reserve Kathleen Sutherland(Royal Montrose) who played in the Senior Scottish Home International team last year at Newport and the vets team captain Pamela Williamson (Baberton)

Scottish Team:
Heather Anderson(Alyth)
Lorna Bennett (Ladybank)
Helen Faulds (Douglas Park)(Vice-captain)
Noreen Fenton (Dunbar)
Alex Glennie (Kilmarnock Barassie)
Mary Smith (Tain)
Kathleen Sutherland (Royal Montrose)
Pamela Williamson
(Baberton) captain

Best of luck

Sunday, 11 July 2010

Karen Ballantyne Wins East Vets Championship

Karen Ballantyne (Craigmillar Park) a former Senior Internationalist and Scottish Strokeplay Champion has won the East Vets Championship at Haddington today, for the first time. She beat Noreen Fenton (Dunbar) by one hole after a very exciting but exhausting game battling constantly against a 30mph wind, with intermittent unpredictable gusts which were sometimes kind and sometimes not.

Karen won the first hole with a par. The second hole was halved, both having birdies and then Noreen squared the match with another birdie at the third. Karen three-putted the very tricky fourth green to go one down. The fifth was again halved when Noreen sank a six footer. Both drove well at the sixth but Noreen's ball hit the overhead telegraph wires with her second and although the ball was just short of the green the shot had to be replayed (local rule?). Probably slightly annoyed at the absurdity of this rule (it would seem fairer for the player to accept where the ball had landed or have the option of replaying the shot) Noreen accordingly played a second ball which seemed initially to have been carried over the boundary wall by the fierce sideways wind. Expecting it to be out of bounds, Noreen played a third ball, stupidly without saying the magic word "provisional" the penalty for which, on actually finding that ball miraculously still in play, was obvious! The game was now all square.

The seventh hole was halved so they proceeded to the short eighth where the clouds were coming from the right, the wind seemed to be in the face and any grass thrown up to guage the wind, flew forward! Both balls were equidistant, just on the apron at the back of the green with a nasty sloping putt of approximately 30 feet. Noreen left hers cautiously short to prevent it running off the green and Karen putted hers in for a two! One up.

Karen drove into the gale at the ninth sliding into the rough on the left, Noreen drove straight. The wind took Karen's ball over to the right into the greenside bunker. Noreen hit a 5 wood into the tooth of the same gale which was on the pin all the way till the last minute when it bounced off the green into the bunker on the left! Karen executed a lovely little bunker shot to within three-four feet, Noreen was a little clean and ended up at least forty feet away. Noreen sank her putt and Karen must have been so shocked, she missed! All square at the turn.

The next three holes were halved although Noreen might have been forgiven for thinking the long eleventh was hers when she was just over the back in two but Karen sank her chip for a half. Two good drives at the 13th, Karen hitting a dream of a second shot from the semi to 30 yards short of the green, chipped and putted for a birdie (Noreen's ball decided not to fall in). One up.

Straight into the wind again at the 14th. The meagre 126yard required (shssh don't tell anyone) a five wood from Karen onto the green and a seven wood from Noreen. Both were safely at the back of the green (grave trouble in the front) but with the prospect of yet another hugely sloping putt of forty-five feet, still with that helpful wind aiding and abetting the degree of difficulty. Noreen dribbled hers down to within 6 inches, kindly conceded by Karen. Karen left her first very short and three putted. All square.

The next three holes were halved, two in par (one in a bogey) and then to the eighteenth. A rather inglorious finish when the putting that had been the mainstay of the game failed both . Karen had chipped very nicely to a distance where she would ordinarily have put the ball away. She two-putted and Noreen three-putted. Karen was the champion and is, this very minute, booking her accommodation to Blairgowrie

It is fair to say both players were fairly tired. The same gale-force conditions had high-lighted the morning semi-finals which were both fiercely contested to the 19th hole. Karen played Anne Brownie of Lothianburn where there was never more than two holes in it. Karen had been two holes up with five to play when she managed to four-putt the 14th (who put that pin in that dreadful place?). She also lost the 15th where she missed a "tiddler" (Noreen never asked her to play tiddlers!) She then lost the seventeenth to go one down but won the eighteenth to encourage a jaunt down the 19th where she sank a really difficult downhill putt to secure her place in the final.

In the other semi-final, Noreen got revenge on Moira Thomson of Gullane with whom she had had a marathon of 23 holes the previous year. This on paper looked rather a boring game in that neither player was ever more than one up, there being ten holes halved and eight swapped, time about. Unlike the previous day birdies were perhaps not flying all over the place although the 17th was conceded to Noreen for a two. Both players played good thoughtful golf and under the conditions were mighty glad to get pars.

Moira Thomson (Gullane) lost to Noreen Fenton (Dunbar) at the 19th
Karen Ballantyne(Craigmillar Park) beat Anne Brownie(Lothianburn) at the 19th

Saturday, 10 July 2010

East Vets Championship First Round

The webmaster deeply regrets making a comment in a previous blog about the likeliehood of Saturday 10th July being yet again a terrible day for an East Vet competition as indeed it was. After both the Spring and Summer Meetings being subject to precipitation from the clouds, it did not seem possible that the Championship would be similarly afflicted - but it was.

Eight brave souls went out at Haddington to face the elements - actually in spite of a pretty dire forecast it was quite nice for a hole or two but that didn't last. Umbrellas were enough initially but everyone eventually succumbed to the waterproofs and they never came off. However the course was well able to cope with it and the greens in particular were very nice.

Full marks to Mary Richardson who was rather unwell before she went out- she was being given a wide berth. She would not have been blamed for just handing over the tie but she is made of sterner stuff and persisted to the last. Well done Mary.

One other lady, who shall remain nameless, found she had in the first instance come without her battery. Not bothered she decided to swap over her cart bag for her carry one but unfortunately left her car keys in the pocket of the cart bag. Not many cars these days lock when the door is slammed but this one did. Her playing partner very kindly drove her back into Edinburgh to get the spare set and then all the way back to Haddington so take your hat off to her. And by the way this did not happen to the webmaster!

Ruth Brown and Noreen Fenton possibly had the closest and toughest match with a fair shout of birdies so it was a shame that there had to be a winner and a loser. Noreen started with a ten foot putt for a birdie at the first to go one up. The next two holes were halved in par and then Ruth won the fourth with a par then the next with a birdie. Noreen won the sixth with a par to be all square. Then Ruth took charge and became three up when Noreen went out of bounds at the tenth. The next two were halved in par - the twelfth where Ruth had a great up and down from a bunker. Noreen won the 13th with a par, the 14th with a two, halved the 15th with a par, won the 16th with a birdie, the seventeenth with a two and Ruth conceded the 18th to a par. A very close game indeed.

Moira Thomson(Gullane) beat Mary Richardson(Craigmillar Park)
Noreen Fenton (Dunbar) beat Ruth Brown (Lothianburn)
Karen Ballantyne(Craigmillar Park) beat Rita Dee(Kingsknowe)
Anne Brownie(Lothianburn) beat Ellice Cackett(Broomieknowe)

Semi-finals tomorrow Sunday 11th at 10.07 and 10.15 with the final at 3pm. Spectators welcome.

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Ramsden Results down to last Four

Just days after the last report on the state of the Ramsden Cup the next bulletin hits our screens. We're now down to the Semi-finals. Here are the results:

Katy Gillies beat May Hardie
Sandra Simpson beat Ruth Brown
Karen Ballantyne beat Barbara Biggart
Denise Mitchell beat Sandra Kempson

Sunday, 4 July 2010

Late Results of the Ramsden Cup

So busy waiting for one result that none of them went into the web

Third Round Results
May Hardie beat Dorothy Thomson
Katy Gillies beat Sandra Ashurst
Sandra Simpson beat Susan Tudball
Ruth Brown beat Elsa Todd
Karen Ballantyne beat Dulcie Barnes
Barbara Biggart beat Deirdre K/Anderson
Sandra Kempson beat Anne Chainey
Denise Mitchell beat Sheila Hunter

Well done everyone.

Moira Exits at the 20th

After a very exciting and ding-dong semi-final, Moira Thomson of Gullane lost at the 20th hole to Fiona de Vries of St Rule.

Moira won the first hole with a par to go one up and this position remained unchanged till the long sixth when Fiona dramatically got it back with an eagle 3. They had both had pars at the infamous Lighthouse Hole (4th). Pars always felt like birdies. Following on her success at the sixth Fiona had another birdie at the 7th which is a deceptively short hole, particularly with a following wind, where, having reached the green it is often then difficult to stop the ball from rolling off the back. Holes were exchanged regularly with pars such that at the 15th the game was all square. Fiona still managed to win the 16th albeit with a bogey, despite having completely traversed the 17th fairway on her circuitous route to the green. At this point Moira went one down.

Both drove well at the 17th. Moira sent a lovely iron to the hidden green which would have been particularly pleasing especially as Fiona was very short with her approach. However it must have kicked off the slope as although it was pin-high, it was off the right hand side of the green. Fiona chipped nicely but beyond the hole. Then Moira had a rush of blood and proceeded to hit both the chip and the putt much too positively. Indeed she did well to sink a testing return putt for a half. At dormie one up, Fiona then put her tee-shot deep into the gorse on the left-hand side and eventually had to concede the hole. All square. Down the 19th which was halved in five - see above picture.

At the 20th however, after playing steadily all the way round, Moira uncharacteristically put her drive into the whins on the right hand side of the second fairway and her provisional into the left. Although her first ball was found, it was unplayable and required a penalty shot to see it on its way. Unfortunately the approach to the green went into the greenside bunker which she only just managed to come out of. However she proceeded to execute a lovely little pitch up to the hole. Fiona sensibly had played less adventurous and costly shots, landing her third to the back of the green where a good putt saw it near enough to take the tie. 2010 was not to be Moira's year to win the Seniors' Championship.

In the first round between Fiona Hunter (Baberton) and Noreen Fenton (Dunbar), Fiona was never ahead until the 15th hole. Two down after the eleventh hole, she found her putting boots and sank a 20 foot putt on the twelfth green where she had to give it the full ten seconds to drop. The tricky 13th was halved in four and then she sank three lovely putts in succession, none less than 10 feet, for birdies at the 14th, 15th and sixteenth and suddenly she was two up with two to play. At the seventeenth, Noreen was off the back, beside a whin bush and sank her chip for a birdie 3. Dormie one. Both played rescue woods on to the eighteenth green but a half in three meant Fiona had won by one hole.

In the afternoon Fiona played Heather Anderson the defending champion, was never up and sadly did not have the run of birdies she had had in the morning to turn around the scoreline. However, they both had birdies at the seventh hole, Heather, one at the 14th with Fiona retaliating with another at the tricky two-tier 15th. At this point there was only one hole in it, but Fiona hit disaster at the 18th which she had to win outright and conceded to lose by 2 holes.

The last game to involve an East Vet was in the quarterfinals between Pamela Williamson of Baberton and Lorna Bennett of Ladybank, a twice seniors' Champion. This proved to be a tough game going all the way to the 18th hole, but one in which Pamela was never up. Lorna gifted Pamela the tricky Lighthouse hole with a much too tentative putt for the quite fiercesome green, but she typically retaliated by birdieing the next with a two and taking the long sixth with an eagle 3 to go two up. Pamela got one back at the short ninth with a par 3 and just said "thanks very much" to Lorna at the tenth, where Lorna most unusually missed a shortish putt. All square. After losing the 11th to a par, Pamela had a bit of trouble at the 12th which she conceded to Lorna whose driving and fairway shots throughout were crisp and accurate. Back to two down. The next three were halved and then, dormie two down at the seventeenth, Pamela was again let off the hook when her Midlands opponent uncharacteristically missed the putt which went round the hole. Down the eighteenth, death to so many hopes, but a half was not good enough to push the game down the 19th.

Saturday, 3 July 2010

After-the-event results of Scottish Seniors

The Scottish Seniors has come and gone but it was certainly memorable. Fortrose and Rosemarkie was a little gem in what may have been slightly unfamiliar terrain to many. This venue possibly explained the dramatic rise in numbers compared with the previous year - 84 entrants this year against sixty something last year. The weather on the whole was, if one ignored the wind (which seemed to move from one side to the other with gay abandon and total unpredictability) warm and rather nice - except for Thursday morning but even that was nowhere as bad as threatened by the prophets of doom.

Many people preferred to spend their time not on the fairways but within the gorse bushes, of which their was a preponderance but all that yellow bloom was very attractive. Some holes were downright evil - the course was designed on an isthmus of land by James Braid, believe it or not. In particular the 4th hole was a completely nasty piece of work, appropriately named "Lighthouse" (out to which flooded a steady stream of cars - surely driven by non-golfers - with the hope of seeing the dolphins), the 13th ("Quigish") and the 17th ("Clay Potts") which all caused havoc with many scores.

Twenty East Vets entered the competition. When they heard this statistic, the West Vets (on the back of being thumped by East Vets at Troon Portland the previous week) made a contest of it and desperately tried to find a bigger entry from their neck of the woods but they failed in this too - despite some frankly very suspect figure manipulation. To add a bit of spice to the all-round competition, a sweep was set up requiring a £1 from each vet. Since many clubs seemed to have entered two members, the pairings were, where possible made up from this - eg two from Baberton, two from Kingsknowe, two from Lothianburn and thereafter it went to pot - three from Craigmillar Park, one from Musselburgh, one from Dunbar, one from Niddry Castle, one from North Berwick and all the rest from Gullane! Seeing as this is the first time this has been tried, it was decided that a prize would be awarded for the best Nett Aggregate for each pair and also for the best scratch improvement between each pairs' first round total and their second round total. Unfortunately the latter has produced a tie so there isn't much money coming to any of you. However the results are as follows:

East Vets Scores and scratch position in field.
Moira Thomson (Gullane) 80,81 (6th equal)
Noreen Fenton (Dunbar)81,81 (8th)
Fiona Hunter (Baberton) 81,82 (9th)
Jane Herd (Musselburgh) 81,83 (10th equal)
Pamela Williamson (Baberton) 82,83 (10th equal)
Karen Ballantyne (Craigmillar Park) 86,84 (21st)
Sue Penman (Gullane) 84,87 (22nd)
Ruth Brown (Lothianburn) 88,86 (29th equal)
Rita Dee (Kingsknowe) 91,89 (41st)
Mairi Pollock (Craigmillar Park) 96,85 (45th)
Dorothy Thomson (Gullane) 92,91 (49th equal)
Joanne Watt (Gullane) 96,88 (53rd equal)
Frances McFadzean (Craigmillar Park) 92,92 (53rd equal)
Barbara Biggart (North Berwick) 91,96 (62nd equal)
Maureen McRobb (Kingsknowe) 91,102 (70th)
Clare Bowe (Gullane) 106,97 (75th)
Shona Low (Gullane) 106,102(76th)
Morag Wardrop (Niddry Castle), Anne Brownie (Lothianburn) and Lesley Johnston(Gullane) retired after the first round

The nett aggregate was won by Jane Herd and Noreen Fenton (paired together because of the geographical proximity of their separate clubs)- with a total of 316
Results of sweep
Jane and Noreen 326 (10) 316
Pam and Fiona (Baberton) 328 (9) 319
Moira and Sue (Gullane) 332 (10) 322
Karen and Mairi (Craigmillar Park) 351 (15) 336
Dorothy and Joanne (Gullane) 367 (18) 349
Rita and Maureen (Kingsnowe) 373 (20) 353
Clare and Shona (Gullane) 411 (30) 381

Best Improvers
Karen and Mairi shared with Clare and Shona - both had second round improvement of 13 shots

(Prizes to be distributed at the first opportunity - best not go to Jenners on the prospect of your win!)