Friday, 30 September 2011

Final Report on the Senior Home Internationals

The East webmaster has been on the other side of the Atlantic where the means to write a blog went on the blink and refused to charge up, hence the reporting on the Senior Home Internationals at Tramore in Ireland was a non-event. Our own Karen Ballantyne of Craigmillar Park was flying the flag for the East.

The Scottish Senior team this year, captained by Helen Faulds of Douglas Park, was a combination of new and old, in part due to temporary incapacities and also voluntary retirement, which is what happens eventually in senior teams. Accidents are inevitable, just as people inevitably get (shsh) older. Our team of comparatively new, mixed with experienced faces, has not exactly, wiped the board this year, but they've made a great fight of it and next year -the sky will be the limit.

After two days of disappointing results, Day 3 showed what we are made of. Day One against Ireland was not a good start to the tournament. Karen, partnering the very experienced Lorna Bennett for the first time lost by 5 and 3 to Sheena McElroy and Carol Wickham. The foursomes were lost 2 : 1 and the singles - where Lorna took ample revenge on Carol - were unfortunately lost by 3 : 2 - total a loss of 5 : 3.

Day Two saw Scotland face surely one of the strongest English sides in the history of the competition. Lorna and Karen again partnered each other and although they were unable to get a point they only failed by a whisker, losing by one hole to Bev New, Senior British Champion 2010 and Chris Quinn, whose name is well known to senior ladies. Day Three would surely have given them a foursome victory - had it not been rained off and replaced by seven singles only.

England and Ireland came to the table with two wins each under their belts and when there is absolutely no hope of winning - as in this case - the objective for the remaining teams changes obviously to quite simply, not picking up the wooden spoon. Scotland and Wales faced each other in the golfing equivalent of a scrum. At half-time it could have gone either way. Karen, Elaine Allison and Lorna were all up. Karen had a great start against Karen Weatherley of Wales - "What's the score here?" "Oh Karen's up!" Yes but which one? Our Karen won three out of the first four holes and was two up at the turn. Elaine was one up and Lorna, mowing down everything in her path, five up. The four others were all down at the turn, Heather Anderson one down, Mary Smith two down, Alex Glennie two down - but she had been four down after six holes and May Hughes one, although she also had started badly being three down after five. Lorna put the first point on the board by steam-rollering Vicki Thomas 6 and 5. Karen and Elaine also carried on to win by 5 and 4 and 3 and 2 respectively. Three games to Scotland. Only one more needed. And then Mary and May both reversed their positions, Mary to bring in the winning point and May to follow it with a great half. Coming from behind to a fighting finish. What teams are made of. Four and a half to two and a half.

ResultsEngland 19
Ireland 13
Scotland 8 1/2
Wales 5 1/2

England retained the trophy. To see the results of all matches in detail and photographs, please see West Vets and the SLGA website.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Blairgowrie Weekend Winners

This being the famous "Blairgowrie Week-end" thousands of happy Scottish Vets descended on - of course - Blairgowrie Golf Club, all set for the fray - Rosemount on the Monday and Lansdowne on the Tuesday. Two small anomalies here. Ladies were everywhere, sporting all the different divisional jersey colours like late summer flowers. Maybe it seemed like thousands but there were in fact, possibly only about 120. And Blairgowrie 'weekend' is wrong too obviously.

Apart from the winning of the Scroggie Cup on Monday, East did not appear in the prizelist with monotonous regularity and indeed were it not for the fact that they won a runner-up mention for the best three nett scores in the Patrick Rosebowl, (winners Midlands), Alice Archbold might have been the only other winner we had. She won third handicap prize in the Patrick Rosebowl with an 75 nett. Well done. The CSS rose to 77 and the score - unfortunately for some - counting.

Noreen Fenton wins Scottish Vets Championship at Blairgowrie

Noreen Fenton (Dunbar) won the Scottish Vets Championship at Blairgowrie yesterday for the second time and hence the Scroggie Cup. She last won it ten years ago in 2001. In the first round she played the Dumfriesshire champion Mary Williamson and won by 7 and 5. In the semi-final, she beat Val McKean by 4 and 2 and then played Linda Urquhart from the North in the final.

This was Linda's first time at Blairgowrie as the North Champion. Initially the players were evenly matched and exchanged holes before Linda birdied the seventh and took the eighth, to be two up. The short ninth went Noreen's way when she chipped in for a birdie two from just off the side of the green. An unusually wayward drive into the right hand trees at the next required a rescue club kept low under the branches which stopped thirty yards short of the green. A chip to nine inches was given but Linda then failed to hole her own putt and the game was square. The eleventh also went to Noreen when she placed a five iron to the centre of the green. Linda had taken the tourist route and took a five. One up. The next hole was an easy four for Noreen but Linda saved her par with a lovely ten foot putt. A good rescue wood by the East Vet to the centre of the 13th was too much for Linda and she went two down. However Noreen failed to take advantage at the short 14th by three putting and this was halved. The fifteenth was won to go dormie. An imminent victory looked on the cards at the sixteenth when Noreen hit a ball to the centre of the green. Unfortunately it was not her ball and she lost this hole. Dormie two at the seventeeth and a par was all that was necessary to win by 2 and 1.

The weather had been very kind and although rain threatened now and again, this never came to anything. The Scroggie Cup, won by Karen Ballantyne last year had come back to the East Division. Some nice pictures taken by Carol Fell can be seen on the West Vets website.

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Day 3 at Belvoir Park

With no East Vets remaining in the Senior British Ladies' Stroke-play, the excitement in watching the online scoring for the third and final round was provided by the remaining Scottish Vet presence, Mary Smith (Highland Vets), Lorna Bennet and Heather Anderson (Midland Vets). Sadly none managed to influence the result, the eventual winner being Felicity Christine from Woking, an English Senior Internationalist. She achieved a final round of 75 to win by one stroke from Pat Doran of Donnabate. Most competitors improved on their previous rounds, the weather at long last being much kinder. There was clearly a lot of great golf played with twenty three ladies out of a field of thirty one, having an average of 2.3 birdies each! Sixteen two's no less. On the other hand only three ladies managed to keep a double bogey off their cards. A difficult course played under difficult conditions. Everyone deserves congratulations.

230 Felicity Christine 78, 77,75
231 Pat Doran 79,77,75
241 Mary Smith 82,79,80
245 Heather Anderson 81,81,83
246 Lorna Bennett 84,83,79

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Day 2 at Belvoir Park

The second round in the Senior British Ladies Championship at Belvoir Park in Belfast unfortunately saw the end of the aspirations of any East Vets to qualify for the last day's play. Sadly Pamela Williamson who yesterday was sitting approximately in the middle of the likely top forty dropped back out of contention with an 88 in her second round. The conditions were much less severe than on the previous day. The wind dropped back and there was little to no rain but apparently the balls were not running due to the softness of the fairways. Many of the greens were not being reached in standard figures, making pars difficult to obtain. Clearly some ladies managed, the leader Maria de Orueta from Spain, had an excellent 74 with four birdies, but in general the scores were very much on a par (no pun intended) with the previous day.

Pamela unfortunately did not have a repeat of the two birdies she had in Round 1 and found herself in a little trouble at the par 5 third, the thirteenth and also the difficult 17th. Seven strokes lost to par on these holes alone.

Although Barbara Biggart halved the number of bogeys she had yesterday, she also had no birdies to compensate for two disasters at holes seven and seventeen. That 399 yard, par 4 seventeenth hole seemed to catch out a lot of people!

Only four Scots out of the total ten have qualified for day three.

152 Maria de Orueta (Spain) 78, 74
Scottish results
161 Mary Smith (Tain) 82,79
162 Heather Anderson (Blairgowrie) 81,81
165 Maureen Richmond (Royal Liverpool) 86,79
167 Lorna Bennett (Ladybank) 84,83
Missing the cut
170 Pamela Williamson (Baberton) 82,88
170 Anne Ryan (Tain) 85,85
172 Kathleen Sutherland (Royal Montrose) 89,83
177 Alison Bartlett (Royal Dornoch) 89,88, Barbara Biggart (North Berwick) 87,90
184 Janice Paterson (Drumpellier) 91,93

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Pamela and Barbara only East vets at Belvoir Park in Belfast

Only two East Vets are playing in the Senior British Ladies' Stroke-play Championship at Belvoir Park in Belfast. Pamela Williamson (Baberton) and Barbara Biggart (North Berwick) have completed Round 1 in fairly horrible conditions where the remnants of Hurricane Katia are making playing conditions very difficult. Noreen Fenton (Dunbar) and West Vets, Helen Faulds and Jennifer Mack were unable to get across to belfast from either Troon or Cairnryan, when the ferries were all cancelled due to the dangerous high seas and disappointingly had to withdraw from the competition.

Conditions today deteriorated as the day went on. Pamela managed to bring in an 82 which leaves her in joint 18th position in a high class field. Best Scot at present is Heather Anderson (Blairgowrie) with 81. Pamela was only three above par after nine holes but the increased tempo of the wind clearly made it so much more difficult to hole the putts and she dropped seven shots in the second half. However, she did have two's at both the eighth and fourteenth holes. One of her playing partners, Catherine Reilly, also had a two at the fourteenth but went one better with a hole in one two holes later at the 16th which does wonders for anyone's score! The players in joint 40th position will all qualify for the third round so Pamela is in a comfortable position going into her second round tomorrow.

Barbara is at present in joint 49th position. Going out much later in the day, she unfortuunately hit the more severe weather and had an 87. She also had a birdie two at the 14th but ran up rather more bogeys than pars. The last few holes were particularly difficult in the "brutal" conditions so Barbara, as did most of the competitors, found the finishing stretch more than a little tough. Apart from the birdie at the 14th, she had no pars in the second nine. However tomorrow is set to be a little calmer so fingers crossed for a sparkling score tomorrow for both our players.

Leading score and Scottish scores.

75 Jane Rees(Wales)
81 Heather Anderson(Blairgowrie)
82 Pamela Williamson(Baberton), Mary Smith(Tain)
84 Lorna Bennett(Ladybank)
85 Anne Ryan(Tain)
87 Barbara Biggart(North Berwick)
89 Kathleen Sutherland(Royal Montrose), Alison Bartlett(Royal Dornoch)
91 Janice Paterson(Drumpellier)

Monday, 12 September 2011

East Vets Team have drawn match with Borders Team

The annual foursomes tussle between East Vets and the Borders Vets, played today at Kelso Golf Club, resulted in a draw. This is the best result for the East Vets for several years so a step in the right direction. Next year ------ ?

This must have been the windiest day possible for this match to be played in, but for all that, it was hugely enjoyable - once one accepted the ball went half the distance normally expected. Having said that, with the wind behind ------- !!!

The forecast for the day at Kelso was not so inviting and there was possibly little enthusiasm for jumping into the car and driving down to the Borders but the journey itself set the scene, particularly when passing these wind turbines at Dun Law Wind Farm. Good regular full swing there if a little fast! The first few holes were played in bright conditions but although it dulled down latterly, the rain was never a problem. Trying to judge how much more was needed into the wind was difficult enough - how much less with the wind required much more finesse and luck. Luckily, the greens, lovely as they were, were not particularly fast or replacing a ball might have been well-nigh impossible. It was indeed too bad that no one had a camera. The main victims of the conditions had to be the caddy cars which were frequently blown over and it became an art when stopping at a green, to line all four up side-on against the blast, shielding the lighter ones with those less likely to tip over. No such luck for the players and often it was quite difficult to keep one's balance.

Once all foursomes were in, the Borders catered for the nutritional side of the teams with the most delicious hot buffet. Very enjoyable day. Perfect result.

ResultsBorders first
Vivien mitchell/Mary Richardson beat Jenny Pearson/Sheila Horsburgh 3 and 1
Isobel Hastings/May Hardie lost to Elspeth Bell/Dianne Keddie 7 and 6
Sheila Hunter/Gina Thomson lost to Venetia Scott/Lucille Paterson 4 and 3
Maureen Stewart/Sylvia Cunningham lost to Janet Brown/Heather Cuckow 3 and 2
Jean Dawson /Noreen Fenton beat Flora Kerr/Marvyn Brydon 2 and 1
Margaret Dalrymple/Isobel Halliday beat Iris Fletcher/Anne Paterson 5 and 4
East Vets 3 : Border Vets 3. A very honourable draw!

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

East Vets Team to Play Borders

The annual game between East Vets and the Borders is away this year at Kelso Golf Club on Monday 12th September. The format is the same as before - two-ball foursomes played off scratch unless different circumstances prevail and this won't be known until the day.

Team members are invited for coffee and rolls/biscuits at 10am with the match getting underway at 11am. The uniform this year is our green jersey, yellow teeshirt and light-coloured trousers/crops/shorts? depending on the weather- forecast. This is not a match where our record has been either exceptional or illustrious so ladies, you have nothing to lose. (You are allowed to enjoy yourselves as well!) Good luck.

Team (in alphabetical order)
Sylvia Cunningham (Murrayfield)
Margaret Dalrymple (Baberton)
Jean Dawson (Gullane)
Isobel Halliday (Merchants)
May Hardy (Baberton)
Isobel Hastings (Murrayfield)
Sheila Hunter (Murrayfield)
Vivien Mitchell (Prestonfield)
Mary Richardson (Craigmillar Park)
Wendy Ross (Glencorse)
Maureen Stewart (Glencorse)
Gina Thomson (Glencorse)

Monday, 5 September 2011

East Vets Autumn Meeting in Glorious Sunshine

Yes it's true. The East Vets played their Autumn Meeting at Liberton on Monday in glorious sunshine. Comments between ladies passing on different fairways were not enquiries as to the state of the scorecard as much as awed expressions of wonder at the fact it was a lovely day. However, the weather, magical as it was, in general did not translate into correspondingly magical scores. Ladies - apart of course from those who brought in the winning scores - found the greens, nice as they were, rather difficult. Ah well, it always sparks off conversation over the lunch-table!

The lady who had least difficulty with the greens was Dorothy Silver from Ravelston. She brought in a nett 69. Omens for a great score came early. She holed a seven wood on the first hole for an eagle three! Great start and obviously a great round. CSS 71 63 entries

Results Silver Division
Overall winner - Dorothy Silver 86 - 17 - 69
70 Val Hallam (Glencorse) 82 - 12 - 70
70 Katy Gillies (Melville) 88 - 18 - 70
70 Sandra Ashurst (Murrayfeld) 84 - 14 - 70
71 Fiona McLaren (Baberton) 85 - 14 - 71
71 Elinor Blair (North berwick) 80 - 9 - 71
71 Alice Jack (Liberton) 84 - 13 - 71
73 Fiona Ford (Murrayfield) 85 - 12 - 73
73 Ellice Cackett (Broomie knowe) 84 - 11 - 73
74 Maureen Stewart (Glencorse) 94 - 20 - 74
74 Jane Butters (Gullane) 92 - 19 - 74
74 Kate Johnstone (Baberton)86 - 12 - 74
74 Liz McLelland (Gullane) 97 - 13 - 74

Scratch Winner
78 Noreen Fenton (Dunbar)

Results Bronze Division
72 Vivien Mitchell (Prestonfield) 93 - 21 - 72
73 Carol Foggo (Murrayfield) BIH 98 - 25 - 73
73 Isobel hastings (Murrayfield) 94 - 21 - 73
74 Christine Reid (Kilspindie) 97 - 23 - 74
74 Anne Beedie (Glencorse) 95 - 21 - 74

Congratulations to all prize-winners