Open champ

A BUMPER entry of more than 130 golfers contested the Stonehaven Open last Saturday after the greenkeepers did a sterling job from very early in the morning to get a waterlogged course ready for play, a task which was really against all the odds.

Hitler’s bunker might have been full of water and a special preferred-lies rule in operation, but overhead conditions were excellent with sunshine most of the day and the greens running super smooth.

There were more than 55 visitors in the field, but the locals dominated, with young chef Kevin Riddell cooking up a tasty level-par 66 to lift the £100 voucher first prize in the scratch event, beating club champion Bruce Ferguson by just one shot.

Kenny Duncan produced some excellent golf on his way to a net 61 to take custody of the Class 1 handicap prize, just pipping Kenny Martin, who had the consolation of not only the second-place voucher but also the bragging rights over his two big brothers.

Kenny Duncan also lifted the Masson Cup for the best net score by a local.

A tidy net 62 from John Cowling was good enough to take the Class 2 handicap prize while one of the visitors, Colin Dunnett from Portlethen, scored a net 65 to take the Class 3 voucher on a countback from local Kevin Reid.

The battle for the scratch prize, however, attracted most of the attention with young Kevin Riddell setting an early target with his level par round.

A five-handicapper, his recipe for success was consistency. He bogied the second but birdied the eighth to be out in 32 and came back in 34 with birdies at 14 and 16 balanced by bogies at 10 and 17.

In contrast, three-handicapper Bruce Ferguson, perhaps his mind still on his recent romantic trip to the Big Apple, had a shocking (for him) first nine of 37 but then scorched back in four under par 30, with birdies in quick succession at 10, 11, 13, 14 and 16. A bogey at 15 was his only blemish on the way back and it proved costly.

Stonehaven Open Prizelist (all prizes in vouchers) (CSS 65): Scratch: 66 Kevin Riddell (£100), 67 Bruce Ferguson (£60), 68 Graeme Adamson (£40); Class 1 Handicap (0-11): 61 Kenny Duncan (7) (£80), 62 Kenny Martin (10) (£50), 63 Kiefer Brown (8) (£30); Class 2 Handicap (12-18): 62 John Cowling (16) (£80), Jarod Shuttleworth (17) (£50) (bih), B Pirie (14) (Duffhouse Royal) (£30); Class 3 Handicap (19-28): 65 Colin Dunnett (20) (£80) (bih), Kevin Reid (20) (£50), 66 Brian Reid (22) (£30).

Ricky Davidson celebrated a hole in one in last Saturday’s medal when his eight iron found the cup at the 161-yard fifteenth hole. He was playing with Stuart Wood and Neil MacNaughton.