Murcar's Bryan Innes 'proud' after winning Aberdeen Links Championships
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Golf: Murcar’s Bryan Innes ‘very proud’ after winning back-to-back Aberdeen Links Championships

Aberdeen Links Championship finals.. Pictured from left are: Levi Ross, winner of the handicap, Bryan Innes, winner of the Aberdeen Links Championship, and Graeme Lowe, winner of the Murray Cup.
Aberdeen Links Championship finals.. Pictured from left are: Levi Ross, winner of the handicap, Bryan Innes, winner of the Aberdeen Links Championship, and Graeme Lowe, winner of the Murray Cup. Picture by Chris Sumner

Bryan Innes believes winning consecutive Aberdeen Links Championship titles is one of his best achievements.

Former Scotland international Bryan, 52, defeated Deeside’s Callum Bruce, 15,  by one hole in the final at the Kings Links a year on from his 6&5 success over Bon Accord’s Matty Smith.

The Links Championship had been restricted to the three Links clubs – Bon Accord, Caledonian and Northern – but Aberdeen Pennant League sides have been invited to participate after entries dwindled in recent years.

Bryan has grasped the opportunity with both hands and reaped the rewards.

“Winning back-to-back Links titles is a great achievement and something I am very proud of,” said Bryan.

“I played well in the rounds preceding the final, however, I struggled with my game and was fortunate to find a way to get it done.

“I was 3up after six holes before losing three out of next four holes to be all square after 10.

“The back nine was into the wind and, after winning the 11th with a par, I played solidly coming home.

“My long irons into the 17th and the last were important and proved decisive.

Bryan Innes' (Murcar Links) long irons proved decisive on the back nine.
Bryan Innes’ (Murcar Links) long irons proved decisive on the back nine. Picture by Chris Sumner

“Callum is an impressive young player who had beat me in the Jaffrey Cup a couple of weeks ago, so I knew what I was up against.

“He has an excellent temperament for someone so young, which is great to see.

“I have been working hard on my game with Gary Forbes at Murcar and an improvement in last couple of years has allowed me to become more competitive again.

“I won my first Seniors event in May and followed that up by winning the Journal Cup, and now this is a reward for the effort.

“There is a lot to play for in the next few months and this win will hopefully provide the platform for more success.”

Caledonian’s Levi Ross won the Low Handicap Shield after beating Bon Accord’s Matthew Dunn by one hole in the final.

The Murray Cup was lifted by Northern’s Graeme Lowe, who defeated Alex Greig, of Bon Accord, by one hole.

Longside’s Ruby heading to Iceland after Scotland call-up

Ruby Watt has double reason for celebration this week.

She followed up victory in the Paul Lawrie Foundation Schools event by getting a call-up to play for Scotland.

Paul Lawrie Golf Centre junior Ruby, 15, and Robyn Fowlie, of Murcar Links, have both been chosen to play in the European Girls’ Team Championships at Oddur Golf Club in Iceland from July 5-9.

“My call-up came as a complete surprise,” said Ruby, who plays off 2.2.

“I’m just delighted that they have so much faith in me to actually select me.”

The news came just days after Ruby’s success in the schools event at Peterculter, where she won the girls’ scratch prize with a one-over-par 72.

Ruby, who represented Longside Academy, added: “I was lovely to win at Peterculter and it was great to be able to test my game by teeing off with the boys.”

Scott Spark, from Meldrum Academy, won the boys’ scratch with a two-over-par 73.

Ben Pirie, Ruby Watt and Scott Spark.
From left, Ben Pirie, Ruby Watt and Scott Spark.

Banchory Academy’s Ben Pirie, who plays off 12, won the low handicap section prize with a net 67, while 13-handicapper Jamie Rennie, of Lochside Academy, finished top of the mid-handicap section with the same total.

Eve Ironside, of Kemnay Academy, had the day’s best net score of 62 to secure first prize in the high handicap section.

A total of 55 pupils from 17 schools across Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire competed.

That was almost double the number of entrants the last time the competition was held in 2019.

Organiser Ross McKendrick said: “A special thanks must go to the Paul Lawrie Foundation for their continued support and the volunteers who helped the event run smoothly on the day.”

Ladies’ Champion of Champions handicap ties going to wire

There have been some close encounters in this year’s Evening Express Ladies Champion of Champions handicap tournament.

Two matches in the first round went into extra-time, while four others were decided on the final green.

Inverurie’s Kelly Guthrie, the runner-up in the inaugural ladies Champion of Champions scratch competition last year, lost by one hole to Maureen Walker at Oldmeldrum.

Maureen had an even tighter match in the second round against Olivia Mair (Cullen Links), when she won at the 19th.

Karen Anderson (Dunecht House), Pauline Watt (Duff House Royal) and Elizabeth Fowler (Newmachar) all progressed by the same margin in round one.

Marie McIntosh (Strathlene) beat Wilma Urquhart (Torphins) at the first extra hole, while Amanda Farquhar (McDonald Ellon) eventually prevailed at the 20th against Carol Benzie at Hazlehead.

EVENING EXPRESS CHAMPION OF CHAMPIONS

SPONSORED BY ABERDEIN CONSIDINE

LADIES HANDICAP

ROUND ONE

Karen Anderson (23) Dunecht House beat Linda Bell (17) Kemnay 1 hole. Carol Benzie (18) Hazlehead lost to Amanda Farquhar (22) McDonald Ellon at the 20th, Joyce Boyd (22) Westhill scr, Rhona Cocker (21) Insch w/o. Pauline Watt (24) Duff House Royal beat Chloe Fitzpatrick (24) Auchmill 1 hole. Kay Law (23) Kintore beat Brenda Cowie (18) Buckpool 3&1. Jackie Mann (19) Craibstone beat  Anne Marshall (7) Huntly 2&1. Susan Davies (17) Aboyne beat Anne Rae (22) Longside 3&2. Meryl Miller (14) Alford lost to Rachel Smith (8) Meldrum House 3&1. Morven Adam (6) Aberdeen Ladies beat Karen Stalker (6) Fraserburgh 7&5. Kathleen Livingstone (20) Inverallochy lost to Elizabeth Fowler (24) Newmachar 1 hole. Marie McIntosh (20) Strathlene beat Wilma Urquhart (22) Torphins at the 19th. Maureen Walker (19) Oldmeldrum beat Kelly Guthrie (4) Inverurie 1 hole. Barbara Watt (21) Portlethen lost to Kathleen Cowie (24) Keith 2&1. Mary Robinson (20) Murcar Links beat Jacqueline Bremner (28) Auchenblae 4&2.

ROUND TWO

Amanda Farquhar (22) McDonald Ellon beat Jackie Mann (19) Craibstone 3&1.

Karen Anderson (23) Dunecht House beat Mary Robinson (20) Murcar Links 1 hole.

Rachel Smith (8) Meldrum House w/o, Kathleen Cowie (24) Keith scr.

Susan Davies (17) Aboyne beat Morven Adam (6) Aberdeen Ladies 6&5.

Maureen Walker (19) Oldmeldrum beat Olivia Mair (20) Cullen Links at the 19th.

Helen Gordon (17) Peterhead lost to Rhona Cocker (21) Insch 1 hole.

Elizabeth Fowler (24) Newmachar beat Pauline Watt (24) Duff House Royal 6&5.

Marie McIntosh (20) Strathlene beat Kay Law (23) Kintore 1 hole.

QUARTER-FINALS

(To be played by Monday, July 25).

Amanda Farquhar (22) McDonald Ellon v Rachel Smith (8) Meldrum House.

Susan Davies (17) Aboyne v Rhona Cocker (21) Insch.

Marie McIntosh (20) Strathlene v Karen Anderson (23) Dunecht House.

Maureen Walker (19) Oldmeldrum v Elizabeth Fowler (24) Newmachar.

Pennant League quarters revealed

Defending champions Portlethen face an away match against Hazlehead in the quarter-finals of this year’s Aberdeen Pennant League.

Portlethen finished third in League B behind section winners Royal Aberdeen and tied with Newmachar on seven points.

Royal Aberdeen will have home advantage in their quarter-final against Nigg Bay, who were the other third-best placed team to qualify.

Banchory, winners of League A, will entertain League C runners-up Deeside, while Murcar Links, who topped that group, will host Newmachar, the runners-up in League B.

ABERDEEN PENNANT LEAGUE

QUARTER-FINALS

Banchory v Deeside; Hazlehead v Portlethen; Murcar Links v Newmachar; Royal Aberdeen v Nigg Bay.

Quarter-finals to be played between July 10 and July 24.

  • Meanwhile, late entries are being accepted for the Auchmill Gents 4-man Texas Scramble on Sunday, July 3 on 01224 714577.