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Shetland Open 2011

News Posted: 15th May 2012

Unfortunately, yet again the weather was unkind to the premier event in the Shetland golfing calendar the 36-hole Shetland Open 2011, this year sponsored by Alex Morrisons.  However at least there was some consolation that for once it wasn’t just Shetland that was getting the poor weather, as it was exactly the same down at Royal St George’s in Kent, the so-called garden of England, where the British Open was being staged.

The day started damp and misty with some very heavy showers and strong winds making for very trying conditions especially during the first round.  The weather did improve slightly in the afternoon with the heavy air remaining, but at least allowing the waterproofs to be taken off.  Praise must go to Edwin and his team for the wonderful condition of the course, with the biggest testament to all their hard work being despite all the heavy rain, there was just one solitary area at the front of a green where water lay on the course.

Despite the unfavourable conditions there was still some excellent golf being played.  After round one Ernie Smith led the pack in the scratch section in the battle for the claret jug with an exceptional 71 considering the conditions.  Lurking a shot behind was Michael Boxwell and a further three behind on 75 was Robbie Jamieson and Magnus Leask.  Staying in contention with 76’s were Stewart Tomlinson and Dougie MacDonald and a shot further away were the pair of Stuart Fox and Grant Wiseman.  On 78 was Tavish Scott and David Howells with the trio of Ross Chisholm, Colin Bain and Lee Carter on 79. 

The battle for the handicap cup was no less tight with four players heading the field with 2-under par nett 66’s , local MSP Tavish Scott (78), Ernie Smith (71), Michael Boxwell (72) and Stewart Tomlinson (76).  A shot further back with a nett 67 (77) was Adrian Henderson then the pair of Dougie MacDonald (76) and Magnus Leask (75) with nett 68’s.  A gap of two shots then saw the trio of Gibby Pottinger (88), Robbie Jamieson (75) and Ian Pottinger (87) all poised to strike with nett 70’s.  Five players carded nett 71’s with a further seven sitting with nett 72’s, meaning that whoever could master the conditions and any tiring limbs would thoroughly deserve the title.

The final positions in the handicap section saw only 6 shots separate first to eighth, with the best score over the second 18 holes being required in a number of instances to separate players.  Finishing just outside the prizes due to countback on second round score, following two rounds of nett 71 for a 142 total was Ian Leiper.  Also with totals of 142 but taking Eighth and Seventh place were Rab Duffin (73, 69) and last years’ winner Gavin Philip (75, 67), respectively.  Fifth place on 140 went to Bruce Crossan with nett scores of (71, 69) who just edged out Ian Pottinger who had two steady rounds of (70, 70).  Solely in fourth place was SFF Open Handicap winner Ramsay Hogg on 139 (71, 68) with Adrian Henderson taking third on 137 (67, 70).  Edged out to second place on countback (of shots not votes on this occasion) was former Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Tavish Scott with a 136 total (66, 70) but declaring victory and taking home the silverware was the SFF Open Scratch winner Ernie Smith who had also scored 136 (66, 70).  Ernie edged Tavish out by virtue of a better back nine holes of the second round 37 to 40 shots.

Turning to the scratch section and the quest to be Shetland Open Champion of 2011.  Fifth place went to David Howells (78, 79) who edged out Adrian Henderson (77, 80) on countback after both finished with a total of 157.  Third and fourth place on 154 went respectively to Ross Chisholm (79, 75) and Colin Bain (79, 75).  Ross just pipping Colin on countback on a better back nine holes, 37 to 38 of the second round.  This years’ bridesmaid with a 149 total (75, 74) was Robbie Jamieson but claiming his maiden Open victory and the claret jug with two excellent rounds in the conditions of (72, 70) for a 142 total was Michael Boxwell.

The Shetland Golf Club would like to extend thanks to Nigel Timberlake from grocers Alex Morrisons for sponsoring the Shetland Open, and look forward to this hopefully being the start of a long and successful relationship, and to his wife Julie for the wonderful catering on the day which was much appreciated by the golfers.  Thanks also to the visiting players who came up to compete, and indeed to all participants, especially those that completed all 36 holes in the tough conditions.  Finally, thanks to Robert in the bar, Alan Preshaw for acting as starter and Michael Gray for administering the scores.

Other prizes winners on the day were Nearest the pin in 2 at the 5th – Ian Scott, Longest drive at the 7th – David Nicol, Nearest the Pin at the 12th Tavish Scott and Nearest the pin at the 17th – Adrian Henderson.