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News Posted: 10th August 2009

The 36 hole Shetland Open sponsored by The Famous Grouse took place at a busy Dale golf course last Saturday with the younger players enjoying all the success in a splendid day’s golf. Jordan Leask continued his excellent form this season by lifting the scratch trophy with Blair Mackay winning the handicap competition, both winning the respective competitions by a comfortable margin.

The first players set off at 6.30 in perfectly calm overcast conditions, perfect midge weather. As play progressed a breeze picked up and seemed to get stronger through the day. This made scoring conditions a bit tougher but thankfully got rid of the midges. The first round saw some exceptional scoring considering the pins were placed in fairly tough positions. From the early starters it was Jeffrey Ma who led the way with a fine round of 82, for a net score of 62. This proved to be the best handicap score of the first round with John A Simpson close behind with a round of 83, net 63. Other leading handicap scores came from young Blair Mackay, 80 net 64, and David Smith, 86 net 65. The best scratch score of round one came from eventual winner Jordan Leask with a splendid round of 69 to lead by a margin of two shots. Ernie Smith and Colin Bain both returned scores of 71 to give themselves a chance and one shot further back on 72 were Ross Chisholm and Michael Boxwell.

With the stronger wind in the second round scores were noticeably higher and several of the leaders in the handicap section found it tough to maintain their form. First round leader Jeffrey Ma fell by the wayside and ended outside the prizes. John A Simpson returned another decent score of 91, net 71, to give a total net score of 134. However, this would only be good enough to take second place as Blair Mackay posted another fine score of 81, net 65, for a total net score of 129 to win the handicap trophy by the comfortable margin of five shots. Third place was taken by Tom Simpson with two net 69’s giving him a total of 138, this was by virtue of a better second round from three other players tied on the same total. Fourth place was Ian Pottinger, also with two net 69’s, James Ramsay was fifth (net 68, 70) and Ernie Smith was sixth (net 65, 73). Another youngster, Jake Constable, was in seventh place with net scores of 69 and 70 for a total of 139, with Geo Sim in eighth place with rounds of net 68 and net 71, also 139.

The scratch scores were also slightly higher than the first round, with two notable exceptions. Alan Harcus shot the best round of the day with an excellent level par score of 68. Harcus was two under par after 14 holes but a seven on the fifteenth scuppered any chance of breaking the course record. However, it would have taken an exceptional score from Harcus to prevent Jordan Leask from winning his first Shetland Open. Leask would have undoubtedly had one eye on Harcus as they were playing together but appeared to be in complete control with another splendid round of 69 giving him a total gross score of 138, certainly one of the lowest scores to win the open in recent years. Leask took first place and the Shetland Open trophy by a margin of seven shots with Harcus’ second round moving him in to second place after a poorer first round of 77 gave him a total of 145. In third place was Colin Bain on a total of 147 ( 71, 76) with Michael Boxwell fourth on 149 (72, 77). Graeme Sandison was fifth on a total of 150 (74, 76).

Other prize winners who received a box of balls and a small trophy were David Nicol, for being nearest the pin in two on the seventh hole, David Smith was nearest the pin on the second, Michael Boxwell was nearest the pin on the twelfth, Steven Henry had the longest drive on the eleventh in handicap category 13 to 24 and Alan Harcus had the longest drive on the eighteenth in handicap category 0 to 12.

Vice Captain Alan Harcus orchestrated the prizegiving and thanked sponsors JW Gray and The Famous Grouse for their generous sponsorship and continued involvement with the open. There was also widespread appreciation from all players for the superb condition of the course once again, the sterling effort by Christine, Amanda and Leigh who spent a hard day in the kitchen, Michelle on the bar and Alan Preshaw, Jimmy Burgess and Michael Gray for assisting with the scorekeeping throughout the day. Erik Burgess of JW Gray presented the winners with their prizes and concluded another highly successful Shetland Open.

The Mixed Open is on tomorrow and will be followed by the Summer Draw and a social night in the clubhouse while the J Bruce Doubles is on Sunday.

All photos by Kevin Jones. More pictures at

  • Erik Burgess (JW Gray), scratch winner Jordan Leask, handicap winner Blair Mackay, Alan Harcus (Vice Captain)  » Click to zoom ->

    Erik Burgess (JW Gray), scratch winner Jordan Leask, handicap winner Blair Mackay, Alan Harcus (Vice Captain)

  •   » Click to zoom ->