News Posted: 2nd July 2019
The Wilson Cup team of Kieren Fraser, Ramsay Hogg, Robert Geddes and Robert Jamieson can take a lot of positives away from a busy weekend of golf in Whalsay, where they competed against the best players from Orkney and Caithness.
The format is doubles alternate shot matchplay, where the score from both games is counted after 18 and the aggregate decides the winner of the tie. Eg Win 2 up in first match, but lose 3 down in second would mean a 1 down aggregrate lose.
The Dale team was drawn in a Group alongside Stromness for the 3rd straight year and Thurso for the 2nd year in a row as well as Pre-tournament favourites Wick.
Group 1 - Whalsay, Kirkwall, Lybster, Reay.
Group 2 - Stromness, Dale, Thurso, Wick.
The opening match on Saturday morning was against Stromness, and seen Ramsay and Kieren go out first to lead the line against Kenny Inkster and Andrew Woodward, and Robert and Robbie had to take on the strong pairing of Brian Corsie and Dennis Harvey. Ramsay and Kieren started strongly and raced into a 5 up lead after 9 holes, but the Stromness pair of settled into the format in the 2nd 9 and slowly clawed their way back to 2 down after the 18 holes, including winning 2 out of last 3 holes.
The two Robbie's had an excellent back and forth match where both teams were up and down in the scoreline and this continued through out the match. The Stromness pair managed to snatch a 1 hole advantage as they came to the 18th tee. The requirement was simple for Stromness, they had to win the hole to get a 2 up win, to cancel out the 1st match score and send the tie into extra holes. Stromness got a kind bounce of the bank of the 18th green stopping the ball from going into the water, and ended up only 8 foot from the pin, giving them a birdie putt to come. This forced Robbie Twin to play a more aggresive shot but he pulled his approach into the water as he went for the pin, and the stromness pair took advantage to win and send the tie to extra holes.
Kieren's excellent approach shot on the 1st extra hole ended only 1 foot from the pin, and secured a gimme birdie and the win for the Dale team as the 2nd match was halved on the 1st. This was a deserved win after letting the Stromness Team almost steal the victory.
The Saturday afternoon match was against Thurso and was another close affair. Ramsay and Kieren got the chance to exact revenge against the Pairing of Alan Swanson, and Jim Sangster who narrowly beat the Dale pair last year in Wick. Revenge is what they got as the secured a 2up victory with a very solid performance. With Ramsay not playing his best for some small stages, Kieren got them out of some tough situations and some excellent short game saves and some very tricky putts to keep the pressure on the Thurso pair. A birdie from the young Dale pairing on 18th after a brilliant approach from Ramsay under tough conditions and follow the Thurso pair after they hit the back edge of the green to secure the win of 2up to match the result of last year and leave them 1-1. Hopefully in the coming years to settle the score in a match that is always played in good spirits and enjoyed by all.
Robert and Robbie took on Graeme and Davie from Thurso. This match was back and forth throught the 1st 9 holes. A mixture of mistakes from the Dale players and good play from Thurso seen Graeme and Davie win 4 holes in a row to get them a strong lead. The Dale players did rally back and won holes but could not keep the pressure and would not go onto close the gap by the end of the 18. This seen the two Robbie's end up losing 4 down which will leave them feeling very hard down by as they played well and deserved a better result, but thats the nature of Matchplay golf. This would see the Dale team lose by 2 down aggregrate.
On sunday morning the Dale team would take on Wick. A win would see them on 2 points, matching Wick which would result in a playoff to progress, so there was still hope going forward for the team to qualify for the final.
Ramsay and Kieren took on Dougie Thorburn and Gordie Steven and got off to a great start and moved into a 2up lead after 7 holes with some big Tee shots from Ramsay pushing the Wick player Gordie to make a few mistakes as he tried to match it, and Kieren and Ramsay both making good putts they had some momentum in the right direction. This would not last against such a strong pairing and after 2 brilliant shots from the Wick pair on the par 5 10th hole they were left with an eagle putt which would move them back to All Square. The teams traded holes through to 14th where Ramsay missed a tricky 4foot putt across the slope,half which gave the Wick pair 2 up. Followed by Kieren missing a mid length birdie putt to win on 15th, they were running out of holes to comeback. With some bad luck to lose a ball on the 16th, they were 3 down on 18th Tee. Kieren knocked his driver down to 20 yrds short of the green and Ramsay chipped to a gimme birdie to get a hole back and finish only 2 down.
Robert and Robbie were playing argueably the strongest pair in the competition in Nicky Klimas and Alan Larnach. As was becoming standard practice for the Dale Pairings they would start well and get off to a great start. Going up in the match and holding the lead was always going to be tough. Again, a poor run of 3 holes would be the downfall for the Dale pair as they lost from 8th-11th. They regrouped to push back againt the Wick Pair, but with no mistakes coming their way to help they could not close the gap any but still finished with the best result (3 down) against the pair from wick all weekend.
The Aggregrate result would finish 5 up to Wick, which was the best result by any team against the Caithness club.
Although the Dale team finished 3rd in the group, it was a positive result and lots to take on to the future events. Robert Geddes coped really well in his first Wilson Cup outing and handled the competition format with ease. Having Robert Jamieson alongside him as a partner would have helped settle the former Whalsay resident. Robbie Twin even postponed his daily event with some royalty........apparantly he is close with the Duke's of Tingwall.
Ramsay and Kieren continued their good partnership in this event and could put a case forward for being the best pairing on results after the 2 Wick pairings. With both having plenty experience now, they are recognised as a tough pair to beat by opposing teams which is high praise from their peers.
The cycle starts again with Qualifying under way for 2020 Wilson Cup in Lybster.
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