Thursday, 15 February 2018

David Joel leads North Scottish Golfers Alliance scratch trophy tallies 

By ROBIN WILSON
With so many postponements during the first half of the North Scottish Golfers' Alliance 2017-18 season, only five of the seven fixtures were played, and only a handful of members played in all five, requiring the five score leaders to complete their mandatory sixth score in the second half of the season for the association's Aggregate Trophies.
Out in front after five that included two scratch wins was David Joel (Inverness), pictured, with 349, 14 shots  ahead of Gordon Hay (Boat of Garten), 363, with Inverness Golf Club assistant professional David Grindell lying third on 369. 
Joel missed the first fixture of 2018 at Spey Bay and Grindell's 77 allowed Hay, with a 74, to become the first six-round leader with his best six total of 437 to Grindell 446.
But Hay's six-round total led only for seven days before Joel returned to record his third sub-70  score in the NSGA fixture at Moray Golf Club two weeks ago to bring his six-score gross aggregate up to 412 while Hay went to 436.  
Grindell, from his Moray and Fortrose cards, remains in third place on 439.  In fourth place is Graham Murry (Moray) with a six-score total of 440 which still includes a counting 79.
But lurking dangerously behind the leaders and prepared to pounce through the next four fixtures from their current five-round platforms are the reigning North Alliance champion Jeff Wright (Forres) 344, Kyle Godsman (Moray) 345 and Bruce Thomson (Inverness) 356. 
At the end of 2017 one-handicapper Hay was leading the nett aggregate after five fixtures but after six (nett 430) he has slipped three strokes behind new leader Ian Murray (Boat of Garten).
Murray leads the chase in the low handicap section for the Burnett Trophy with a nett 427. Neil McPhie (Inverness), who has recorded the only hole in one on the circuit this season, occupies third place with 431.
The third aggregate trophy for the higher handicap group is the Bill McQueen Trophy and currently leading by a handsome 21 strokes is nine-handicapper Mike Lyall (Torvean) with a 415 nett total, Colin Small (Nairn) 436 and Alan Boxx (Boat of Garten) 437 and Jim Rogers (Inverness) 438 are his nearest challengers.
The North Scottish Alliance championship will be played at Nairn Dunbar on March 17, but this fixture does not qualify for aggregate scores so the remaining four fixtures to count are Muir of Ord (February 17), Hopeman (February 24), Elgin (March 3) and Garmouth (March 10).




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