Wednesday, 5 September 2018

 JOHN DUFF QUICKLY OFF THE MARK IN

NEW NORTH-EAST ALLIANCE SEASON
By COLIN FARQUHARSON
Newmachar tour pro John Duff, a prolific winner on the North-east Golfers Alliance circuit over the past few years, is off and running again with a victory in the first meeting of the new season at Craibstone Golf Club.
Duff, pictured, who won twice in the opening weeks of last season, again was quickly into his stride with a three-under-par 66, despite a double bogey 6 at the 11th, to head a field of 77 competitors by two strokes from Kevin Duncan (Cruden Bay) with Sean Lawrie (Paul Lawrie Golf Centre) third on 69.
Former Aberdeen Links champion Stewart Finnie (Caledonian) was fourth with a 70.
Duff won the £130 top cash prize with halves of 32 (three under par) and 34 (level par).
He looked well on his way to very low score over a Craibstone course which, at the request of new Alliance secretary Alan Gall, was set up as a "challenging but fair" test of golf, when he birdied the third, fourth and ninth to be out in 33.
Duff got to four under with a 2 at the short 10th but then stumbled with a 6 at the par-4 11th and a bogey 4 at the short 12th. The Newmachar man steadied up again with three solid pars and then finished birdie-par-birdie.
Duncan duplicated the winner's figures over the last three holes but he had dropped shots at the fifth, sixth and 11th so had too much ground to make up but, all the same, halves of 35 and 33 gave him the runners-up spot.
Craibstone teaching pro Lee Vannet was well in the mix when he reached the turn in 33, with birdies at the second and fourth, but he took 39 blows, five over par, for the second nine for a 72.

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