AUTUMN PRIZES St AGC/DOGGS 26th-28th JULY

 
Remember....amateurs built the Ark.....professionals built the Titanic..
 
After 2 weeks of wonderful golf on the Pro tour which included back-to-back victories for Phil Mickelson in Scotland,it was StAndrews turn to host a major event as we congregated in the Home of Golf.Phil's Open  victory was all the more sweet after he just failed to collect the US Open,the only major eluding him so far.It was 100 years ago that golf got a real boost in the US at the US Open at Brookline,Boston.
 
Francis Ouimet(born 8/5/1893),an amateur, 19 year old son of a French-Canadian immigrant,who lived acroos the road from the 17th hole and caddied for the Country-club set members,beat the  Open Champion Harry Vardon(record winner of 6 Open titles)and Ted Ray, in a play-off ,to change the profile of golf in the US.His clubs were carried by 10 year old Eddie Lowery and this epic match became the basis for the movie"The Greatest game Ever Played".
 
He won the US Amateur the following year and after a sizeable gap,again in 1931.He had a distinguished amateur career ,on both sides of the Atlantic including a notable Walker Cup record.
 
For many years he was a USGA committee member and was honoured for his services to the sport in 1951,when he was elected Captain of the Royal and Ancient GC,the first person not of British nationality to hold that office.
 
He was often referred to as the "Father of Amateur Golf in the US",probably having the greatest single influence on the sport's development across the pond.He passed away on September 2nd 1969,just a few days before Britain and the US drew level in  the Ryder Cup at Birkdale, in the famous Nicklaus/Jacklin halved match
 
 
It all started here.....
 
Autumn seemed far away as we gathered for the Annual StAGC/DOGGS Autumn Prizes in glorious summer sunshine and unusual high temperatures.Harald and Ola,escorted by Eva met up with George and Christine for pre-event drinks.
 
The tough Castle Course was chosen for the opening game.Short trousers were the order of the day when we trudged up the 1st fairway .The course ,perched on the cliffs,was at its usual frustrating best as we matched our skills on the attractive links,with magnificent views over the Auld Grey Toon.
 
Our participants had mixed fortunes dealing with the difficult greens,resembling crumpled duvets,and sloping fairways.However George(26) Ola(24) and Harald (23) were reasonably happy with the results.Eva managed 21pts in a warm-up for the Bitches Trophy(what trophy???)
 
A hefty supply of wine and a mixture of Italian digestifs washed down by Harald's whisky lead to a slow start on Day 2.
 
Fortunately, a late tee-time had been allocated, as the crowds gathered around the 1st tee in front of the R and A clubhouse . Hangovers had disappeared by the time  the Starter had announced our flight at 15.50 hrs
 
The opening tee shots thundered over the Road and the second blows flew over the Swilken Burn(it was George's 3rd).The course was in brilliant condition for our match and the female participants in the following weeks' Ricoh Ladies Open got the benefit of playing after us.However a heavy rain squallor at the 2nd hole send players scurrying for cover and raingear.The clouds quickly passed and a pleasant afternoon was enjoyed.
 
Our members had a few lapses of concentration in the early holes.But Harald with 2 pars collected valuable points.George's game was saved by excellent putting,reaching the turn in 44(The StAGC match is strokeplay)1 ahead of Harald,while Ola was battling the course and himself.
 
The wind increased on the back 9 and the difficult 13th and 14th became expeditions.The group reached the famous 17th ahead of schedule.The BBC had to send out their repair squad engineers ,as Harald's drive took a line similar to his traditional opening shot at Forsbaka ,and almost demolished their TV tower.The crowds,including Paula Creamer,watering themselves at the adjacent Jigger Inn,could witness amusing developments
 
....and well within 4 hours they were shaking hands on the 18th green after a very enjoyable ,evening, finish.
 
After a number of recounts the scores were finally registered
 
George   38pts
Harald     28
Ola         16
 
George won the DOGGS Autumn Prizes trophy(what trophy??) with a gross 88,kindly sponsored and presented by his wife, later that evening.
 
Incidentally Mr David Scott won the St AGC Autumn Prize with a Gross/net 71....a remarkable score in the conditions.Our chairman finished 34th equal in the field of 320.
 
Sunday 28th opened with heavy rain swamping St Andrews as the group commenced play on the Eden.At first it appeared play would be cancelled,as the surprised starter issued the tickets and pin positions?????
 
Apart from an Australian,pulling his trolley over the greens, the copurse was deserted.Concentration was essential and contributed to a plethora of pars,until Ola broke the deadlock with a birdie at the 15th,a feat he repeated at the closing hole.As the concentration increased,our players were oblivious to the fact that the rain had stopped at the 10th and the raingear had dried out.
 
DOGGS were applauded off the course by the appreciative Links Staff
 
Harald   33pts
George  33
Ola        31.
 
While our members were battling the Old Course on the Saturday,Eva and Christine re-commenced their battle for the Bitches Trophy(what trophy??)which they had shared the previous year, on the Strathtyrum links.It is reported ,that in a ding-dong struggle,where the Rule Book had to be referred to on more than one occasion,Mrs Doughtie(37pts) pipped Mrs Solheim(36) to snatch victory on the last green.
 
Although requests were made to Oscargaten ,the trophy was not DHLed to Scotland.They presumed it had been lost in the moving boxes or was it mixed up between Mr Valeurs many awards.....
 
Another super visit to St Andrews,with a round on the Old was brought to a close.
 
....with the Club Championship only a short wedge away....
 

 

 
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