Here is my viewpoint of the three days.
" To finally win the Scottish Strokeplay Championship after finishing second twice before feels fantastic for both Howard Leedale and I. It is (as far as I am concerned ) the premier domestic competition and therefore is the main individual target for all the players in SBGS. This combined with the fact that The Glen is my home course has made it almost too important for me and has possibly made me try too hard in the past. I have had a largely disappointing season with regards to results and would like to blame this on bad guiding but both Howard and Shonagh who have done my guiding this year have been fantastic and my own lack of ability has been the major factor. Thats what Howard and Shonagh said anyway!
Now I have the "big" trophy and maybe I can relax a little more in the future.
On the first day the weather conditions were very difficult but I was lucky enough to be paired with Peter and Jimmy Philip and off we went. We both got into a good rhythm early on and I managed to stay out of trouble the whole way round apart from bunker trouble at the 3rd which resulted in a seven. Coming back into the wind I struck the ball as well as I have all year and scored nearly as well as I did on the front nine. By the end Peter had scored a lot higher than he deserved due to major problems at the 14th but I had managed to hold on for a gross 85 - net 73. I was pretty pleased but had no Idea that I would lead by eight shots at the end of the day.
If the weather was bad on the first day it was pretty near unplayable on the second. Storm force winds that even kept The Glen members off the course (not something that happens very often) and lower temperatures were always going to be testing. Howard and I were paired with Alan Gray and Peter McAtamney. We both had a solid start but Alan started to eat into my lead after I took seven at the short 4th - more bunker trouble. After I hit a ball out of bounds over the ninth Alan had got back to within a shot of me and my head was going down a bit. It was at this point that Howard took me aside and read me the "riot act". I can't tell you exactly what he said for censorship reasons but suffice to say I took notice and from the 11th tee to the 16th green I played my best golf of the day. I had pulled out a few more shots on Alan who I must say played the most superb golf all day in the conditions. After driving out of bounds at the 17th I thought I had blown it but played my second ball solidly and went down the 18th with a bit of a cushion. When the final shakey putt went in and I was told that I had won it was an initial feeling of relief rather than delight and that is all down to Alan's great play. My lead had been cut from eight shots to three
I look forward to defending my title next year. Surely the weather will be better in June?
My thanks to Howard who is a mad but great friend and a great guide.
My thanks also to Bill Ferguson for leading me round on Wednesday and to Rog for not holding us up. Finally to Jim Gales who is the backbone of all the organisation of our major events.