2007

Like lambs to the slaughter…

Even for the unsuperstitious, the sight of a dead lamb lying beneath the practice basket at Fanmore wasn't exactly the most encouraging welcome to the renowned Mull course. And it was with a sense of foreboding that early arrivals on Friday practiced in sunny, benign conditions - the forecast promised evil conditions over the weekend, and Mull doesn't like to disappoint.

This was the 15th Scottish Open on Mull, and the 25th anniversary of the establishment of the first course on Gremlin Napier's beautiful croft at Fanmore. Legend has it that the idea for the course was revealed to Gremlin and Charlie Mead in a shared vision, fuelled by a certain local life-giving elixir. It has certainly stood the test of time, and has been re-designed over the last couple of years by the inclusion of neighbouring croft land (belonging to Johnny Simpson), thereby extending the course and removing a number of crossing fairways.

The extra land has also given us one of the most iconic holes in British disc golf - the dreaded (and appropriately numbered) Hole 13. Totally exposed to the elements, situated at the top of the hill, and with awesome panoramic views of mountain and sea, this is pure Highlands. Only 40m from the tee, the basket is perched a couple of metres from the side of a cliff, with a 10m vertical drop immediately to the left (and beyond), followed by a steep down-slope. A fading straight shot is likely to finish 60m down the hill. If you play safe to the right, you have no choice but to lay-up for the par or risk a long return if you miss. Oh, and just for good measure, you're playing directly into the prevailing north-west wind (more usually, a gale)! Blissfully ignoring these risks, Jonnie Burden almost aced the hole in Round 1 - now that was a truly courageous shot! The rest of us were happy to settle for 3 or 4.

Conditions for the weekend were, as the Met Office promised, extreme. Stiff winds for the first two rounds on Saturday were followed by gales, with heavy showers of rain and hail, for the final rounds on Sunday. Derek lived up to his nickname ("The Wind") by exhibiting masterful disc control, to take his third Open title of the season by nineteen shots. The win was also his eleventh of the fifteen Scottish Open championships - there's just no player able to match him over the rocky, exposed slopes of Fanmore. Second was Charlie Mead, with departing American favourite Chris Rivera third. "Magical" Trevor Bechtel and Andy Lucey made up the Open Final five.

The Amateur Division witnessed a more intense battle, with all players suffering humiliating experiences in the difficult conditions. Angus Bruce led the way after the third round by one shot from local ace Ben Bolton, with Richard Clegg two shots further back. However, Richard played some terrific controlled golf in the fourth round (his round score bettered only by Derek) to hold a single shot lead over Angus for the six hole final. These two then matched each other shot for shot, with Richard deservedly lifting his first Am title. Ben Bolton was third, Jesse Denny fourth and Wee Ben Bruce fifth.

However, the most intriguing contest of the event was for the Junior Girls title, between 11-year old identical twins, Maddy & Georgia Lucey, who performed "synchronised disc golf" throughout the weekend. With each round score identical (!), a two-hole playoff was required to separate the two, with Maddy (or was it Georgia?) emerging successful. James Luton was the Junior Boys winner (Niall McSherry second), and Wee Ben won the Junior Juniors, defeating tournament rookie Gabriel Rivera (aged 5).

A vote was taken for Spirit of the Game, and after two re-counts, a tie was declared between the 11-year-olds - the Lucey twins and Wee Ben, who had all battled four rounds gamely, despite the 18-rated conditions.

Gremlin's traditional RNLI raffle was well supported and raised over £100, thanks being expressed to all those players (present and absent) who had provided prizes and purchased tickets.

As players departed for the ferries, shell-shocked but strangely satisfied, they knew that they would never experience such an intense disc golfing experience again - until May bank holiday next year!

RESULTS SUMMARY

OPEN DIVISION
1. Derek Robins (ENG)
2. Charlie Mead (ENG)
3. Chris Rivera (USA)
4. Trevor Bechtel (SCO)
5. Andy Lucey (ENG)

AMATEUR DIVISION
1. Richard Clegg (SCO)
2. Angus Bruce (SCO)
3. Ben Bolton (SCO)
4. Jesse Denny (USA)
5. Ben Bruce (SCO)

WOMENS CHAMP
Holly Clay (ENG)

JUNIOR GIRLS (tied after 76 holes - play-off)
1. Maddy Lucey (ENG)
2. Georgia Lucey (ENG)

JUNIOR BOYS
1. James Luton
2. Niall McSherry

JNR JUNIOR BOYS
1. Ben Bruce
2. Gabriel Rivera

SPOT PRIZES
(Saturday - open to all players)
CTP - Liam Young
Longest Putt - Charlie Mead
Longest Drive - Brendan Burgess

SPOT PRIZES
(Sunday - open to AM players, except Brendan)
CTP - Angus Bruce
Longest Putt - Nicky Whittaker
Longest Drive - Adrian Simpson (twice!)

SPIRIT of the GAME (voted by players)
Tied - Georgia & Maddy Lucey, and Ben Bruce

MOST IMPROVED
Brett Moore (27 shots between Rounds 1 & 2)

LOCAL HERO
(Best local player not otherwise winning a prize)
John Barlow

"MOVE-DOWN" AWARD
Jonnie Burden

Full Results

 

  First name Surname Nat. Div. BDGA PDGA Rd1 Rd2 Total Rd3 Rd4 Total Final Total
1 Derek Robins ENG Open 1 5980 58 54 112 65 58 235 20 255
2 Charlie Mead ENG Open 9 1980 57 64 121 67 63 251 23 274
3 Chris Rivera USA Open 256 20456 59 60 119 70 68 257 26 283
4 Trevor Bechtel SCO Open 36 8805 61 66 127 69 68 264 22 286
5 Andy Lucey ENG Open 10 8877 69 65 134 71 68 273 26 299
6 Richard Clegg SCO Am 34 8828 69 65 134 82 62 278 20 298
7 Angus Bruce SCO Am 235 8843 72 67 139 73 67 279 20 299
8 Spencer Worth ENG Open 75 0 76 63 139 75 66 280    
9 Ben Bolton SCO Am 0 0 67 65 132 81 74 287 26 306
10 Duncan Hartshorne ENG Open 154 8822 79 63 142 72 74 288    
11 Jesse Denny USA Am 282 8878 76 64 140 84 76 300 25 325
12 Ben Bruce SCO Am (JJ) 237 8844 74 63 137 90 77 304 30 334
13 Brendan Burgess SCO Am 0 0 76 70 146 82 77 305    
14 Jonnie Burden SCO Open 30 8826 73 67 140 91 75 306    
15 Rowan McSherry ENG Am 0 0 74 71 145 83 84 312    
16 Christo Wallers ENG Am 0 0 74 75 149 91 80 320    
17 Adrian Simpson SCO Am 170 8825 83 74 157 90 79 326    
18 James Luton ENG Am (J) 135 8856 78 78 156 88 87 331    
19 Vic Parker ENG Am 0 0 80 75 155 92 88 335    
20 Nicky Whittaker ENG Am 0 0 80 71 151 105 87 343    
21 Mark Burton ENG Am 0 0 91 79 170 96 95 361    
22 Niall McSherry ENG Am (J) 0 0 101 80 181 100 82 363    
23 Brett Moore ENG Am 0 0 98 75 173 102 94 369    
24 Matt Fleming ENG Am 0 0 93 87 180 104 94 378    
25= Maddy Lucey ENG Am (W-JJ) 0 0 107 87 194 94 92 380    
25= Georgia Lucey ENG Am (W-JJ) 0 0 107 87 194 94 92 380    
27 John Barlow ENG Am 0 0 104 100 204 93 96 393    
28 Graeme Anderson SCO Open 22 8875 63 64 127 70 999 1196    
29 Conor Lawless IRE Am 0 0 86 72 158 101 999 1258    
30 Liam Young IRE Open 19 8802 59 55 114 999 999 2112    
31 Johnny Simpson SCO Am 0 0 82 75 157 999 999 2155    
32 Holly Clay ENG Am (W) 0 0 109 133 242 999 999 2240    
33 Gremlin Napier SCO Am 0 0 999 72 1071 999 999 3069    
34 Guy Luard ENG Am 0 0 82 999 1081 999 999 3079    
35 Jus Kaur ENG Am (W) 0 0 130 999 1129 999 999 3127    

Media

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