All change at Spey Bay as new three day open unveiled
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THERE was a new format this year as golfers took to the fairways for the annual Spey Bay open.
This year the club decided to alter the usual four day open model and instead hold a three day event.
It certainly seemed to prove successful a successful change among the players, with some excellent golf being played. Entries for this year stood at 47, down on last year's total of 57.
There were new names on all the trophies this time around, with last year seeing two of the champions retaining their titles in the first tournament since the pandemic.
The scratch trophy was heading along the road to Buckpool thanks to George Davidson's victory over Strathlene opponent Daniel Murray by 2&1.
It was a joust between near neighbours in the Section 1 final when Gregor McLennan from the host club faced Stuart McKay from Garmouth and Kingston. The silverware was to remain at Spey Bay as McLennan's name replaced that of Alf Bryce-Maynard on the roll of honour, defeating McKay 3&1.
There was an all-Spey Bay fight in Section 3 with Jonny Neilson and Mike Strachan vying for the honours. A score of 6&5 was enough to ensure Neilson got his hands on the cup.
Club captain John Greene said that despite the lower numbers it had been a very good tournament.
He commented: "We decided try out the three day format this year to make the open more attractive.
"Spey Bay has the smallest membership of the clubs in the area plus our numbers were down last year on what they were previously. We had low numbers again this year although part of that is probably down to issues we had with the new booking which made it trickier for foreign visitors to book in.
"We'll sit down at a committee meeting and discuss what we'll do with the format for next year. The course may be completely different next year anyway as the new owners of the club have big plans for.
"This year's open was very keenly contested with three super finals. Everybody thoroughly enjoyed themselves and the course was in excellent condition.
"The wind got up on Sunday morning and we all got a bit wet but apart from the the weather was great.
"On behalf of the club I'd like to thank the event sponsor for their generosity."