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PICTURES: Bain claims Scratch title at Cullen four day open

By Alan Beresford

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THERE was a second Scratch trophy scalp in the offing for a talented Buckie golfer at the Cullen Links Four Day Open.

A turnout of 148 golfers – roughly similar to last year – stepped forward to pit their talents against each other in a bid to claim one of the four trophies up for grabs.

There were entertaining contests on the cards for the Scratch, Section 1, Section 2 and Section 3 competitions.

Having already claimed the Scratch trophy at his home club of Strathlene, Ryan Bain went on to add the Cullen title to his collection after a tense final against Cullen golfer Peter Mair. However, Mair was not to leave the competition completely empty-handed, walking away with the prize for Best 36 Holes.

The Section 1 cup returned to Scottish shores after a sojourn in France last season when it was won Finlay Le Bouille of Bondues, France. An all-Keith final was to pit Marcus Mann against clubmate Dale Hector, the former triumphing to lift the trophy.

Meanwhile in Section 2 there was a Buckie-Banff clash when battle was joined by Strathlene's Magnus Main and John Key (Duff House Royal). A short trip along the A98 was the order of the day for the silverware after Main emerged victorious.

Home glory was guaranteed in the Section 3 contest, a tussle between home golfers Ellis Livingstone and Kenny Paterson. It was to be Livingstone's day, who also scooped the prize for Best Cullen Junior.

There was also a hole-in-one to celebrate when Duff Royal House youngster Fletcher Riach made himself a special four day open memory with a hole in one at the second during the first day of the competition.

Cullen Links match and handicap secretary Bruce Flett said: "It was a great four days, it really couldn't have been any better.

"We were maybe a few entries down on last year due to a couple of local events but it was a great turnout nonetheless.

"The Scratch and Section 1 finals were very close, with the Scratch going to extra holes. Overall, there was a great standard of golf which was good to watch. It was very competitive and in the best of sporting spirit.

"We were fortunate with the weather, too. It was very windy for a lot of the first day but after that it was perfect. We enjoyed great weather for the next three days.

"The course was in excellent condition thanks to the hard work of the greenkeepers and a team of volunteers who helped them out, they all did a brilliant job.

"The tournament couldn't have gone as well as it did without the help of the committee, we're very grateful to them."

Flett also voiced the club's thanks to the four day open sponsors: Thistle Plumbing and Heating; Grant Smith Law Practice; G&M Whyte Catering; Cullen Bay Hotel; Sandy's Carpets and Furnishings; Scottish Links Golf Tours; James Calam Golf.

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