Richmond wins Argyll & Bute Junior Order of Merit Grand Final

The summer long Argyll & Bute ClubGolf Junior Order of Merit reached its conclusion with the Grand Final at the spectacular Machrihanish Dunes Golf Club this weekend.

A&B Order of Merit finalists

The summer long Argyll & Bute ClubGolf Junior Order of Merit reached its conclusion with the Grand Final at the spectacular Machrihanish Dunes Golf Club this weekend.

Fifteen year old Chris Richmond, who along with a dozen Cowal Golf Club mates made the long trip down the Mull of Kintyre on Saturday, finished the series as Scratch winner, three points ahead of Port Bannatyne's Matthew Dunn.

"Winning the Order of Merit was the big highlight for me this season," said the Dunoon teenager afterwards. 

"I won the qualifying events at Cowal and also at Rothesay and I finished second or third at the Dunes which brought me a few good points.

"It's a good achievement to win, which has topped off a good season where I got down from handicap 9 to 5."

Chris has benefitted from Cowal Golf's ClubGolf Stage 1 programme and his progression has been supported by Argyll and Bute Golf Union, who have paid for professional lessons with Colin Fisher at the World of Golf.   Meanwhile, at the club he supports the volunteer coaches teach the next generation of juniors during the winter.

Chris' father, the club's junior convenor Crawford Richmond, typifies the volunteer spirit having encouraged his juniors to compete in three order of merit series this summer; one at the club, a second at the Tail o' The Bank League over at Inverclyde, in addition to the ClubGolf series.

"We have had a busy time with a lot of travelling about, but the boys get a lot out of it," said Crawford.

"We have a strong section of between 15 and 20 boys and I'm quite willing to take them away for competitions.  I would like to encourage more younger children to play and take part in our indoor winter coaching at the club.  We have winter nets and mats and we use Cayman golf balls."

The Argyll & Bute ClubGolf Junior Order of Merit was new to the calendar in 2011, and in year two it has grown in every respect.  Six clubs hosted qualifying events this summer and 57 juniors with handicaps ranging from +2 up to 36 scored points in at least one.  Of the 10 clubs that took part in the Grand Final, eight deliver ClubGolf Coaching.

Four of the golf clubs that hosted a Qualifying Event also ran a ClubGolf Flag Event for children participating in ClubGolf coaching but not yet with a handicap, the aim being to show the juniors  how they can progress into the main Categories next year when they get a handicap.

Like Chris, many of the 39 juniors competing at Machrihanish were from ClubGolf programmes across the region.  The other series winners at Machrihanish were Port Bannatyne Golf Club's Matthew Dunn for Handicaps Scratch-18.  Lewis Poole from Rothesay Golf Club was the Handicaps 19-36 winner.

The top Scratch winner on the day at Machrihanish, with a score of 1 under par Gross was Robert MacIntyre from Glencruitten GC.   The best Net score of the day was Cowal's Arran Downie who shot 63 Nett, 9 under the par for the course.

"I'm delighted that the Order of Merit has run for a second consecutive year and that it has grown in size," said Colin Bell, ClubGolf Regional Manager for Argyll & Dunbartonshire.

"There has been an increase in children participating in the Qualifying Events at golf clubs across Argyll & Bute from last year and more children participating in the Grand Final too.

"This is down to the continued hard work of volunteers and coaches at the clubs across the area who organise, encourage and coach children at their club. They also give up a lot of their time transporting their enthusiastic juniors around to events and many of them have hosted their own Junior Open qualifying event too.

"There are now ClubGolf junior coaching programmes available in almost every golf club within Argyll & Bute, so any interested children and parents should get in touch with their local club and find out what's on offer."



Prize Winners - Argyll & Bute ClubGolf Junior Order of Merit Grand Final (22nd Sept 2012)

Prizes for the round at Machrihanish Dunes

Scratch Winner- Robert MacIntyre (Glencruitten) Gross: 71 (-1)
Handicaps Scr-18 Winner -Scott Dunn (Port Bannatyne) Nett: 70
Handicaps Scr-18 2nd Place -Fraser Thomson (Cowal) Nett: 71
Handicaps Scr-18 3rd Place -Matthew Dunn (Port Bannatyne) Nett: 71
Handicaps 19-36 Winner -Arran Downie (Cowal) Nett: 63
Handicaps 19-36 2nd Place -Fraser McFarlane (Glencruitten) Nett: 67
Handicaps 19-36 3rd Place - Kerr Thomson (Cowal) Nett: 71

Prizes for the Overall Season OOM Final placings

*Only players having played in at least 1 previous OOM event are eligible to win this prize

Scratch Winner- Chris Richmond (Cowal) Total Points: 44 (scored in 4 out the 7 OOM events)
Scratch 2nd Place -Matthew Dunn (Port Bannatyne) Total Points: 41 (scored in 5 out the 7 OOM events)
Handicaps Scr-18 Winner -Matthew Dunn (Port Bannatyne) Total Points: 39 (scored in 5 out the 7 OOM events)
Handicaps Scr-18 2nd Place -Chris Richmond (Cowal) Total Points: 34 (scored in 4 out the 7 OOM events)
Handicaps 19-36 Winner -Lewis Poole (Rothesay) Total Points: 45 (scored in 5 out the 7 OOM events)
Handicaps 19-36 2nd Place -Arran Downie (Cowal) Total Points: 34 (scored in 4 out the 7 OOM events)



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