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'Amazing achievement' as Brora golfers win Northern Counties Cup for first time in 36 years

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A team from Brora Golf Club have won the Northern Counties Cup for the first time since 1985 and only for the third time in their history.

The quartet of James Macbeath, Chippie Mailley, Ross Naismith and James Ross recently triumphed at Peterhead to write their names in the record books.

The winning team, back from left, Chippie Mailley and James Macbeath, and front, from left, Ross Naismith and James Ross
The winning team, back from left, Chippie Mailley and James Macbeath, and front, from left, Ross Naismith and James Ross

The Northern Counties Cup has been staged in the Highlands since 1900 with Brora’s only other success coming in 1977.

It also continued an extraordinary summer of golf for Mailley, who retained the Carnegie Shield at Royal Dornoch in August and has remarkably won every club event he has entered this year.

Mailley, head greenkeeper at the Carnegie Club at Skibo Castle, and Macbeath, head greenkeeper at Brora, used all their experiences to prevail, with Naismith and Ross also thriving despite playing in the event for the first time.

In the knockout foursomes format involving the two teams, Brora defeated Elgin (2nd team), King’s Golf Club, Aberdeen (2nd team), Fortrose & Rosemarkie in the semi-finals and then Murcar Links in the final.

In a closely-contested final, both Brora teams produced a late birdie blitz to triumph by just one hole overall.

Tony Gill, general manager at Brora Golf Club, was thrilled at the success – especially as he recently announced he will be retiring from his own role.

He said: “I wouldn’t say the guys travelled confidently given the standard of the competition and our history in the event, so it’s a wonderful achievement by the team.

“Ross and James had never played in the event before yet played admirably alongside James and Chippie. Ross and James have only really started playing regularly in the last five to six years and are down to scratch golfers, with James and Chippe both plus handicap golfers.

“We are really proud of the guys as clearly this type of success hasn’t happened often. It’s absolutely brilliant for them – and for the club.”

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