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Mailley becomes a two-time cup winner

By Robin Wilson

Chris Mailley, Chippie Mailley, Sinclair Cup, Royal Dornoch Golf Club, Golf
Chris Mailley, Chippie Mailley, Sinclair Cup, Royal Dornoch Golf Club, Golf

GIFTED to the Royal Dornoch Golf Club by Golspie draper R F Sinclair in 1960, the Sinclair Cup is considered the most prestigious stroke-play tournament silverware to win in Sutherland and the names of many double winners have been inscribed on it.

Familiar two-time names include those of Willie Skinner, Jim Miller, Stewart Shaw, Stewart Wilson, Kevin Matheson, Dougal Chalmers and Jim Scott, and adding his name to that list last weekend was Chris Mailley. Brora's Miller was the most frequent winner with 13 between 1965 and 1998, but no golfer has completed a hat-trick.

Mailley's first triumph came four years ago and with the cup won by visiting golfers for the last two years, Bryan Fotheringham (Forres) and Lewis Reid (Fortrose and Rosemarkie), it looked destined to leave again when a four-under-par 66 led after the first round. It was recorded by the lowest handicap player in the capacity field of 72, David Corben, who plays off +4.

A group of 10 members from the Hindhead Golf Club in Surrey were spearheaded by plus-four handicapper David Corben who bottled three outward-half and two inward-half birdies, first, fourth, eighth, 13th and 18th holes, with just one bogey at the notorious "Foxy", in halves of 32 and 34 for a superb 66 to lead a Mailley first-round card of one-over-par 71 and a one-under-par 69 from teenager Aidan Volmer (17) from Phoenix, Arizona.

Lewis Reid saw his grip loosened on the Sinclair Cup after an opening round of 76. A double bogey five on the par-three sixth hole then a bogey six on the par-five 12th before closing with bogey five in two halves of 38 left the holder 10 shots behind the first-round leader.

Reid's Fortrose club-mate Alan Cameron stayed in the mix with a first-round 72 (38/34), as did north youth champion Michael Schinkel (36/36) and William Short (35/37).

When Mailley opened his second round with a birdie three and Corben double bogeyed the par-three second hole two shots had been made up by the ninth: Mailley 35, Corben 37. Then a surge on the back nine by the home member, back-to-back birdies on 11 and 12 and two more on the 15th and 16th hole with just the one bogey slip at the 16th hole took the local home in 32 and Corben caught.

Mailley's 36-hole total was 138 (71/67) and Corben's 138 (66/72), with the Sinclair Cup and first-place voucher for £325 won on the better second round, 67 to 72. Short's equal halves of 35 in round two brought him into third place on 142 (72/70) ahead of Schinkel's 142 (72/70) on the better last nine holes of round two.

Mailley's voucher increased by £80 when he won the confined-to-members Taylor Bullock Salver, and the outgoing cup holder Lewis Reid's day improved with a card of 68 for the best second round prize voucher.

Sinclair Cup:

Scratch – 138 C Mailley (RDGC) 71/67, D Corben (Hindhead) 66/72; 142 W Short (Longniddry/RDGC) 72/72, M Schinkel (RDGC) 72/72; 143 C Mackay (RDGC) 74/69.

Handicap – A Mackay (Haggs Castle/RDGC) (5) 131; C Mackay (RDGC) (5) 136; A Volmer (USA) (3) 138; C Sutherland (RDGC) (2) 139; L Jennings (Whitemuir) (2) 140.

Best scratch round – L Reid (F&R), 68.

Best handicap – A Pirie (Milngavie) (3) 67.

Taylor Bullock Salver – C Mailley, 136.

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