Last Saturday saw over 100 gents taking part in Orkney Golf Clubs biggest event of the year,
The JW Gray & Co and Highland Park sponsored, 36-hole Kirkwall Open. The weather on the day was just what everyone hoped for with a light North Easterly breeze along with bright overhead conditions. The course itself was in excellent condition with immaculate greens and as expected, long and challenging rough, making for a tough but fair test for everyone. Chris and his team deserve praise for their work throughout the year.
Onto the golf and the first round got underway at 5.50am and only concluded at around 9pm with dozens of birdies and no doubt quite a few lost balls (including one of this intrepid reporter). In the nett section Shaun Raeburn produced his best ever round of 76 for an incredible nett score of 58 to lead the way, with Malcolm Smart close behind on nett 60 along with no fewer than 17 others all within 7 shots of the leader.
The gross section was anticipated to be one of the most open competitions for a few years with Steven Rendall’s reign as undisputed number one in Orkney under threat from several local players and Brett Munro, part of the Reay golf clubs Wilson cup winning team. As it turned out it was Stromness stalwart Brian Corsie who carded an excellent gross 66, that included a blitz of 5 birdies in 7 holes for an excellent first round total. In close contention was Steven Walls with his own total of 4 birdies and gross of 67. Others in contention with a gross score of 69 were Scott Walls and Michael Shinkel, with Steven Rendall 6 shots behind on 7.
After a lovely lunch served up almost continuously from 10am till 4pm by members of the ladies section, play resumed with early leader in the nett section Shaun Raeburn, carding another steady score of 82 nett 64, for an untouchable 2 round total of 122 and a comfortable 6 stroke victory over Malcolm Smart, who himself had an Excellent day with nett rounds of 60 and 68 for second spot overall on 128.
In the gross section Brian Corsie’s challenge somewhat faded away. With no luck whatsoever on the greens, his second round of 74 gave him a total of 140 that would see him hang onto second spot overall. However coming in with yet another under par round of 68 that included 4 more birdies and becoming The Kirkwall Open Champion 2023 was Steven Walls for a very popular first time win. Brian Corsie was second with 140, Brett Munro’s 69 second round gained him 3rd on countback ahead of Michael Shinkel, with Scott Walls 5th on 142 and Lee Finlay on 145 taking the final prize winners’ slot in 6th place.
Captain Stuart Slater gave an excellent speech thanking everyone for their contributions on the day and for making it such an excellent event. He then introduced Scott Burns from J W Gray & Co and James McConnachie from The Highland Park to present the prizes.
The full list of prize winners’ was as follows.
1st and Kirkwall Open Champion Steven Walls 135
2nd Brian Corsie 140
3rd Brett Munro 141
4th Michael Shinkel 141
5th Scott Walls 142
6th Lee Finlay 145
Overall Nett Winner
Shaun Raeburn 122
1st Bruce Moar 129
2nd Wayne Monkman 132
3rd Darren Sutherland 132
4th Stuart Slater 134
5th Stewart Fotheringhame 135
1st Alan Donaldson 129
2nd Robbie Norquoy 130
3rd Shaun Sutherland 130
4th Connor Crawford 131
5th Nicky Bichan 131
1st Andy kemp 129
2nd Robbie Spence 131
3rd Bob Clouston 133
4th Iain Linklater 134
5th Steve Foulkes 136
Lowest gross outwith prize winners, Ewan Rendall 70
Lowest nett outwith prize winners, Greg Rorie 63
Back row from left to right: Robbie Spence, Andy kemp, Alan Donaldson, Connor Crawford, Darren Sutherland and Robbie Norquoy.
Middle row from left to right: Nicky Bichan, Shaun Sutherland, Scott Walls, Lee Finlay, Michael Shinkel, Wayne Monkman, Malcolm Smart, Bruce Moar, Brett Munro and Brian Corsie,
Front row from left to right: Shaun Raeburn, Scott Burns, Steven Walls and Stuart Slater