At random with Martin Laing 25.07.19

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Brilliant Bob

Wasn’t it a thrill to watch Bob MacIntyre playing at The Open Championship last week?

There was such a buzz of excitement in our office on Thursday morning when news filtered through that the Oban player was leading the competition at four-under-par after four holes. It wasn’t to stay that way, of course, but it has been an outstanding rookie year for the Glencruitten player.

Even the non-sporting members of staff – let alone non-golfers – were making the left-hander the talk of the steamie.

I know that many of Bob’s admirers from Oban were at North Berwick to follow him as he played with Rory McIroy and Rickie Fowler in this year’s Scottish Open. I wish I could have been among them.

One of the world’s very top players, Tommy Fleetwood, has said Bob is better than he was at the same age – high praise indeed.

Seeing young Bob striding the fairways among the world’s elite is simply brilliant. I’m convinced he has a stellar future ahead of him and I look forward with keen anticipation to see just how high he can soar.

Plastic blight

We reported last week the story of a message in a plastic bottle that was discovered on a beach in North Uist after having been thrown into the sea from the coast of the United States 22 years ago.

Back in 1997, of course, people were unconcerned about the impact of plastics in our oceans and natural environment, so the bottle was tossed into the Atlantic in all innocence by the then 12-year-old Matt Rhoades.

While there is obviously a good deal of interest that the Bolam family from Dumfries and Galloway found the bottle and were able to contact Matt on social media, there is also a stark warning here about the indestructibility of these bottles.

Given the attention given to littering these days in general and plastics in particular, it hardly needs me to urge you all to dispose of your rubbish with care.

What do you think?

Write to me at mlaing@obantimes.co.uk or The Oban Times, Crannog Lane, Oban, PA34 4HB, or call 01631 568021.