Sam and Jim are driving force at Islay Open

Bunker action from the Kilchoman Islay golf Open held at Machrie Golf links earlier this month.

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The weekend of May 6, 7 and 8 saw the return of a full strength
Kilchoman Islay Open golf tournament take place at Machrie Golf links.

The field was made up of players from Scotland, England, Ireland, USA and Germany giving a final entrant number of 155.

The competition is played over three days with everyone getting the chance to get to grips with the course during Friday’s practise round which can be vital for first timers.

Played in two different sections of scratch scoring and handicap scoring, the real competition got underway on the Saturday with match secretary Iain Shaw alongside trusty lieutenant Brian O’neill teeing off first.

Scoring on Saturday was of a  high standard in ideal golfing conditions. The first day came to a close with late Friday call-up Jim Rozga shooting a very impressive nett 63, leading from Richard Bergant nett 67 and Iain Shaw nett 68.

Saturday’s scratch section saw former club captain and 2019 winner Sam Johnston shoot an outstanding three under par 69 to lead from Ryan Foley 73 and David Cardwell (Hamilton) 74.

Anyone who plays golf at the Machrie knows that no two days are the same and this provided the case on the Sunday with a stiff south easterly testing the players’ ability.

In the handicap section overnight leader Jim Rozga produced a very strong nett 70 to hold off any challengers.

Result: 1 Jim Rozga (133); 2 Stewart Croll (West Kilbride 135); 3 Gordon Hyslop (143); 4 Sam Graham (143).

In the scratch section there was only one change to the top four with George Middleton producing a strong second round to put himself into the prizes.

Sam Johnston’s round on Saturday followed up by a steady 77 on Sunday provided too much for anyone to overcome.

Result: 1 Sam Johnston (146); 2 Ryan Foley (152); 3 George Middleton (155); 4 David Cardwell (155).

Thanks were given to all the volunteers, The Machrie Hotel and Dean Muir and his greenkeepers with a special thank you to David Foley of the Machrie pro shop for always being on hand to give help and advice in the running of the competition.

A final mention went to Kilchoman Distillery for sponsoring the event.

‘Without Anthony and Kilchomans backing it wouldn’t be possible to make the event the success it is,’ said match secretary Iain Shaw.

Booking for next year will open around mid to late September.