Allyn joins the LGA’s greatest

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ALLYN DICK bounced back from the disappointment of losing his Scotland spot to complete a hat-trick of Lothians title triumphs.

The Kingsknowe player claimed the Champion of Champions crown at Dunbar, beating Turnhouse representative Graham Robertson by 2 and 1 in the final.

Last year’s Lothians champion joins a select band of players to win the LGA’s two top titles and he was also in Carrickvale’s victorious line-up in the 2010 Team Tournament. “They say every cloud has a silver lining and that was certainly the case here,” said Dick, who would have been unable to play in the latter stages in East Lothian if he’d been picked for the Home Internationals in Ireland.

While “extremely disappointed” to miss out on a second successive appearance in the four-cornered event, Dick didn’t let it affect him at Dunbar. In fact, he produced two outstanding performances, first to beat host club member Stephen Easingwood, representing the Bank of Scotland, then against Robertson in the title showdown.

Two up with four to play against Easingwood, Dick lost the 15th and 16th, where his opponent holed from 16 feet for a birdie-2. But his approach at the 17th rattled the flag and he won that, and the match effectively, with a conceded birdie.

In another close affair, Robertson, last year’s Lothians Order of Merit winner, beat Haddington’s Keith Nicholson, the four-time Champion of Champions winner, on the final green in the second semi-final.

The final saw Dick establish a three-hole lead at the turn but, as in the previous round, his opponent refused to throw in the towel. Dick holed from 18 feet for a halve in birdie-3s at the 15th, but Robertson made a second birdie in succession, sinking a 15-footer, to win the next. Robertson had another chance to keep the match alive at the 17th, but missed from 16 feet with his birdie putt.

“I played fantastic in both matches,” said Dick. “Stephen got the windy conditions he’d been looking for, but that was actually right up my street, too, as I played my golf as a boy at Shotts, where the course is on the top of a hill.

“Against Graham, my gameplan was to try and hit it big off the tee and put him under a bit of pressure. It was probably the best I had played from tee to green for a long time.

“It is great to have won three big titles in the Lothians – now I’ve just got the Stuart Cup (for leading qualifier in the Lothians Championship) to cross off my list.”

Dick’s winning form has continued since the Dunbar event. He retained the Harrison Open title on Saturday morning. Then, 24 hours later, he joined forces with Kingsknowe clubmate Lorna Fraser to win the Scottish Open Mixed Foursomes at Mortonhall.

Helped by an eagle and four birdies, they shot a 72, winning by two shots from host club pairing Greg Nicolson and Rachael Watton. The Lothians Handicap Matchplay event also drew to a conclusion at Dunbar, where Torphin Hill’s Brian Anderson beat John Lawson, of Dental & Medical, by 5 and 4.