ANDREW OLDCORN may have travelled the world as a professional golfer but an ‘Alliance’ he formed on his doorstep around 30 years ago is still going strong.
Yesterday, at Kings Acre, members of the Edinburgh & East of Scotland Alliance played for the inaugural Andrew Oldcorn Trophy in their second event of the new season.
It was won by the man himself as the former PGA champion maintained a rich vein of form and, in the eyes of president Stevie Doyle, it was a fitting reward for Oldcorn’s support of his local Alliance.
“Andrew has played in our events for around 30 years, which is why he wanted to put up the trophy we played for at Kings Acre for the first time,” said Doyle. “His support of the Edinburgh & East Alliance is second to none in terms of the time a professional has consistently supported it and we are grateful to him for that. Another thing about Andrew is that he’s always one of the first players to pay the annual subscription and that tells you what it means to him to play in our events.”
Bolton-born Oldcorn has lived in Edinburgh for most of his life and has been attached to Kings Acre since it opened in 1997. The highlight of his career came in 2001, when he won the PGA Championship – the European Tour’s flagship event – at Wentworth. Now playing on the Seniors Tour, the 53-year-old won the De Vere PGA Seniors Championship two years ago and has been knocking on the door again on the golden oldies circuit. He’s recorded four top-tens in his last four starts, finishing runner-up on two of those occasions, one of which saw him close with a stunning 61 in Germany.
Oldcorn also produced one of the best rounds of the season on the Tartan Tour – a nine-under-par 63 on the Fidra Course at Archerfield Links that secured a five-shot win in the Ben Pro-Am. It took another low-scoring burst to see his name being the first one inscribed on the Andrew Oldcorn Trophy on a day when 85 East Alliance members congregated at Kings Acre.
Fog proved an early-morning challenge for organisers, as did some rain later in the day, with the target being set for the second event running by Drumpellier’s Ross Neill with a 68.
He was beaten into second spot again, however, as Oldcorn stormed home in 30 for a 66 that not only secured the scratch prize but also the overall one despite a late challenge from Craigielaw’s David Nicolson (Craigielaw) as he signed for a nett 67. Third in the scratch section was the unattached Stuart Pardoe, whose 70 included the shot of the day – a hole-in-one at the 14th courtesy of a six-iron.
Nicolson’s consolation was claiming the top handicap honour, the four-handicapper finishing two shots ahead of Longniddry’s Iain Wilson off two, with Harburn’s Stuart Wardlaw a stroke behind in third.
Top senior prize went to Ken Clarke, a new member from Uphall, with a nett 71 off 13.
After two events, Neill leads the scratch Order of Merit on 118 points, closely followed by Bathgate’s Louis Gaughan (111), with Longniddry duo Wilson and Duncan Martin sharing third on 106.5. Wardlaw, on 42.5 points, is out in front in the handicap standings, which see Archerfield’s Darren Love (39) and Wilson, two points further back, leading the chase.
The next outing is on October 16 at Royal Musselburgh. the reason for such a break being the Scottish Alliance Championship, which takes place in a fortnight’s time at Nairn Dunbar and Fortrose & Rosemarkie.
East members are also set for visits to The Roxburghe, Falkirk Tryst, Peebles, Dalmahoy (West) and Goswick before the end of the year, with that special ‘Alliance’ for Oldcorn likely to continue by playing in some of those events when his Senior Tour schedule permits.