RICS are hoping some ‘Paddy Power’ can help them lift the Dispatch Trophy for the first time in 40 years.
They’ve reached the last eight in the 115th staging of the Edinburgh Leisure-supported event at the Braids with a side that includes Paddy Ledingham.
“I’m a 50-year-old Dispatch Trophy virgin,” revealed the North Berwick member after last night’s 3&2 third-round win over Scottish Universities Golfing Society.
Ledingham is partnering Brian Tait, a member of the RICS side that reached the final 12 years ago and a huge Dispatch Trophy fan.
“I share a room with Brian at work and get to hear his entire 29-year history in the event by the end of a day,” joked Ledingham.
Tait’s tales no doubt include both bad and good but even he admits the contrast in weather from Sunday to last night took some beating.
“It was deluge hell one day to golf perfection the next,” he observed of a night when both the Braids and the city below showed off their true splendour.
RICS now take on Stewart’s/Melville, who also have a newcomer to the Edinburgh Evening News-sponsored event in their ranks. “Derek Millar hadn’t even played at the Braids until Saturday,” reported his playing partner, Dave Donaldson.
They eagled the 11th then birdied the 12th in a 2&1 victory over Cramond.
“We’re going to see if we can get Grant Forrest to play tomorrow night,” said team-mate Stuart McLaren, though it was unclear if he was joking or not.
Forrest, Scotland’s highest-ranked amateur, is certainly home from America but has the Scottish Stroke-Play Championship starting at Panmure on Friday.
It’s exactly 20 years since Lochend lifted the iconic trophy, but they’re edging closer to bridging that gap.
Their third-round clash against Temple Golfing Society was an all-Duddingston affair. Indeed, Lochend’s Duncan Ireland is not only the Duddy club secretary but also a Temple member. Temple brought in Lothians champion David Miller as a substitute but Lochend earned the bragging rights with a 5&4 success.
“The only time we won it was in 1994 and Neil Donaldson, who is in this team, also played then,” said Ireland. Lochend’s last-eight opponents are Heriots Quad, who recorded the joint-biggest win of the night – 8&7 against Colinton Mains.
For three members of the Heriots Quad, the event is proving an enjoyable reunion.
“Myself, David Campbell and Ian Smith were in the same class at school,” reported Innes Christie, a silver medallist with Scottish Equitable in 1997.
“We’ve played golf together since we were 12 so it’s nice that we’ve managed to get this far.”
Sandy Gilmour, the fourth member of the side, is on course to match the silver medal he picked up with RICS in 2002. Carrickvale, the defending champions, will have 2012 winners Caermount standing in their way of a semi-final spot.
Carrickvale, who welcomed back former Scottish Mid-Amateur champion Craig Elliot, didn’t get it all their own way against newcomers Gullane Comrades, but they got the job done, winning 3&2, with Elliot finishing two up at the back in tandem with Paul Cunningham. “I’ve been stretching all day – the first time in 12 years,” said Elliot. “The back was fine but I can’t really say the same thing about my golf!”
Hopes of an all-Carrickvale clash tomorrow night were dashed as their B team went down 8&7 to Caermount.
“We certainly are,” declared Martin Hopley when asked if they were now looking forward to a crack against the holders.
Edinburgh Western, the last Braids club standing, went down 5&4 to Silverknowes, who now take on Turnhouse team BBT. Tom Caldwell and Graham Robertson got Silverknowes off to a flying start by winning three of the first four holes with birdies.
Before that match came to a conclusion, though, a trigger-happy photographer almost got the Colin Montgomerie treatment from Caldwell. “Don’t push that button until I’ve hit the ball,” he told him, though perhaps without the former Ryder Cup captain’s trademark scowl.
BBT progressed with a 3&2 triumph over Kilgour Employee Benefits and will now come up against two of their Turnhouse clubmates in Robertson and Keith Reilly.