Golf: Champions facing struggle to retain Inter-Cities Cup

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ROYAL BURGESS face a stern test in their bid to retain the Inter-Cities Cup after losing the first leg 5.5-3.5 at Bishopbriggs.

John Fraser, who was two-under, and Grant Pollock mustered the only wins for the Barnton side on a day when little went well for the Edinburgh champions.

Team manager Richard Hughes said: “Brian Tait three-putted two greens running, which he will not do for the rest of the season, and Fraser McCluskey played the last hole perfectly only for Mark Liddell to hole a tramliner to take another half point from us.” The third of the halved matches saw Varun Varadharajan fight back from two down with two to play.

Match details: G McDougall halved with V Varadharajan; S Wearing bt I Taylor 2 and 1; G Johnston halved with B Tait; N McArthur lost to J Fraser 5 and 3; G Yule lost to G Pollock 2 and 1; M McPhee bt D Ross 3 and 2; I Gillan bt S Gray 2 and 1; A MacPherson bt J Yuille 2 and 1; M Liddell halved with F McCluskey.

• LOTHIANS crushed Stirlingshire 9-1 in a friendly at Haddington, where SGU squad member Danny Kay was the odd man out for the home team.

Match details: A Dick bt G Robertson 2 and 1; D Kay lost to R Campbell 3 and 2; G Robertson bt T Morrison 3 and 2; R Noon bt M Cox 3 and 2; K Nicholson bt T Beattie 4 and 3; S Armstrong bt M Hislop 6 and 5; S McGarvey bt L Blair 2 and 1; S Simants bt C Mundie 3 and 2; M Timmins bt D Fish 4 and 3; G Corrigan bt H Neilson 3 and 2.

• ALEXANDER WILSON (The Renaissance) and Anthony Blaney (Liberton) recorded a Lothians 1-2 in the Scottish Hydro Junior Tour event over Gullane No 2. The pair finished the 54-hole event locked together on five-under, with Wilson claiming victory by virtue of his better last closing round of 66.

• NORTH BERWICK’S Catriona Matthew was the leading Brit in the Kraft Nabisco, the opening women’s major of the season. She closed with a third successive 70 at Mission Hills in California to share 15th spot on 284, five shots behind winner Sun Young Yoo.