ALLYN DICK completed Edinburgh’s golfing grand slam by romping to victory in the Stuart Cup but knows he’s now landed a poisoned chalice.
The 33-year-old Kingsknowe player won Saturday’s Lothians Championship qualifier by an incredible eight shots after following a 68 at Pumpherston with an afternoon 63 at Harburn.
It gave him the missing link in his Capital collection, having already tasted success in the championship as well as the Champion of Champions, the Lothians Team Tournament and the Dispatch Trophy.
“I’m pleased to have completed the set, especially when I’ve only played in the Lothians for three years,” said Dick.
“But I believe it’s a poisoned chalice to be leading qualifier as the guys were telling me on Saturday that only one person has managed to do the double in the same year.”
Dick finished out of sight at the two West Lothian courses despite the fact he didn’t drive the ball too well and wasn’t flushing his long irons either.
“But my short game was probably the best it has ever been,” he said of needing only 23 putts at Pumpherston then 24 at Harburn.
“It was just one of those days when most of them dropped,” added the 2010 Scottish internationalist.
On a day that saw two holes-in-one – one from Turnhouse’s Steven Armstrong and the other by rising Dalmahoy star Murray Naysmith – he dropped two shots early on in the morning before holing a big swinging one at the seventh to start the juices flowing.
“I was three-under standing on the last tee and was disappointed to finish with a bogey when that’s a hole you should be picking up a shot,” he mused.
It wasn’t until the back nine in the afternoon that everything fell into place for him at Harburn, covering that stretch in six-under
“They certainly weren’t the best rounds I’ve had in terms of ball-striking but my pitching and putting was frightening,” said Dick.
He landed the Lothians title at Royal Burgess two years ago but didn’t get the chance to defend his title due to the fact he was down playing in the Lytham Trophy 12 months ago.
His opening opponent in this year’s match-play phase, which starts at Dalmahoy tonight though he’s not in action until tomorrow, is West Linton’s Sean Walter.
Musselburgh’s Benn McLeod, who had a best-of-the-day 67 at Pumpherston, and Greenburn’s Gary Corrigan finished as Dick’s closest challengers as they posted matching 19 totals.
Uphall’s Jordan Rhind, who had a 64 at Harburn, was next on 140, but he’s not available for the match-play phase, which still involves no less than three of his clubmates.
Unfortunately, two of them – former winner Colin Swanston and S Calder – have been drawn together tomorrow night, with the possibility of another Uphall man, Joe McManus, waiting for them in round two.
Armstrong, another former champion, recorded his ace at Harburn’s 15th on the way to a morning 67. He then twisted a knee in the afternoon but still qualified despite hobbling to a 77.
Naysmith, 14, also secured a spot among the 32 qualifiers helped by his hole-on-one at the 13th at Pumpherston.
Like Naysmith, Robert Carson will enjoy home advantage in the knock-out stage, which also features multiple winner Keith Nicholson, last year’s Order of Merit winner Ross Noon and Silverknowes star Graham Robertson.
Brunstfield Links’ Alan Anderson, last year’s winner at Broomieknowe, missed out, as did Lothians boys’ champion Lewis Bain and Lothians captain Keith Reilly.
Tonight: 4.45pm: G Corrigan (Greenburn) v K Nicholson (Haddington). 4.52: E Shannly (Linlithgow) v D Waugh (Baberton). 5.00: S Lockhart (Bathgate) v S Armstrong (Turnhouse). 5.07: D Miller (Duddingston) v P Drake (Pumpherston). 5.15: S Blair (Royal Musselburgh) v N Sneddon (Ratho Park). 5.22: S Simants (Dunbar) v S Murray (Harburn). 5.30: Andrew Loch (Pumpherston) v A Macphail (Ratho Park). 5.37: R Carson (Dalmahoy) v C Wood (North Berwick).
Tomorrow: 4.45pm: S Imrie (Ratho Park) v G Robertson (Silverknowes). 4.52: C Deerness (Harburn) v M Naysmith (Dalmahoy). 5.00: J Gallagher (Pumpherston) v G Thomson (Glen). 5.07: L McCathie (Turnhouse) v M Bacigalupo (Longniddry). 5.15: S Walter (West Linton) v A Dick (Kingsknowe). 5.22: S McGarvey (Glencorse) v B McLeod (Musselburgh). 5.30: R Noon (Craigielaw) v J McManus (Uphall). 5.37: S Calder (Uphall) v C Swanston (Uphall).