Golf: Form is temporary – class is permanent

Varun Varadharajan

Varun Varadharajan

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ROYAL Burgess bounced back in style from their first defeat in three years to overcome a tricky trip to Merchants in the latest round of matches in the Pollock (Scotrans) Ltd Edinburgh Summer League.

The Barnton men won 5-3 to get their bid for a fifth successive title triumph back on track after a rare recent disappointment in the event at Musselburgh the previous week.

“Merchants is never an easy place to go and get a result, so I was delighted with the response from our players,” said Burgess team manager Richard Hughes.

James Ross, back home for the summer from Houston, gave the visitors the best possible start in beating Richard Craig in the top match.

David Montgomery levelled the match with a comfortable win over an out-of-sorts Stephen Buckley before Ian Taylor and Brian Tait both had to settle for half points despite being dormie one up and two up on Andrew Helm and Craig Terry respectively.

John Fraser then showed all his experience in squeezing out Mike Leitch by one hole to give Burgess an edge, though the major turnaround came in match six.

Varun Varadharajan found himself four down after four holes to Adam George but birdies at the fifth, sixth and seventh, coupled with a par at the ninth, squared the match by the turn. George then birdied the tenth to go back in front but Varadharajan kept his nerve and won three of the next seven holes to shake hands on the 17th, by which time he was two-under for the holes played.

Fraser McCluskey secured the victory with a 2 and 1 success over Paul Francis before the home team got their third point of the night as Ian Woolard defeated Gordon Archibald by the same margin.

Royal Burgess now have a break until June 26, when they play Turnhouse at home.

In Section D, Prestonfield and Liberton both went into their clash with 100 per cent records – the home side having lost three out of three with the complete opposite being the case for the visitors.

Both those records remained intact as Liberton ran out impressive 6-2 winners at the same venue where they’d won a Winter League team competition earlier in the year.

Anthony Blaney chalked up his fourth win of the campaign for Liberton and finished under par once again in accounting for Scott Johnston. The shot of the night, though, was produced by team-mate David Kerr as he knocked his approach to three feet to take a one-hole lead against Neilson Rutherford.

Newbattle bounced back from their defeat at Liberton last time out to win 7-1 at home against Craigmillar Park, the same score in Section B at West Linton as the home team made it three wins in a row as they crushed Broomieknowe. “A great win,” admitted West Linton team manager Simon Mackenzie, “but we have a tough match next at home to Bruntsfield and will be missing a few players.”

Mortonhall fielded three of the winning Caermount team in the recent Dispatch Trophy, including Mark Dickson. He was sent out first against Tam Caldwell, who came out on top in a tight tussle on the last green. Both teams made late changes, with Kenny Alexander (Silverknowes) and Jamie Kennedy (Mortonhall) both coming into their respective team line-ups.

Graham Robertson bounced back from missing the cut in the Scottish Strokeplay Championship at Barassie by also recording a good win over Martin Hopley, another of the Caermount heroes.

Other wins from Paul Heggie and Chris Milligan along with halves from Keith Reilly and Kenny Alexander got the home side over the winning line in a tight match.

“We have a decent squad this season, especially with Graham Robertson returning, and hopefully will give a good account of ourselves in this year’s campaign,” said Silverknowes spokesman Stevie Adamson.