Dispatch Trophy: Old classmates steer Heriot’s Quad to victory at The Braids

Old class-mates Innes Christie and Dave Campbell enjoyed earning top marks on the golf course as they joined forces to taste victory in the 121st Dispatch Trophy at The Braids.

By Martin Dempster
Sunday, 12th June 2022, 6:24 pm
Updated Sunday, 12th June 2022, 9:15 pm

“We’ve known each other since we were 12 and both playing off 36,” said Christie as the pair celebrated Heriot’s Quad claiming the coveted prize for the first time in tandem with John Archibald and Scott Johnston.

Campbell and Archibald had both been part of a triumphant George Heriot’s FP top team in 2017, with Johnston also having tasted victory in the past with Scottish Life.

But it was a first gold medal in the Golfclubs4cash-sponsored event for Christie, hence why he was wearing a smile as wide as Princes Street after holing the winning putt in a 5&3 success

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Heriot's celebrate winning the trophy.Picture: Scott Louden

“I never thought it was going to happen,” admitted the 57-year-old, who had also played for West Mains and Observers before finding himself representing Heriot’s Quad in his most recent appearances.

“I was not even meant to be playing this week as I’m up to a five handicap and am on the periphery these days due to the fact we have so many youngsters coming through.

“But I can still play okay on a short-ish course like this one and I tend to be a good putter, which always helps up here.”

In winds gusting to 40mph, Christie, ironically a Mortonhall member these days, feared the worst when he was unable to convert a putt on the 18th green in the semi-finals against Hailes A.

Dave Campbell of Heriot's. Picture: Scott Louden

But, after eventually squeezing through at the 19th, he was delighted to deliver the goods when the spotlight fell on him in the title decider.

“It was so tough in the wind, especially toward the end of our semi-final when you could hardly stand up,” he said. “But, with that putt at the 17th in the final, I knew the line from the morning and it was great to see it drop.”

Fellow 57-year-old Campbell – all four members of the winning team are retired – was equally pleased as they finished three up at the front against Alex Main and Graeme Clark.

“Absolutely fantastic,” said Campbell, who is down to a career-best +1 at Ratho Park, though now plays most of his golf at Gullane and Dunbar, in summing up what it meant to him to win the prize again.

Innes Christie on the tee for Heriot's. Picture: Scott Louden

“It is always brilliant when you win an event like this for the first time, but I just said to Archie that this is probably better because we are the ‘soclal’ team!”

It was Archibald’s fourth triumph in total, having also been in two winning Westermont teams when he was a Merchants member.

“I think so as I am getting on,” said the 64-year-old, who now plays at Luffness and also Archerfield Links and is off 0.8, in reply to being asked if this success was the sweetest.

He’d joined forces with John Liddel in the opening couple of rounds before teaming up with Johnston in the latter stages of the Edinburgh Leisure-run event.

Scott Johnston of the Heriot's Quad on the tee in the Dispatch Trophy final at Braid Hills. Picture: Scott Louden

“Up here experience counts for so much,” he added. “At the 16th, for example, I said to both John and Scott that they should take a driver and an 8-iron up to the tee and wait and see where our opponents hit their shot. And we did use an 8-iron!”

Johnston’s first win with Scottish Life came back in 1991 - two years after he’d been a losing finalist against a Westermont team that included Archibald.

“This one probably means more because I didn’t think I would be playing but then got called in when John Liddel got to the final of the Bruntsfield Links seniors’ championship,” said the 58-year-old, who is off two at Prestonfield.

In losing the final, Mortonhall tasted defeat in the event for the first time after recording back-to-back wins in 2018 and 2019.

“We are obviously disappointed,” admitted Ian Dickson, who, in addition to Clark and Main, was on duty with Duncan Hamilton and Bill Buchan during the week.

“But, at the same time, it’s been great to have made the final three years in a row and we’ll be back to try and win it back.”

Old school mates David Campbell and Innes Christie line up before their Dispatch Trophy final match against Mortonhall. Picture: Scott Louden

RESULTS

Semi-finals

Mortonhall (G Clark and A Main 8; D Hamilton and I Dickson 0); Edinburgh Leisure (M Craigie and R Brown 0; K Craigie and M Harper 1). Mortonhall won 7&6

Hailes A (N McCulloch and S McCulloch 0; A Mackay and G Malone 0); Heriot’s Quad (I Christie and D Campbell 0; J Archibald and S Johnston 0). Heriot’s Quad won at 19th

Final

Mortonhall (G Clark and A Main 0; D Hamilton and I Dickson 0); Heriot’s Quad (I Christie and D Campbell 3; J Archibald and S Johnston 2). Heriot’s Quad won 5&3

A victorious Heriots team celebrate winning the trophy. Left to right: David Campbell, Innes Christie, John Archibald and Scott Johnston. Picture: Scott Louden
The finalists shake hands after Heriot's clinch victory. Picture: Scott Louden
Finalists Mortonhall and Heriot's line up. Picture: Scott Louden
The Dispatch Trophy fInal comes to a conclusion. Picture: Scott Louden
John Archibald of Heriot's in action in the Dispatch Trophy fInal. Picture: Scott Louden
Picture: Scott Louden
Hailes A were the beaten semi-finalists. Picture: Scott Louden