Family affair for Steven and Nathan McCulloch in 121st Dispatch Trophy

Father and son Steven and Nathan McCulloch joined forces to help Hailes A reach the last 16 in the Dispatch Trophy after being cheered on to the first tee at the Braids by ‘Mr Kingsknowe’.

Sunday, 5th June 2022, 5:56 pm
Updated Monday, 6th June 2022, 11:05 am

As the 121st staging of the event got underway in an easterly breeze high above the capital, the McCullochs created a rare occurrence in their second-round match against Westermont.

“I was delighted to get the chance to play with him,” said 56-year-old Steven, who has competed in the Golfclubs4cash-sponsored event for 35 years, of teaming up with 22-year-old Nathan.

They finished five up at the front while Alan Mackay and Gary Malone were four up at the rear in bringing Westermont’s return to the event to an early end.

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Kingsknowe legend Graham Ewart watched the Hailes - and George Heriot's FP - teams tee off on the opening day of the 121st Dispatch Trophy. Picture: National World

Referring to Mackay, Nathan said: “I was on ‘Aldo’s’ bag the last time Hailes won the Dispatch and you definitely learn from watching these guys up here.

“It’s different when you then find yourself in that position, though, and this was my first time playing in it.”

Hailes is a club within Kingsknowe and, as always, there to see their teams teeing off was Graham Ewart, a member of the capital club for more than 70 years.

“He’s at everything and is ‘Mr Kingsknowe’,” said Mackay of the former Scottish Golf President, who illustrated his brilliant support by heading off to take in two junior events at the club later in the day.

Represented by Gary Malone, Alan Mackay, Steven McCulloch and Nathan McCulloch, Hailes A got off to a winning start in the 121st Dispatch Trophy at the Brais. Picture: National World

Hailes B had already received a bye into Tuesday’s second round in the Edinburgh Leisure-run event and, though unable to make it three out of three, Hailes C certainly went down fighting against Mortonhall.

Bidding to complete a historic hat-trick of title triumphs, Mortonhall had to dig deep but, as Ian Dickson was quick to point out, “we avoided a Hail-es storm!”

It was a good opening day for Silverknowes as three of their four teams in action all won, joining Granton Golfing Society in the third round following their bye.

Against the strongest Silverknowes side, George Heriot’s FP’s Steven Sinclair, albeit with the wind at his back, drew gasps of disbelief after hitting the 12th green from the tee with a 2-iron.

“That made me feel like Old Father Time,” admitted Keith Reilly after joining both Silverknowes 50+ and Silverknowes Young Team in progressing.

The Young Team’s front pair of Liam Stewart and Ian Leadbetter went 2-2 - eagle-birdie - at the 12th and 13th before Jack Carlin, who was playing at the rear with Aidan Renton, chipped it stiff for a match-winning birdie at the 19th.

In the final game of the day, Gregor Drummond sealed a Royal Burgess win over Tantallon A in style by pitching in for an eagle-2 at the 16th, where the flag was right at the back of the green.

Admitting he’d found it funny that Ian Jeffrey, the Royal Burgess team manager had gone off to check on what was happening in the front match, Drummond joked: “After watching me hack to round, he missed my one good shot!”

Harrison recovered from being three down at the turn to beat Merchants, while Craigmillar Park and Murrayfield were both big winners against Edinburgh Western and Colinton Mains respectively.

Making up the last 16 are Kilgour Wealth Management, Edinburgh Leisure, Harrison B and Heriot’s Quad.


First round

Edinburgh Thistle (G Bridgeman and D Anderson 1; B Anderson and I Cropley 0); Tantallon A (J Shinton and B Aitken 0; R Stevenson and A Lawson 2).

Tantallon A won by one hole

Second round

Craigmillar Park (A Fleming and G Fleming 8; D Wilson and G Hastie 5); Edinburgh Western (G Money and S Park 0; J Robertson and S McPhie 0).

Craigmillar Park won 13&12

Hailes B walked over Turnhouse

Hailes C (F Sutherland and A Law 0; J White and S McMahon 0); Mortonhall (B Buchan and A Main 2; D Hamilton and I Dickson 2).

Mortonhall won 4&3

Lochend (G Markey and A Thomson 0; J Harkins and S Cross 0); Kilgour Wealth Management (D Downing and D Miller 5; J Shepherd and A Heslop 5).

Kilgour Wealth Management won 10&8

Edinburgh Leisure walked over Stewart’s Melville FP

Silverknowes 50+ (I Connelly and I Doig 2; J Keggie and K Alexander 1); Kilgour Property Management (M McLeod and R Ramsay 0; M Roberts and S Roberts 0).

Silverknowes 50+ won 3&2

Silverknowes Young Team (L Stewart and I Leadbetter 3; A Renton and J Carlin 0); Braids United (T Greer and M Rutherford 0; A Goodwin and G Brown 3).

Silverknowes Young Team won at 19th

Colinton Mains (R Fergus and S Fergus 0; A Letton and K Brown 0); Murrayfield (L Dunlop and R Young 4; S Thurlow and S Macrae 7).

Murrayfield won 11&10

Harrison (G Ackroyd and D Munro 0; S More and B Byers 4); Merchants of Edinburgh (A Helm and R Craig 0; M Leitch and J Hunter 0).

Harrison won 4&3

Silverknowes (C McWatt and G Robertson 0; C Milligan and K Reilly 3); George Heriot’s FP (S Hall and S Sinclair 0; E Gordon and S Dickson 0).

Silverknowes won 3&1

Granton Golfing Society walked over Bank of Scotland

Westermont (A George and F Smith 0; K Roy and C Hill 0); Hailes A (N McCulloch and S McCulloch 5; A Mackay and G Malone 4).

Hailes A won 9&8

Edinburgh Western B (R Taylor and A Rennie 0; K McDonald and K McFarlane 0); Harrison B (M Hyson and S Moggie 3; G Patterson and I Ashley 4).

Harrison B won 7&5

BBT (N Anderson and J Thorburn 0; G Hunt and T Pithie 2); Heriot’s Quad (I Christie and D Campbell 7; J Archibald and L Liddel 0).

Heriot’s Quad won 5&3

Tantallon B (D Forbes and F Symon 6; G Pugh and L Brown 2); Cramond (P Heggie and C McKinstry 0; K Tulloch and S Garioch 0).

Tantallon B won 8&7

Royal Burgess (G Boyd and D Johnston 5; G Drummond and R Main 0); Tantallon A (J Shinton and B Aitken 0; R Stevenson and A Lawson 0).

Royal Burgess won 5&3