REINSTATED amateur Greg Nicolson helped Mortonhall pull off the best result in the opening round of matches in this season’s Edinburgh Summer Golf League.
They also saw newcomers Longniddry make a winning start and buoyant Broomieknowe maintain the feelgood factor at the Bonnyrigg club.
Mortonhall won 5-3 at defending champions Bruntsfield Links, where Nicolson marked his return to the ranks with a 4&3 win over Stuart McLaren.
Other victories for the visitors came from Duncan Hamilton, Rob Main, Martin Hopley and Martin Fitheridge.
“A fantastic start to our campaign,” said Mortonhall team manager Graeme Stark. “The quality of the golf was very high – excellent in fact – considering the chill factor.”
Admitting it hadn’t been the best of starts for Bruntsfield Links, opposite number Douglas Livingstone said: “Our next two fixtures are away at Craigmillar Park and Prestonfield and we have to take something out of these two games to get us back on track.”
Longniddry marked their first match since joining the ESL with a 6-2 home success against Merchants.
“The board voted without hesitation to accept the position in the league when we found out there was a vacancy,” said Longniddry captain Alistair Robertson. “We have a squad of 22 players off handicaps of two and under and I believe we have a great chance of success in this league.”
Bidding to add to three recent title triumphs, Broomieknowe also made home advantage count to win 4½-3½ against Dalmahoy, even though newly-crowned Lothians champion Sean Marc went down on the last to Murray Naysmith in a cracking contest that saw both players pitch in for wins.
Kevin Hastings, the last Broomieknowe player to claim the Lothians title before Marc, won for the hosts, as did Kenny Smith, Niall Webster and Colin Renton with Jamie McIntosh gaining a half point.
“We have found Dalmahoy a difficult team to beat in the past both home and away so this was a welcome win to start the season,” said Broomieknowe team manager Scott Porter.
West Linton, last year’s beaten finalists, made a winning start, as did Royal Burgess, who launched their bid to reclaim the title with a hard-earned 4½-3½ victory at Murrayfield, where John Yuille came out on top against David Douglas in the decider.
Duddingston, Prestonfield, Royal Musselburgh and Turnhouse were other opening-week winners while Newbattle drew at Liberton.
Longniddry 6, Merchants 2: M Bacigalupo bt A George 6&5; N Glen bt R Craig 4&2; P Henderson lost to A Helm one hole; D Connolly lost to D Murray 2&1; C Farrell bt M Leitch 5&4; N Aiken bt Andrew Brown 3&2; C Pattison bt Alistair Brown two holes; K Girdler bt D Francis 7&5.
Liberton 4, Newbattle 4: K Cantley bt S Thorburn 2&1; J Chaney lost to S Stables 3&2; I Neilson lost to G Reid 2&1; M McAdam bt C Muir one hole; D Eardley lost to D Paterson one hole; C Munro lost to F Jervis one hole; G Scott bt S Rutherford 2&1; J Hunter bt J Hunter 2&1.
Prestonfield 6, Craigmillar Park 2: A McHardy bt P Logan one hole; S Johnston bt B Nelson 5&4; A Stewart lost to B Davies Jnr 4&3; K Wood bt J Hall 2&1; JJ O’Neil bt I Rooney 2&1; F Murray bt I Welsh 4&3; R Myles bt C Fleming 3&2; I Highley lost to A Utterson 3&2.
West Linton 5, Baberton 3: N Barr bt S Marshall 7&6; S Walter bt S Carmichael 3&1; S MacKay bt A Macphail 5&4; G Turner lost to D Waugh 4&3; P Neil lost to C Malone 2&1; A Stott bt M McKay 6&5; P Taylor lost to J Downie 3&2; S Walker bt T Cannon 3&2.
Duddingston 5, Silverknowes 3: D Miller bt S Garrioch 4&3; S Smith bt C McWatt 5&4; C Scott lost to K Reilly 2&1; P Heggie lost to T Caldwell 3&2; G Thomson lost to C Scott 2&1; G Santana bt M Paterson 3&2; D Graham bt C Milligan one hole; D Williams bt K Alexander 5&3.
Turnhouse 6, Musselburgh 2: L Bain bt M Chambers one hole; C Davidson bt T Cordery 4&3; R Moffat bt C Niemietz 2&1; P Pentland bt E Macdonald 5&4; S Armstrong bt L Bain 2&1; G Leitch bt D Murray one hole; D Imrie lost to B McLeod one hole; T Cadger lost to C Burgess 2&1.
Royal Musselburgh 5, Glencorse 3: C Ratcliffe lost to S McGarvey 2&1; R Colquhoun lost to D Thomson one hole; S Cunningham halved with E Walker; C Johnstone bt Justin Lamb one hole; K Fee halved with K Carson;
J Hall bt S Reid 6&4; C Mackie bt Jordan Lamb 7&6; S Blair bt I Melville 4&3.
Murrayfield 3.5, Royal Burgess 4.5: A Ni bt S Buckley 3&2; D Marshall lost to J Lockie 3&2; S Mackay halved with S Cochrane; C White lost to M Pennycoat; S Macrae lost to P McCallum 5&4; C Stuart bt B Mitchell one hole; J Morrison bt S Gray 3&2; D Douglas lost to J Yuille 2&1.
Broomieknowe 4.5, Dalmahoy 3.5: S Marc lost to M Naysmith one hole; J McIntosh halved with R Smith; A Sim lost to S Murray 2&1; K Hastings bt S Lees 7&6; C Renton bt K Messer one hole; K Smith bt A Mason 4&3; S Reid lost to B Muir 3&1; N Webster bt D Marshall 4&3.
Bruntsfield Links 3, Mortonhall 5: K Cattanach bt R Paterson 6&4; S McLaren lost to G Nicolson 4&3; R Brydon lost to D Hamilton 2&1; J Liddel lost to R Main 3&1; A Ritchie lost to M Hopley 3&2; D McIntosh bt C Timms one hole; R Philips bt S Scott 3&2; D Miller lost to M Fitheridge one hole.