Dispatch Trophy: Neil Sneddon looking to wind back the clock

John Fraser
John Fraser
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Neil Sneddon is back at The Braids chasing Dispatch Trophy glory – 27 years after picking up a gold medal on his last appearance in the Edinburgh Evening News event.

Sneddon is in the Royal Burgess team through to the last 16 in the golfclubs4cash-sponsored tournament, having joined forces with Grant Heeles, John Fraser and Angus Rigby to beat Harrison Generations in Sunday’s second round.

Neil Sneddon

Neil Sneddon

“That maintains my 100 per cent record in the Dispatch,” declared Sneddon afterwards, “as I have not played since helping Harrison win it back in 1992!”

Six-time winners Silverknowes stand between Royal Burgess and a quarter-final place when the 120th staging of the event resumes tonight.

“We have a few good boys at the club at the moment, so we thought we’d give it a bash this year,” added Sneddon a club champion at Royal Burgess, Ratho Park and Turnhouse over the years, of the Barnton club making just a second appearance in the event.

Fraser, who replaced Malcolm Pennycott for that second-round tie, is also enjoying his return to the tournament, having previously represented Barnton Hotel. “It’s a good few years since I was last up here,” admitted the Scottish Senior cap, “but, as always, I loved it out there.”

Also enjoying himself is American Darren Kilfara, who has helped Dunbar make it to the third round on his debut in the Edinburgh Leisure-run tournament.

“I love foursomes and I also like the quirky architecture of this golf course,” said Kilfara, who worked for Golf Digest magazine in the US before coming to Scotland to study at St Andrews University for a year, writing a book, A Golfer’s Education, around that.

“The Braids is pretty special and, on one of the occasions I played it before this event, I remember being seven-under after 12 holes yet was trailing at that point,” added Kilfara, who now lives in Dunbar.

Of all the teams still standing, Edinburgh Leisure are probably the most excited as they prepare to take on newcomers Sunflower Financial Planning, a team made up of four Duddingston members.

“It has been great so far,” admitted Edinburgh Leisure’s Matty Harper of beating Hailes A and BBT. “We played in the Edinburgh Municipal Winter League since going out in the first round last year and that is definitely helping us.”

Gregor Munro, who won two bronze medals when playing for Heriot’s in the past, is hoping Sunflower Financial Planning make it to the first tee tonight without any hiccups.

“Jonny Blurton, who had been at a wedding was still in his bed at 7am on Sunday and was just coming out of the car after Stuart McLean had done his Nigel Mansell bit when our match was being announced,” said Munro of his team almost being DQd before beating Stephen Gallacher Foundation.

Tuesday’s ties: 4.30pm Edinburgh Leisure v Sunflower Financial Planning; 4.40pm Dirleton Castle v Harrison; 4.50pm Mortonhall v Kilspindie; 5.00pm Murrayfield v Stewart’s Melville FP; 5.10pm Lothians Boys v Turnhouse; 5.20pm Ye Monks of Ye Braids v Munro Heating; 5.30pm Lochend v Dunbar; 5.40pm Silverknowes v Royal Burgess.