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Golf: North-east youngsters Fraser Laird, Oli Blackadder and Rachel Mathieson all claim national tournament wins

The promising players from Kemnay, Deeside and Hazlehead Golf Clubs, respectively, won prestigious events.

Kemnay golfer Fraser Laird.
Kemnay golfer Fraser Laird.

A trio of talented north-east youngsters came out on top at three prestigious national golf tournaments.

Scottish Boys’ champion Fraser Laird, of Kemnay, lifted the Stephen Gallacher Boys’ Invitational at Dundonald Links, while Deeside’s Oli Blackadder, 15, and Rachel Mathieson (Hazlehead) both won at Portpatrick.

Fraser, 18, recovered from an opening 77 to record rounds of 71 and 69 to race to a five-stroke success.

An opening double-bogey six to his final round was quickly dismissed as Fraser recorded six birdies to win impressively.

Fraser said “I was delighted to secure the win.

“It was an excellent venue with a good field and a number of players had an opportunity to win going into the final round.

“I struggled off the tee on the first day and had five bogeys in the last six holes, but was still only four shots off the lead.

“I shot one-under in the second round, which included four birdies and three bogeys,  to share the lead.

“Fortunately, I found my form after my opening double-bogey six to card the six birdies in the last round.”

Meanwhile, Oli carded rounds of 72, 68 and 68 at Portpatrick to secure first prize in the boys’ event by one shot from St Andrews’ Finlay Galloway.

Deeside Golf Club's Oli Blackadder in action.
Deeside’s Oli Blackadder. Image: Alan Brown

Alford Academy pupil Oli said: “I was really happy with how I played at Portpatrick – especially in tricky conditions on the last day.

“To shoot two rounds under par over the weekend is always a great way to win.

“I had just finished my last exams a few of days earlier, so enjoyed being able to go out and play without having to worrying about studying, too.

“It was a WAGR counting event, so I’m pleased to be on the World Amateur Ranking list.”

Rachel, 20 – back in Scotland after completing her second year of studies at the Lincoln Memorial University in Tennessee – took the girls’ event by three shots from Evie McCallum (Dunfermline) following cards of 70, 70 and 73.

She said: “It was great to get the win in my first tournament home from the States.

North-east golf talent Rachel Mathieson (Hazlehead) who claimed a win at Portpatrick.
North-east golf talent Rachel Mathieson claimed a win at Portpatrick. Image: Alan Brown

“The Junior Tour organised another brilliant event at Portpatrick.

“It’s been good to see my hard work starting to pay off, and the new irons I bought a few days prior really helped me get that consistency.

“I’m excited to see what else I can do in my upcoming tournaments.”

Early adversity for Aberdeen Pennant League’s reigning top-two

Defending Aberdeen Pennant League champions Royal Aberdeen lost their opening fixture at Newmachar 3-2 but bounced back with a 4-1 victory at Auchmill.

Last year’s runners-up Banchory suffered similar results with a 3-2 loss at Nigg Bay followed by a 4-1 home victory over Caledonian.

Aberdeen Pennant League


Week 1 – Section A: Caledonian 1.5, Northern 3.5; Nigg Bay 3, Banchory 2. Section B: Bon Accord 4, Auchmill 1; Newmachar 3, Royal Aberdeen 2. Section C: Deeside 5, Peterculter 0; Murcar Links 5, Craibstone 0.

Week 2 – Section A: Banchory 4, Caledonian 1; Nigg Bay 1, Hazlehead 4. Section B: Auchmill 1, Royal Aberdeen 4; Portlethen 2.5, Newmachar 2.5. Section C: Peterculter 2.5-2.5; Stonehaven 1.5, Deeside 3.5.

Tuesday’s Fixtures

Week 3 – Section A: Hazlehead v Banchory; Northern v Nigg Bay. Section B: Newmachar v Bon Accord. Section C: Craibstone v Deeside; Stonehaven v Murcar Links.


Section B: Royal Aberdeen v Portlethen.

Caledonian’s Cruickshank leads Aberdeen Links Seniors’ championship

Alex Cruickshank will take a two-shot lead into Friday’s second and final round of the Aberdeen Links Seniors’ championship.

Caledonian member Alex carded a two-under-par 69 in the opening round.

Bon Accord’s Graham Somers lies second after returning a 71 to be one shot ahead of Stewart Finnie (Caledonian) and Neil Walker (Northern).

Dave Morgan (Peterculter) leads the handicap event by three shots after returning a nett 61 off a handicap of 12.

However, Dave’s gross 73 is also tied for fifth in the scratch section alongside clubmate Scott Spiers, Dave Mullen (Caledonian) and Graeme Robertson (Northern).

Owen Reid (Northern) lies second in the handicap tournament after a nett 64 off 17.

Meanwhile, two Deeside lady members both carded a hole-in-one in the same competition.

Jayne Leith used a five-wood to ace the 133-yard 14th, while partnering Clare Billeau and Joan Mair.

Geraldine O’Donnell, who was playing with Joyce Roxburgh and Brigid Halliday, holed her tee-shot at the 152-yard 16th hole with a rescue club.

Deeside's Jayne Leith and Geraldine O'Donnell.
Deeside’s Jayne Leith, left, and Geraldine O’Donnell. Image: Alan Brown