Record-breaker David nets third BIGGA National
BIGGA National Champion David Simpson of Crieff Golf Club
Brandon Stone. Ariya Jutanugarn and now David Simpson.
The Crieff greenkeeper has been added to the list of golfers to enjoy championship success at Gullane Golf Club in 2018 following a two-hole play-off against Belton Woods' Matthew Haynes.
While Brandon won the Scottish Open and Ariya the Ladies Scottish Open just a fortnight later, the BIGGA members taking part in the BIGGA National Championship sponsored by Charterhouse and Kubota had to wait until October for their taste of the action, but Gullane’s Number 2 course was in no less spectacular condition.
And David, the overnight leader, fought off tough competition in blustery conditions to become the only three-time winner of the BIGGA National Championship in its 31-year history.
The 2007, 2008 and 2018 BIGGA National Champion said: "I had a wee smile to myself when my putt went in for a birdie on the 18th because I knew nobody had won three times.
"On Sunday a group of us went out for a practice round and I came in after six holes because it was too windy. I was getting called a wimp by the guys I was playing with because I couldn't handle the wind. But after I won I had a wee smile to myself, thinking 'who's the wimp now?'!"
BIGGA Chief Executive Officer Jim Croxton said: “After the spectacular year they have enjoyed at Gullane, Stewart Duff and his team could be forgiven for being fatigued by the time BIGGA National came around in mid-October. But that couldn’t be further from the truth and Gullane’s Number 2 was truly in championship condition.
“On behalf of the association and all its members who took part in the event, I would like to thank all those at Gullane for making our members so welcome during our two days at the links. With such strong winds, I’m certain there isn’t anywhere on the course our members haven’t found themselves and yet there wasn’t a spot that was not in superb condition. I'd also like to thank our excellent sponsors Charterhouse and Kubota.
“Congratulations to Stewart and the rest of the team on a stellar 2018 and congratulations also to David for his brilliant performance in very challenging conditions. He's a very worthy BIGGA National Champion 2018.”
The 2019 BIGGA National Championship will be held at Formby and Formby Ladies in Lancashire on 30 September and 1 October 2019.
David Simpson won the championship with a combined score of 69 and 77, giving a total of 146. This tied with Matt Haynes' 74 and 72, leading to a two-hole play-off. David was victorious after shooting a birdie on the 18th, when Matt was only able to par.
In third place was Dominic Dougan of Sandyhills, while 2017 champion Chris Lamb of Newmacher came in fourth. Two-time champion Gordon Sangster of Cathkin Braes was fifth.
The BIGGA Challenge Cup, contested in Stableford format over 36 holes, was won by Terry Carver of RAF Marham, with a combined points total of 72.
In second place was Dennis Grant of Newmacher with 68 points and third was Callum Robertson of Fulford with 67 points.
The BIGGA Challenge Plate, contested in Stableford format over 18 holes on the second day of the event, was won by former BIGGA President Sid Arrowsmith MG of Frilford Heath with 35 points.
The BIGGA Challenge Bowl affiliate prize was won by Andrew Cornes of Thorntrees Amenity.
Runner-up Matthew Haynes also won the nearest the pin competition, while Anthony Duffield of Ham Manor won the second day's longest drive.
In the daily handicap prizes, Dennis Grant won the +2 to 5 category, Sid Arrowsmith won the 6 to 12 category and Terry Carver won the 13 to 24 category.
On the opening day of the championship, Callum Robertson of Fulford won the daily handicap prize in the 13+ category, while Denis Tweddell of Golf Club Schmallenberg in Germany won in the 6 to 12 category. David Simpson's score also netted him the day's handicap prize in the 5 and under category.
Scoring on the opening day’s play contributes towards the team prize, with the scores of the top four players from each BIGGA Region combined.
With a nett score of 291, Scotland and Northern Ireland was announced the winning team, comprising of David Simpson, Chris McGhee of Prestwick, Blair Shearer of Dunbar and Liam Gillie of Portstewart.
Tony Thacker of RAF Marham won nearest the pin on the 15th and Cassidy Steffens of Orsett won the longest drive on the 6th.