Monday, September 18, 2023

THE AYRSHIRE JUG - Pollock's take inaugural mixed greensomes title to Skelmorlie

2023 Ayrshire Jug winners
Billy & Gilliam Pollock
Gillian & Billy Pollock (Skelmorlie) are the inaugural winners of The Ayrshire Jug as the mixed greensomes knockout competition winners, following a single hole victory in the final, played at Rowallan Castle GC on Friday the 15th of September.

The Skelmorlie duo faced Jean and Ken Capes (Largs) in the final and were giving four shots to their opponents. 

The opening two holes were halved, Gillian Pollock holing a good putt from fifteen feet at the first and Ken Capes rolling his birdie effort at the par three second hole to within a foot of the hole.

The Largs duo took the lead in the match at the par five third after both pairings found themselves with lengthy putts for par, negotiating the green in two putts while the Skelmorlie couple took three to hole out, but a par four at the fourth was enough for the Pollock's to square the match.

The fifth was halved in par threes before the capes' went ahead again after six, when their opponents, who were giving a shot at the hole, were unable to get up and down from a greenside bunker for a par.

A par was good enough for the Largs pair to extend their lead to two holes at the seventh after their opponents three putted the green and two halved holes completed the outward nine, with Jean and Ken Capes turning for home with a two hole lead.

The finalists
with AGA Secretary Alasdair Malcolm

The match seemed to swing very much in the Capes' favour at the tenth when Ken played an excellent chip over a greenside bunker to within twelve inches of the hole to set up a winning par three and put his side three holes ahead with eight holes to play.

After the eleventh was halved, the Pollock's reduced the deficit to two holes at the twelfth with a winning par four after their opponents took two shots to escape a greenside bunker but greenside bunker trouble for the Pollock''s at the thirteenth resulted in the capes' lead being restored to three holes, with five holes left to play.

The fourteenth hole proved to be a turning point when both Ken and Jean Capes lost their tee shots and the hole was eventually conceded to the Pollock's, who took full advantage by also taking the fifteenth hole after the Capes' found a greenside bunker with their approach shot, to reduce the match deficit to a single hole, with three to play.

The Capes' received their final shot at the sixteenth hole but despite this handicap, the Pollock's had a great opportunity to win the hole and square the match, before letting the chance slip by taking four to get down from just off the green to allow ken capes the opportunity to hole from two feet to secure a halved hole and maintain his sides single hole lead with two to play.

At the par three seventeenth the Skelmorlie pairing found the green with the Largs couple short in one, and two putts were sufficient for a winning par for the Pollock's to square the match for the first time since the fifth hole.

And so the match progressed to the final hole all square. After three shots both pairs were short of the green and with the increasing pressure of the occasion there followed a couple of uncharacteristic loose shots to the putting surface, but ultimately, after the Pollock's had holed out, Ken capes was left with a ten foot putt to half the hole and take the match into extra holes. Despite a good putt, ken's effort stayed above ground, resulting in Billy and Gillian Pollock taking the lead in the match for the first time, and most importantly, with no holes left to play, giving them the inaugural win in the Ayrshire Jug competition.

At the conclusion of the final Ayrshire Golf Association Secretary Alasdair Malcolm presented vouchers to both teams before handing over the trophy to Billy and Gillian Pollock to take back to Skelmorlie as the first winners.   

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