Monday, October 03, 2011

AYRSHIRE FOURBALL CHAMPIONSHIP - Kilbirnie pair take county title

2011 Ayrshire Fourball Champions
Barry O'Rourke & Robert Nairn (Kilbirnie Place)
The Kilbirnie duo of Barry O'Rourke and Robert Nairn are the 2011 Ayrshire Fourball Champions, after a closely fought final against Bert Payne & Kevin McCormack of Ardeer, which took place at on Sunday 2nd October.
(Report by John Nordbo)

This year’s final was hosted by West Kilbride Golf Club and featured Ardeer, represented by Bert Payne and Kevin McCormack, versus Kilbirnie, represented by Barry O’Rourke and Robert Nairn. The conditions were wet with a slight south-westerly wind to spice things up.
Despite the testing conditions Kilbirnie came roaring out of the traps and were 3 up after three, having birdied all of them. Ardeer had proved themselves as doubty fighters in previous rounds and today was to be no different. They fought back at the par 3 fourth followed by another win at the 5th. After a half at the sixth Ardeer came good again at the 7th to square the game. Kilbirnie recovered their lead at the 8th and remained 1 up at the turn.
It was proving to be a worthy final and the group of supporters was growing. Sunshine was breaking out and perhaps this helped Kilbirnie because they won the next 2 holes to restore their 3 hole lead. Halves followed at the 12th, 13th and 14th and looked most likely at the 15th but Barry missed a 3ft putt to allow Ardeer to win the hole. The 16th was halved and it looked very ominous for Ardeer at 17th until Kevin sank a 12 footer from off the green for a birdie and bring the game back to 1 up.
2011 Ayrshire Fourball Finalists
Bert Payne, Kevin McCormack, Barry O'Rourke & Robert Nairn
Onto the last and the tension could be felt. Four good drives meant the second shots were key. For Ardeer, Bert hit the green but was 30ft short of the flag. Kevin hit a similar shot and was just inside Bert. For Kilbirnie, Barry had drifted off to the right and was just short of the green while Robert was pin high but some 18 ft to the right of the pin. Barry’s chip was excellent and left him 3ft. Kevin was next and his putt went some 5ft past. Bert’s turn and he was stroking at this hole. A terrific long putt left him a tap in which was conceded-Nett birdie! It was all on Robert, he needed to hole his putt but it skimmed the hole. Extra holes.
Back down the 1st and par 4s meant a halved hole. At the second the adrenalin must have been pumping because Barry, Robert and Kevin all drove through the semi dogleg into longer grass down the left side while Bert who had played shorter, had a difficult lie on the banking down the right. Both Ardeer players missed the green, one long and one short, while Barry, for Kilbirnie had played a wonderful recovery shot which would have guaranteed at least a four. The Ardeer players were unable to get up and down and conceded the hole and match to Kilbirnie.

It had been an excellent final between two sporting and talented teams and it really was a case that it was a pity there had to be a loser. The presentation took place in the clubhouse and the players expressed their thanks to West Kilbride for hosting the final and their appreciation of the quality of the course given the recent heavy rains.

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