Venue: Newmachar
Date: 14 November
Weather: Fine and warm no rain
Greens: Summer
Mats: No
Preferred Lies: Yes

This morning I feel like Spiderman at the end of one of his many adventures. This is because I?ve defeated a significant nemesis. Peter Parker may have got the better of the Green Goblin and Dr Octopus but in my mind that?s nothing. I?ve vanquished the mighty Hawkshill Course at Newmachar.

Prior to heading to Newmachar yesterday my hopes of a good performance were scant. I haven?t been in particularly good form and Newmachar is a testing course where I?ve never had a decent score. Although the weather was unusually clement the course conditions were extremely challenging. The place was absolutely saturated and the fairways were almost entirely casual water. As a result there was no run, it was easy to catch iron shots fat and a good number of balls were lost as they plugged in the rough. I wasn?t surprised to hear there were 28 NRs in a field of 93.

After making bogey at the first I feared another bad day. A run of bogey, bogey, double at 7,8,9 and my fears seemed to have been confirmed. But three birdies in a row at the start of the back nine got me back into the hunt. I held it together reasonably well and putted out on the 18th for a four over par 76. I was fairly happy with the round but certainly not elated. I felt I?d left at least four or five shots out there.

Going to hand in my card I was astonished to see I was joint leader. Apparently everyone had struggled with the wet conditions. None of the later starters could beat my score so I finished as co-winner. It?s the first time I?ve ever won the Alliance. Arriving home I was disappointed by the lack of fanfares and there was no sign of a ticker tape parade through the streets of Kincardine O?Neill. I?m sure I?ll receive some sort of honour in the next few weeks, maybe a street named after me?

The victory has confirmed an Alliance theory Stu and I have: our best chance of winning comes when conditions are at their worst. In good weather with a dry course it seems three or four under par is needed for a win. That tends to be beyond our scoring powers. On the other hand, high winds, driving rain or winter greens is a leveller giving us a chance. We?re heading to Turriff next week: a notoriously soggy course. I?m hoping for winds gusting to Gale Force 8 with the occasional snow flurry.