Northern Open at Nairn Dunbar – June 2018

It is quite sad that over the past few years now this event has ran without a sponsor. This is supposed to be the 2ndbiggest event on the Tartan Tour behind the Scottish PGA Championship, but with only 85 entries it shows that many professionals simply will not play due to the dwindling prizefund. The field used to be 150 players made up of Tartan Tour, Challenge Tour & Top Amateur golfers, but after expenses it’s only profitable by finishing in the Top 3!- I understand the lack of support.

I had never played Nairn Dunbar so it was good to get a practise round on the Monday to get a feel for the place. As I scooted round on my own I could see this was a very strategic course that required accurate driving. Very tight in places and certain sides you just could not miss the fairway. This was going to be a good challenge but I liked the course and felt I could do something round it. It was nice and calm during the practise day – never a good sign.

As I arrived for the tournament we were greeted by sunshine and blue sky and it was very warm. With a stiff breeze coming off the east it was going to be tricky but probably the easiest wind to play the course. I was playing with good young players so it was a great draw and got the chance right away to share something on the 1sttee. The Starter was just about to announce us when he came over to me and asked about the pronunciation of ‘Logos Golf Ministries’. This gave me the opportunity to go over what we do with everyone standing there and after I was finished the starter patted me on the back and said, “Good for you lad, well done”.

The front 9 was tough as we were into the wind most of the way, but the back 9 played a bit easier so some good opportunities to pick up some shots on the way in. Both Chris and Sam are quite chatty so we spoke quite a bit going round and I mentioned the Pro-Am again which Chris is definitely coming to play. We all played well coming in but I had dropped too many shots on the front to post a decent score. I would need to score under par on the second day to make the cut with there only being 30 places available.

After the round I got to chat with Chris’s friend, Ross Leeds, who is attached to Archerfield Links, and I asked him if he wanted to attend the Logos Pro-Am due to the fact that is his home course. He was more than happy to accept the offer and good to have a Professional from Archerfield present. Overall not a bad day but should really have been a few shots less.

After a good nights sleep, I was off a little earlier on day 2 so had breakfast early and headed to the practise ground. I bumped into Craig Ronald who was hitting balls just along from me and we chatted about the previous day and what was required for getting through. I knew that I would need around 2 or 3 under at least and was ready to give it a go anyway. Craig had attended the Logos Pro-Am last year and I felt he should come along again to hear Alison Nicholas so I took the opportunity to invite him again and he gladly accepted. Craig knows the story with what I do and the fact he is coming back again after hearing what Luther Blacklock had to say last year is very positive.

I was playing with Chris and Sam again so we could continue our chats from yesterday and got to know Sam a little better and his very dry sense of humour. He didn’t say much about my work after the chats from yesterday but he was impressed by the fact I am an ‘ambassador’ and thought this was very regal. As we made our way through the front 9 the boys struggled a bit, but I seemed to be the one setting the pace in the group and by the 12thhole I was under par. Chris was struggling but I gave him a quiet word and told him he was doing fine and to trust his game. He then proceeded to eagle the following hole and get himself back on track so I was glad to have helped a bit.

I knew I was still a few shots away from qualifying so needed a couple more birdies at least. Over the last few holes I missed a few 10 foot putts for birdies which would have put me in a really good position but was still in with a shout if I finished with a birdie 4 on the last hole. We were all feeling tired after another day of golf in quite blustery conditions, but we all hit decent drives and were left with mid-irons to the green. Both the boys were sitting around the 1 over par mark which was going to make it in comfortably but I was sitting at 5 over for the tournament after a bogey at 17, and knew I needed at least a birdie to finish. As I glanced at the board I could see that I now needed to make the 20 foot putt for the 3 to post 3 over for the tournament and be sure of getting through. I had a go at it anyway and unfortunately just misread the break so it left me 5 feet by the hole. I missed the return.

After play the boys congratulated me on a good second round and thought I was unlucky not to qualify with how I played. I was just hoping the cut didn’t go to 4 over as I wouldn’t have been happy 3 putting the last hole and missing by 1. The cut was 3 over, I needed the 3.

It’s disappointing to just miss it again this year but overall a very positive event with some good play and more important some good conversations. Please pray for those mentioned in this report and for the continued support of the Logos Pro-Am this year.

In his service,

Vincent

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