Breaking his target is a big hit with Douglas
It’s been the golfing story of the summer - no, not Rory McIlroy’s unstoppable form, but Reformer reporter Douglas Dickie’s attempts to smash through the 80 barrier over 18 holes.
And he finally managed it at his home club of Blairbeth last week.
His round of 79 marked the first time he’d dropped below 80 on a course of at least a par 70 since he teamed up with Kirkhill pro, Duncan Williamson.
In truth, he’d been capable of it for quite a while, but the odd loose hole would let him down badly.
And there were still a few examples of his wavering consistency in his round last Saturday, but holing his second shot to the par four eighth hole went a long way to evening out the damage.
The challenge now will be to keep this form going and finally break the 80 mark at the longer Kirkhill track.
Douglas started his round well, birdieing the first before giving the shot straight back at the second.
He arrived on the sixth tee sitting at +3 but pushed his drive out of bounds. A pulled approach left him in heavy rough and trees but he produced a miraculous chip and putt to salvage a double-bogey.
The big moment came at the 277-yard par four eighth. He drove through the green, but produced a deft chip down the hill to hole out for an eagle.
He turned in 39 and was well on track, but he failed to set the back nine alight. Pars at 11, 14 and 16 were interspersed with bogeys, as well as a double at the 550-yard par five 15th, which was playing into a two-club wind.
The short 17th had proved his nemesis before and his tee shot found a bunker, before a fine shot left him a downhill putt from four feet. But he couldn’t capitalise and a poor drive at the 18th looked to have scuppered his chances.
He saved his best shot till last though, firing a five-iron from a poor lie 170 yards over high trees and on to the green before two-putts gave him the par he needed.
And he reckons following Duncan’s advice from a few weeks ago was the key: “The last time I was in this position, I knew I needed a par up the last and three-putted.
“This time, I thought my chance had basically gone. I wasn’t counting my score and had lost track a bit. I just wanted to finish as well as I could.
“I putted well and holed a few clutch putts for par. Plus my chip in for eagle was a welcome bonus. But I’ve actually struck the ball a lot better and I feel I still left shots out there. It should and could have been a 75 or 76 if I’m being honest.
“Hopefully I can just keep following Duncan’s advice and I’ll get there at Kirkhill too.” Douglas’s card Hole Par Score 1 4 3 2 4 5 3 4 4 4 3 4 5 4 5 6 4 6 7 5 5 8 4 2 9 4 5 Out 36 39 10 3 4 11 5 5 12 3 4 13 3 4 14 4 4 15 5 7 16 4 4 17 3 4 18 4 4 In 34 40 Out 36 39
I just wanted to finish as well as I could
Breaking 80 Douglas Dickie managed to get below 80 at Blairbeth