IT WAS the championship that almost never was. But in the end, the determination of Hawick club members overcame the atrocious weather that had wiped out two championship nights and turned the Vertish into a river.
Warren Renwick won the men’s championship for a seventh time and Judith Anderson lifted the ladies’ title for an incredible 19th time with a total of eight different category winners emerging over the course of the week.
Ahead of the championship qualifying day, fears were already heightened that the event may struggle to be completed due to poor weather, and with a depressing forecast for the knockout phase of the tournament, it looked unlikely a champion would be declared. But the green light was given and in incredibly difficult conditions the scores were among the highest in the history of the tournament.
On Monday the course was beginning to buckle under the constant downpour, with at least one of the holes under water. And as the rain refused to relent, Tuesday and Wednesday were cancelled and an emergency planning meeting was held on Wednesday evening.
With a great deal of creativity and a huge level of understanding from competitors and green staff, the Thursday went ahead with 20 different ties being played throughout the day. And a rush of ties between Friday and Saturday morning ensured that finals day went ahead.
In the championship, the two leading qualifiers, Renwick and Allan Ballantyne, found themselves squaring up to each other in a mouth-watering 36-hole contest. En route to the final, Renwick disposed of Ross Williams, Kevin Inglis and former champion David Martin.
Ballantyne was drawn against his son Adam in the first round, rising star Jamie Tinlin in the quarter-finals and Craig Neish in the final four.
In a final of high quality golf and top class sportsmanship, Renwick was ahead by a single hole at the halfway stage before securing the title at the 33rd in the afternoon.
Stuart Drysdale won the Gold Vase beating defending champion Gary Brown. Teenager Kyle Brunton showed real prospects as he defeated newcomer Steven Walker in the Bronze Trophy.
And Keith McCredie lifted the senior title after edging out Colin Turnbull.
In the ladies’ section’ Anderson maintained her stranglehold on the championship with a strong performance against Lynne Douglas. Shona Cavers emerged as the bride and Laura Spalding the bridesmaid in the ‘B’ championship.
In the junior section, Connor Brunton won his first title when he closed out the 36-hole final against Harry Forsyth. While in the ‘B’ final, Fraser Renwick defeated youngster Calum Shields, who only joined the club earlier this season.