Kirkcaldy golfers celebrate winning town’s ‘Ryder Cup’

Celebrations for the victorious Kirkcaldy GC team.
Celebrations for the victorious Kirkcaldy GC team.
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Kirkcaldy Golf Club was in celebration mode on Saturday as they won back the Millennium Cup for the first time in six years.

The town’s own ‘Ryder Cup’ competition was established in 2000 as a biennial competition between Kirkcaldy and Dunnikier Park, who take turns to host the event.

The tournament exactly mirrors the Ryder Cup format with two teams of 12 competing for points across various foursomes, fourballs and singles matches.

And after three victories in a row for the Dunnikier team in 2010, 2012 and 2014, it was the Balwearie side who finally claimed back the trophy with a resounding 18-6 victory on home soil.

Kirkcaldy match secretary Mike Ewan, who also featured on the winning team, told the Press: “From our point of view, it was a fantastic tournament.

“We got a hammering last time up at Dunnikier two years ago but this time we were right up for it.

“We had countless practice sessions leading up to the event, getting all the team together and found some pairings that worked.

“Our preparation this time was far greater than it has been in the past. We’d lost the last three and needed to get back into winning ways.

“We won every single session convincingly and th team spirit this time was superb.”

Kirkcaldy’s victory ensures that they move ahead in the overall series with five wins to Dunnikier’s four.

“There was a huge amount of pressure,” Mike added.

“If they’d come down here and won again that would have put them ahead in the overall series for the first time since it started, and they’d have been crowing about that!

“We’ve stopped the rot a bit, and we did it convincingly. It was a great weekend.”

The Millennium Cup has become the town’s biggest golf event, with the lowest handicappers from both clubs desperately competing for qualification points throughout the season.

“For the low handicap golfers it’s the pinnacle,” Mike added. “Some of the guys have said it was the best two days of their golfing life.

“Those who played in it for the first time were overwhelmed by it all.”

Kirkcaldy led 4½-1½ after the Friday night fourballs and their advantage was extended to 9-2 after an equally dominant Saturday morning foursomes.

Dunnikier restored a little pride in the singles, winning four matches, but Kirkcaldy were still too strong, winning eight ties to win 18-6 overall.

“On Friday night there was a bit of rain, but we got a glorious day for it on Saturday and the course was in great shape,” Mike explained.

“The speed of the greens possibly caught the Dunnikier guys out and they found the pin placement a bit tricky.

“Home advantage certanly played its part for us in that regard.”

As always, the competition was played in friendly spirit and both teams joined the post-match celebrations in the Kirkcaldy clubhouse on Saturday night.

“It’s always played in great spirit and that’s testament to them, they took their defeat graciously, as they always do and as we always do,” Mike said. “There’s a great bond between the teams because a lot of the guys have played in it countless times.

“It’s the same core of people most years with one or two newbies, so they all know each other pretty well.

“We’re all looking forward to the next event in two years time.”

For the full breakdown of the Millennium Cup results, turn to our golf section in sports classified (pages 72-73).