STEPHEN DONALD played one of the rounds of his life to secure a place in the matchplay stages of the club championship battle at Helensburgh Golf Club.

His gross 73 in the final qualifying round secured him a place in the final 12 and a tie in the first knockout phase against his nephew Shey, the current club champion.

Meanwhile, Russell Makeham’s round of 74 also earned him a place among the dozen players who will battle it out for the title.

The four seeded players in the knockout stages of the competition include two former champions, Peter Haggarty and Keith Baird, alongside Scott Barclay and Graeme Proud, with all four receiving a bye into the quarter-finals.

Haggarty’s round of 68 gave him the top seeding, though he is in the same half of the draw as both Baird and reigning champion Donald, the only three past champions to qualify for the matchplay stages. Barclay is the top seed in the other half of the draw.

Colin Downie had the lowest round in the second class section of the final qualifier; his 81 earned him a place in the matchplay stages, where the four seeds are Stuart Horne, Craig Stirling, John Ford, and Stuart Leach.

Harry Fazal secured his place in the third class matchplay stages with a gross 89; the top seeds in this class are Stewart Fraser and Graham Thorley.

The matchplay stages will unfold over the next three weeks, culminating in finals day on Sunday, August 14.

Meanwhile, the Midway Open competition attracted 95 entries, including many visitors, but it was local members took the two top spots.

Jason Coyle, playing off a handicap of 24, produced an outward nine of 36, two over par, and although he could not maintain that stunning golf in his back nine he was still a comfortable winner with 44 stableford points, three ahead of runner-up Stephen Ford.

Craig Stirling, John Graham and James Petro took first, second and third class honours respectively in the July McDonald medal, while Mike Tait kept his cool in soaring temperatures to win the latest Monday 11-hole medal with 26 points.

In the ladies’ section, the popular Ardardan Tri-Am attracted 90 players, with Doreen Sneddon, Liz Inglis and Anne Riding coming out on top with 85 stableford points.