A MAGNIFICENT score of 46 points earned Esme McRae the top prize in the Lady Captain’s Day stableford competition at Helensburgh Golf Club.

Thirty-three golfers competed in glorious conditions which were reflected in some fine scoring, with Esme triumphing by a margin of three points from runner-up June Haggarty, last year’s lady captain.

Katy Rogers finished in third place with 39 points, while Murray Waddell’s score of 30 points won him the gents’ prize.

Anne Riding, this year’s ladies section captain, presented Esme with the trophy at the close of play, with the ice-cold Pimms waiting for the golfers when they finished their round appreciated by all.

Meanwhile, Helensburgh’s golfers are scrambling to qualify for this year’s club championships.

There are six qualifying medal rounds with the best two scores counting for one of the 12 places in each class.

The July Ormond Medal was the penultimate qualifier and several players returned scores to enhance their chances of making it through to the matchplay competition.

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The top two qualifiers in the first class section, Peter Haggarty, a 13-times Helensburgh champion who won his first title way back in 1993, and Terry Smith, were unchanged, but Dominic Taylor’s 74 pushed him into third place, and Graeme Proud’s 72 moved him to fourth in the standings.

Other significant moves into the qualifying places came from Craig Robbie, with a round of 72, and Jack Armstrong with a 74.

Last year’s gents’ champion, Shey Donald, currently lies outside the qualifying places, and needs a good score in the final qualifying round if he is to defend his title in the matchplay stages.

In the second class category, John Ford currently enjoys a comfortable advantage at the top of the rankings with scores of 77 and 79.

Yuen Hawes’ score of 77 pushed him into third place, and Malcolm Hyatt’s 81 moved him into the top 12 with one counting medal round to come.

The fifth qualifying medal round brought no changes to the potential 12 qualifiers in the third class section, with Derrick Nash remaining top of the group with two counting scores of 87.

The annual gents’ Midway Open attracted a field of 99 golfers from clubs throughout Scotland, but it was local players who took the top places.

Helensburgh members Caleb Phipps and Alan Birnie both scored 39 stableford points, but Caleb was declared the winner after a countback.

Two other Helensburgh members, Peter Mundie and Russell Graves, finished one point behind taking third and fourth places respectively.