IT was a case of “as you were” for the Burgh’s golfers as Peter Haggarty and Gemma Canham were crowned gents’ and ladies’ champions at Helensburgh Golf Club – the third year in a row that the pair have won the club’s top individual honours.

Six finals took place in the space of a single day following several rounds of tough knockout competition, after which Peter took on Simon Barrass in the gents’ final, while Gemma faced Sarah Kemp in the battle for the ladies’ crown – the third year running that Gemma and Sarah have gone head-to-head for the prize.

The club’s championship finals day traditionally attracts many spectators, but Covid regulations put a stop to that this year – a real shame as there was some fine golf on display in perfect conditions.

In the gents’ final, Peter, who set a new club record with his 2019 championship victory, was aiming for a 13th crown, having first won the Helensburgh title a remarkable 27 years ago, while Simon was hoping to regain a prize he had won twice in the past.

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The quality of the golf reflected the pedigree of the two finalists, but the most notable fact of all was that when Peter secured his 13th championship win on the 31st hole, by a margin of 6 and 5, he was under par.

His prize was the Hood Trophy – and he might well have a permanent place for its display at home.

Gemma, meanwhile, was looking to add to her own record of five previous ladies’ championship wins against Sarah Kemp, who last won the title in 2017 and has been runner-up to Gemma every year since.

Sarah made the early running, opening up a two-hole lead after six holes, but Gemma pegged her back with excellent shot-making before taking the lead herself.

Sarah could not turn the match back into her favour and ran out of holes on the 16th, giving Gemma her sixth ladies’ championship and her third in a row – the latest achieved in the year that her dad, Ben Canham, is the captain of the club.

The club’s junior championship final also saw the 2019 winner retain his title, Lewis Tynan retaining his prize with a solid win over Jonathon Montgomery in the final.

The narrow age criteria makes it fairly unusual for young players to win more than one junior championship at Helensburgh, and Lewis will go into the club’s record books as part of a small list of multiple junior championship winners, alongside prominent names such as Colin Dalgleish, a three-time winner of the Scottish High Schools championship who went on to become Scotland’s champion amateur golfer at the age of 20.

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The Peel Trophy is contested by the club’s male golfers in the second class and this year’s final turned out to be a marathon.

The final is scheduled for 18 holes, but with the match tied at that point, the finalists, Joe Barton and Craig Stirling, returned to the first tee for a ‘sudden death’ play-off.

The only thing is that this time it wasn’t so sudden – the first eight holes of the play-off were halved before Joe was able to win the par-three ninth to take the trophy.

In the gents’ third class final, for the 1963 Trophy, 2019 winner Craig Smith retained the silverware with a good win over Danny Kemp.

The sixth final of the day, the ladies’ bronze final, saw Carol Bell win the prize for the first time with victory over Gail Waddell.

While club captain Ben Canham was there to oversee matters, he could not fulfil the captain’s usual duty of presenting the trophies to the winners, though each champion did pick up their (carefully sanitised) trophy to take home for the year.

Earlier in the week, the rearranged ladies’ Captain’s Day was held with 44 players, male and female, enjoying an event hosted by ladies’ captain Jackie Lightfoot.

Don MacDonald and David Reid tied with 40 stableford points, with Don coming out on top by virtue of a better inward half.

The best-placed lady on the day was Linda Kerr, with 37 points.

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