ENGLISH golfer Sam Prince captured the 108th Carnegie Shield on his first ever visit to Royal Dornoch Golf Club.
The plus three handicap Stockport Golf Club player played steadily throughout Sunday’s final to beat Muir of Ord’s John Forbes by two holes.
He was presented with the coveted Shield by newly elected club captain Professor David Bell.
Cheshire county player Prince (28) said: “Dornoch was class. I had to learn each round and learn quickly as each day it played differently.
“Early in the week I actually said it really didn’t suit my game! But I figured out how to play the back nine well for sure.
“I’ve been quite lucky to win some big events but given the length and history of the tournament it ranks highly for me.”
Prince was encouraged to enter the Shield by members at Stockport who have made the trip north.
He enjoyed the cut and thrust of the final, with Forbes uncharacteristically finding five bunkers.
“I fancied getting it done at the 15th but golf isn’t that simple,” said Prince.
“It was nice to be pushed all the way and make some shots under pressure.”
In the second round of matchplay competition, 2016 winner Forbes had ended reigning champion Chris Mailley’s hold on the famous trophy gifted to the Highland club in 1901 by philanthropist and steel magnate Andrew Carnegie.
It is one of the oldest competitions in amateur golf and Carnegie Club at Skibo Castle head greenkeeper Mailley has claimed six victories since 2009.
Mailley’s Royal Dornoch colleague Allan Cameron lost to Prince in a quarter-final head-to-head but captured the Silver Medal for club members with rounds of 66 and 68. He led the qualifiers with a 134 tally, setting a new record.
Cameron’s two round tally beat the previous record posted nine years ago by Alexander MacDonald by two shots.
Another Royal Dornoch member, Niall Campbell, was beaten by finalist Forbes in the quarter-finals.
In a high-calibre field for the week-long showpiece event, 33 players were playing off scratch or better.
In the E C Fraser final, Ohio-based Royal Dornoch member Michael Klavora – seeded 3rd after qualifying – defeated Joe Marley (Reddish Vale) 2&1.
In the Davidson Trophy final, patient winner Richard Sutherland (Brora) had to go seven extra holes in the semi-final before seeing-off Trey Wilkinson (Champions Club, Houston and Royal Dornoch). He defeated Phil Bamford (Rothley Park) in the final by 3&2.
Mark Alexander (Dunbar) was presented with a bottle of 18-year-old Glenmorangie for a rare eagle two at the par 4 18th during qualifying.