The match between Barassie and Cathkin is steeped in history and tradition, going back more than ninety year. Played annually at alternative venues, the encounter has always been a keenly contested affair.
On Sunday, three pairings plus the Captain's match left the sunny shores of their idyllic Links and headed for the lofty heights and rolling plains of North Lanarkshire, where the thinner air was sure to make the ball fly further (or is that Switzerland?)
The match is played as a scratch format with no strokes engaged, with the exception of the Captain's match, this being seen as more of a social encounter.
The first hole sees a blind tee-shot to a narrow landing area and witnessed three fairway-splitting drives, the exception being the Vice Captain who elected a more intriguing if not scenic route down the left. Being stroke index three, the ploy was to hit the green in three an putt for at best a par four, gross or net. The outcome nevertheless was a halve.
THE EARLY ADVANTAGE GOES TO CATHKIN
Back-to-back birdies at holes three and four gave Cathkin a two lead. A dinky little par three, populated by a few of our feathered friends, who could have been flown in specially for the day from 'www.rentaswan.com' was halved, before Barassie reduce the deficit with a superb birdie on the 506 yard par five sixth. Though Cathkin immediately hit back with a birdie at uphill and difficult seventh, it was honours even at eight and another immaculately made birdie putt by the Vice Captain at the ninth, to again reduce the lead.
The score at the turn is Cathkin one hole to the good, but all to play for!