ALMOST exactly half a century ago, two young golfers from Carluke landed the prestigious Daily Record National Fourball title at St Andrews’ Old Course, the home of golf.
Three-handicappers Andrew Duncan and Andrew Brooks earned a nailbiting one up final triumph over Linlithgow duo Grant Allan and Craig Connor, in front of hundreds of spectators including busloads of folk from Carluke.
“It was a fantastic day,” said Duncan (75), of School Road, Symington.
“I remember the round couldn’t have started any better for me personally as I holed a monster 25-yard putt for a birdie on the first hole.
“We eventually won by one up on the last green, which was marvellous.”
The two Andrews won the hard way, as they were giving away eight strokes to their Linlithgow opponents.
But – roared on by around 50 Carluke GC members who’d followed their progress throughout the tournament – Duncan and Brooks produced fantastic golf.
Dormie two up by the time they arrived at the world-famous 17th – the Road Hole – the Carluke pair lost this hole by recording a bogey.
“We played the 17th poorly and my ball was up against the wall behind the green at one point,” Duncan said.
But – helped by Duncan’s mammoth tee shot all the way up to the Valley of Sin on the par four 18th – the Carluke duo made a steady par to clinch victory. This sparked jubilant scenes as Brooks’ dad and sister ran onto the green to offer their congratulations.
The Carluke golfers were then presented with a handsome Brazilian Onyx Trophy by the Daily Record sports editor.
“The trophy was like a big lump of granite,” Duncan said. We got replicas of it in the shape of an ashtray.
“When we arrived back at Carluke Golf Club, I remember we were engulfed with congratulations in the rickety old clubhouse, which was a delapidated wooden shack.
“Andrew and I then had a few lagers and ended up going outside to hit balls up the first hole in pitch darkness at 11pm.”
Duncan – who went on to become Carluke Golf Club champion in 1964, ’65, ’66 and ’75 – still plays golf today despite health problems and he managed the remarkable feat of shooting a scratch round of 69 at Biggar Golf Club as a 69-year-old.
He has fond memories of playing with plus-two wearing Australian professional golfer Rodger Davis at a Carluke pro-am in 1981.
“I shot a great round of 66 but Rodger beat me by equalling the course record of 64,” Duncan said.
“During the round, one of our playing partners – Jimmy Millar – hit his sister-in-law on the head with his drive on the 15th. Fortunately, it turned out that she was OK.
“Rodger was a funny man and – during a speech in the clubhouse later – he said it was unfortunate that Jimmy had hit his sister-in-law.
“Rodger said that it was his mother-in-law he’d actually been trying to hit!”
Brooks – who played in the 1969 Walker Cup before turning professional – played with US superstar Arnold Palmer in the third round of the 1970 Open at St Andrews.
Brooks was also club professional at Royal St George’s Golf Club for almost two decades.
Duncan added: “I’ve not seen Andrew for 25 years. He left the UK a couple of years ago to go and live in Cyprus.”