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Golfer to enter Brora Five Day Open for 50th consecutive time in golden anniversary of appearances

By Will Clark

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GOLDEN golfer Alistair Risk will compete in his 50th consecutive Brora Five Day Open when he takes to the fairways next week.

Alistair Risk and Tom Watson
Alistair Risk and Tom Watson

His lifelong love affair with the tournament and the golf course itself will continue when he competes in the competition which starts on Monday.

Having taking part in the first tournament 50 years ago, Risk (76) has not missed a competition since.

Originally from Dumfries, his association with the golf club goes back further to when he was nine-years-old, first playing at the course in 1954 when he won a box of Turkish Delight.

Risk has clocked up all 49 consecutive entries – sometimes overcoming considerable obstacles to being there.

He retired to Brora 16 years ago after a career at working at hotels at major golf courses.

He said Brora is the one course which has always held a special place in his heart and saw him move north.

“I came here as a nine-year-old on holiday with my parents and that was a long time ago in 1954. I’ve been back to the village every year and always enjoyed the golf and everything about the place.

“Early in my married life we decided Brora is where we wanted to retire to.

“We adjusted our lives and holidays around the golfing tournaments that were popular in the various decades.

“When they announced the Brora Five Day Open was going to happen, we changed our holidays earlier into August so we could compete in it.

“I retired up here 16 years ago to live here full time, I was on the committee and became the longest-serving president, but I stepped down three years ago to enjoy Brora and my golf as the best I can.”

Risk holds the record number of appearances at the tournament with Sandy Sutherland second with 37 appearances.

During his association with the club, he is proud to have seen Brora’s reputation as a golf course earn international recognition.

“Visitors’ income is almost 500 per cent of what it was when I moved up here 16 years ago,” said Risk.

“It means they can employ more staff and the course is in a better condition.

“Members get to play a course that is not just a wonderful village golf course, but internationally-recognised in the standard international golfers expect to play.”

Risk has qualified on at least 35 occasions reaching finals and semi finals but has never won the main event.

However in 1975, he won the McRobert Thistle Cup for the first-class handicap section beating British Universities Champion Ross Dawson in the final.

While always being in it to win it, Risk says he would be delighted if someone in the family was able to lift the trophy next week saying it would be a proud moment.

“My son Alistair and grandson Ethan are coming up from Liverpool and Southport to play in the tournament,” he said.

“It would be nice to qualify, if I could do that, I would think God is in heaven.”

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