Six golfers win once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to play Royal Troon at R&A 9 Hole Challenge Final on the eve of The Open Championship.

Securing a place in The R&A 9 Hole Challenge Final were Susan Graham and Tommy Struthers (Blair Atholl), Andrew Graham and Alix Shepherd (Dunfermline), and Lesley Machan and Pauline Walker (Mortonhall). They'll all now compete at Royal Troon on the eve of the 152nd Open Championship later this summer. 

A total of 126 golfers gathered at the 9-hole Queensferry course over two days on Thursday 6 and Friday 7 June to battle it out for a coveted place in the Final at Royal Troon. 

This is the third consecutive year that Dundas Parks has hosted The Scottish Golf R&A 9 Hole Challenge, having previously hosted the event in 2021 and 2022. Located on the outskirts of South Queensferry, the gently undulating course enjoys beautiful views of Edinburgh and the Pentland Hills and comprises a mixture of short par 3s protected by trees and bunkers as well as challenging, long narrow holes. 

Highlights from day one

The first day of the event saw strong individual performances from Lesley Machan (Mortonhall) and Patrick Montague (Dalziel Park).

Machan birdied the 6th hole to storm to the top of the individual leaderboard with a total of 20 points, while Montague holed a 30+ footer on the last for birdie and a final score of 19 points.

Helped by her partner who scored 15 points, Machan also found herself at the top of the pairs leaderboard at the end of day one, bringing their total to 35 points.  

Highlights from day two

Day two saw some challenging wet and windy conditions, but eventually brightened up as play went on into the afternoon. 

At the midway point, Dunfermline pair Andrew Graham and Alix Shepherd led the charge with 34 points. However, they were later overtaken by the Blair Atholl pairing of Susan Graham and Tommy Struthers, with a combined total of 36 points. 

Graham, who only took up golf a year ago, showed a natural flair for the game throughout play. By the afternoon she was leading the individual scores on 20 points (coming level with Machan’s score from day one).

Graham, who was elated to find herself at the top of the individual leaderboard as well as the overall pairs leaderboard, said:

“I like that [the event] is for amateurs... It’s a great opportunity and a great confidence booster as well. I’ve got quite a high handicap that’s coming down, so it’s just a great experience – fabulous!”

Speaking about what it would mean to her to get to Royal Troon before the final results were announced, she said:

“I got a bottle of Dom Perignon when I retired last year. So, I might pop that if I get there!”

Partnered with Graham was the Blairgowrie pairing of Alistair Batchen and Elaine Robson. Elaine said:

“I played here last year so it was great to come back again and play this year. The course is just magnificent and it’s a wonderful place to play. Bit quirky, but [I] really enjoyed it and making new friends and meeting new people has just been a marvellous experience… Susan played some beautiful golf and we’ve just had the best day.”

When asked if they would enter next year Graham said: "Absolutely, 100%!", with Robson adding: "Definitely it would be good to come back… it’s a great day out."

Alan Farquharson, Club Captain at Dundas Parks, said:

“Dundas Parks Golf Club is delighted to host the Scottish Final of the R&A 9 Hole Challenge once again this year. 

"Our club has benefitted enormously from the increased exposure of being able to hold this event and showcase the 9-hole format. 

"We believe that 9-hole golf is a great alternative for golfers with busy lives. It’s been an honour to work with Scottish Golf on this event for the last three years.” 

Scottish Golf Senior Events Manager, Toni Ffinch, said:

“We’ve thoroughly enjoyed hosting the Scottish Golf R&A 9 Hole Challenge at Dundas Parks Golf Club. On behalf of Scottish Golf, I would like to thank the club for their warm hospitality over the past three years and for being a fantastic Championship Host Venue.” 

This year’s 9-Hole Challenge has taken place over two days at Dundas Parks Golf Club. 

Final leaderboard day one >

Final leaderboard day two >

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