A summer solstice golf marathon by two Angus pals whose family lives have been torn apart by cancer has passed the £11,000 mark.
Lifelong Carnoustie friends David McFarlane and Iain Evans each lost their wives to the disease during a devastating 2020.
David’s wife, Ana, was 44 when she died in April last year. The couple have two children, Cara, 16, and Aidan, 12.
Ana, who David married in 2003 after they met in their early 20s while he was teaching English in Thailand, had lived with cancer throughout her life.
She was diagnosed with a secondary tumour midway through 2019 from which she was unable to recover.
In November 2020, Iain’s wife Catriona, who was 35, passed away. They also have two young children, Max, 5, and Rosie, 2.
Catriona’s cancer diagnosis came in October 2019 after detecting a lump in her breast at the age of 34.
She underwent chemotherapy and a mastectomy but, sadly, the cancer spread and Cat died at home with her family around her.
The tragedies rocked the close-knit community and the men bravely shared their story in an effort to help others who may face a similar experience, particularly young widowers.
Gratitude to Maggie’s
In a show of support for the “amazing” work of the Maggie’s cancer charity, the duo – both keen golfers – came up with the fundraising challenge of playing 72 holes over Carnoustie’s courses during the longest day.
It saw them tee off in the Panmure dawn at 4.30am on Monday, followed by rounds on Carnoustie’s Championship course, Buddon and Burnside.
Family and friends were there to support them as they completed the Championship round with Carnoustie head pro Keir McNicoll and Iain’s friend Steven Bell.
After a well-earned lunch, they were joined by other players including David’ son, Aidan, for the Buddon round.
David said: “It was a beautiful morning, it was just a matter of dragging ourselves out of bed and getting on with it.
“It is a day of mixed emotions, but we have spent so many hours speaking with each other about our situations that we wanted to get on with the golf and do this for Maggie’s.
“We really can’t thank people enough for supporting it in the way they have, it is an amazing total so far.”
Scottish Golf club business manager Iain said: “I thought it would be good if we could maybe get to £5,000, so to see the total as it stands is fantastic.
“The majority of it seems to have come from people and businesses in and around Carnoustie, which is just so humbling.
“We really wanted to do something to try to raise as much as we could for Maggie’s.
“It’s not as if we’re climbing Everest or anything, but it’s a good challenge and golf is part of the DNA of Carnoustie so it was something we knew we could take on.”
Both men said Maggie’s had delivered fantastic support to them and the 72-hole golf marathon was a way of trying to express their thanks.
“We’re both young widowers with young children,” said David.
“That’s not to say we are any more special than anyone else who loses someone to cancer, but there is something unique in our situation and having lost our life partners at such a young age.
“We wanted to try to use that shared experience to try to help others, and raise money for Maggie’s through this.”
Donations can still be made to the fundraiser here.