Saturday, August 14, 2004

AYRSHIRE BOYS MATCHPLAY - Jamie Murchie takes the title

Jamie Murchie of Lamlash took the 2004 Ayrshire Boys Match Play Title at Prestwick Golf Club on Saturday evening with a display of excellent golf giving him a 4 & 3 victory over Michael Stewart of Troon Welbeck, Murchie returning figures of three under par when the match concluded on the 15th green.

Stewart made the first move with a superb 40 foot put for a birdie two at the second hole, but Murchie squared the game at the fourth when a par gave him the hole after Stewart had bunkered his tee shot.

Murchie took the lead for the first time at the 5th when he holed from 20 feet for a birdie two, and Stewart narrowly failed from a similar distance. Murchie extended his lead to 2 holes after an excellent approach shot at the 7th to 8 feet set up a birdie three.

Murchie's only deviation from par or better in the front half came at the 9th when he overshot the green with his approach, finding sand. Stewart took full advantage, getting up and down from the front of the green for par, to reduce the deficit to one hole at the turn. Both players excelled over the outward half, Stewart recording level par figures of 35 with Murchie 1 better on 34.

Both players coped admirably with long first putts at the 10th to half the hole in par, but Murchie restored his two hole advantage with a regulation 3 at 11 when Stewart could only manage a bogey 4 after being bunkered on the left from the tee.

At the 513 yard par 5 12th hole, both players hit good drives but Murchie excelled with his second, drilling an iron into the heart of the green and holing from 15 feet for an eagle 3 and a three hole lead in the match.

An impressive regulation par at the 13th increased Murchie's lead to 4 holes, after Stewart missed the green with his approach, but Stewart continued to battle on, taking the 14th with par, to reduce the defecit to three holes, after Murchie took three to get down from the edge of the green.

At the 15th, Stewart pulled his tee shot left, and required a penalty drop. Despite his troubles, Stewart battled to the end, but Murchie's excellent approach to 10 feet, coupled with a missed putt prompted a concession from Stewart and Murchie took the title with a 4 & 3 victory.

Prizes were presented to both finalists at the conclusion of play by Prestwick Golf Club Captain Eugene O'Donoghue.

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