Tuesday, November 03, 2015

AYRSHIRE JUNIOR GOLF LEAGUE - 2015 winners honoured at annual dinner

The winners from the Ayrshire Junior Golf League's 47th year, in 2015, were honoured at the annual dinner and presentation of trophies which was held at Ballochmyle Golf Club on Monday 2nd November.

The event, hosted by league chairman Robert Wilson of Ballochmyle GC, was attended by a number of guests, honorary members of the association and a healthy representation of players and conveners from member clubs, The company enjoyed a good meal before the nights proceedings culminated in the presentation of prizes.

Hazel McGarvie

 The presentation of prizes began, in what has become something of a tradition, with the announcement of the winners of the Macrobert Thistle Junior Golfer Of The Year awards by David Reynolds of The national Playing Fields Association.

After an excellent playing season which saw her gain national representative honours at under 18 level, as well as winning the Under 16 award at the British Girls Championship held at West Kilbride during the season, following a nine under par opening round of 64 as well as being a member of the Scotland team who won the team trophy at the same event, the 2015 girls award was presented to Hazel McGarvie of The Ladies Golf Club, Troon, by David Reynolds.

The winner of the boys award for 2015 was announced by David Reynolds as Sean Cook of Kilmarnock (Barassie) Golf Club. In a good golfing season which saw him reach the final of the Ayrshire Boys Matchplay Championship, the particularly sporting nature displayed by Cook following an incident in the final of the boys matchplay championship final at Prestwick contributed to his selection as the 2015 winner of the award.

Sean Cook
With the match all square, Cook attended the pin for his opponent on one hole but as the players ball approached the hole Cook was unable to extract the pin in time and the players ball struck the pin before falling into the hole, resulting in loss of hole to Cook's opponent. Cook immediately announced to his opponent, fellow Kilmarnock (Barassie) member Robbie Muir, that he was conceding the hole to him as he considered the incident his fault.

Both players were advised by the referee that under the circumstances this was not permitted, and the players moved to the next tee with Cook one up as a result. In an act of admirable sportsmanship, Cook advised his opponent that he intended conceding the next two holes to him, effectively giving his opponent the one hole advantage that, in Cook's opinion, he should have had. Concession of long putts by Cook over the next two holes gave his opponent the two holes as Cook intended and the match progressed to a conclusion with Cook eventually losing out to his club mate by 4 & 2.

The sportsmanship displayed by Sean Cook was admirable and, like the great Bobby Jones many years earlier, his integrity eventually cost him a championship but earned him amny admirers in the process. Though applauded for his display of sportsmanship, Sean Cook's attitude to the incident was unassuming, and the praise given to him for his actions somewhat puzzling. After the incident, Sean Cook could perhaps relate to Bobby Jones' reaction to the praise given to him after his own similar incident in the 1925 US Open - "You might as well praise a man for not robbing a bank".

Along with his golfing performance during 2015, Sean Cook's display of sportsmanship at Prestwick made him a deserving winner of the award this year.

Following the presentation of the player of the year trophies by David Reynolds, the remaining awards for 2015 were passed to the winners by Ayrshire's player of the moment, Jack McDonald of Kilmarnock (Barassie), who was a guest for the evening.

A former player in the Ayrshire Junior Golf League for his home club, the 2015 season was an excellent one for Jack. Top 15 places in a number of prestige events throughout the country and a semi final place in the Amateur Championship culminated in a place in the victorious Great Britain & Ireland Walker Cup team, where he secured 2 1/2 points from 3 over the series of matches. In addition, jack also helped Ayrshire win the Scottish Area team Championship for the third time in 2015 as well and assisting the Ayrshire team in ending a 27 year wait to regain the West Of Scotland Inter County Championship, and thus win the Scottish and West titles in the same season for the first time.
Matt Lygate Trophy
Kilmarnock (Barassie
) GC

The first of the seasons trophies presented was the Matt Lygate Trophy for the Ayrshire Boys Team Championship. The Championship, which was held in April at Ayr Seafield, was won for the 12th time in the 28 year history of the event by Kilmarnock (Barassie).

Andrew D Nimmo Trophy
Irvine GC

The handicap trophy in the same competition, the Andrew D Nimmo Trophy, was won by Irvine Golf Club, who took the trophy for the first time since the event was innaugurated in 1992.

Carrick Trophy
Scott Murray

The individual scratch trophy played for during the Ayrshire Boys team Championship, the Prestwick Circuits Trophy, was retained in 2015 by Hamish Mills of Largs Golf Club, who was unable to be present to uplift the trophy. The individual handicap award, The Carrick Trophy, was won by Scott Murray of Irvine Golf Club who recorded a five under par score of 63 over the Seafield course to take the trophy.

The Silver Jubilee Trophy, played for during the convenors competition, was won by Peter Gossman and Cameron McLean of West Kilbride, who were unable to attend to uplift the prize.

Ayrshire Boys Champion
Craig McKenzie

In August the Ayrshire Boys Championship took place at West Kilbride Golf Club and the winner of the title, in the championships 63rd year, was Craig McKenzie of Troon Welbeck GC.

Boys Matchplay Champion
Robbie Muir

In the Ayrshire Boys Matchplay Championship, played at Prestwick in August, the final was contested by Kilmarnock (Barassie) duo Sean Cook and Robbie Muir. In a match played in the finest traditions of the game, Robbie Muir prevailed by 4 & 2 to take the title.

Callum Irving

The Ayrshire Junior Order Of Merit encompasses a number of local and national events tyhroughout the season. In third place in 2015 was Callum Irving of Ayr Belleisle who amassed 307.5 points over six events including wins at Largs and Trump Turnberry.

Jack Broun

The runner up in the Order Of Merit in 2015 was Jack Broun of Ayr Belleisle and TrumpTurnberry, his 457.5 points being gained over eight events including wins at Ballochmyle and Troon Welbeck.

Junior Order Of Merit Winner
Euan Ferguson

With 580 points gained in 7 events, including wins at Prestwick St Nicholas, Ayr Belleisle and West Kilbride, the winner of the 2015 Ayrshire Junior Order Of Merit was Euan Ferguson  of Trump Turnberry.

The final of the four major Ayrshire Junior Golf League championships all took place at Ballochmyle Golf Club in September. 

Wallace Thornton Runners Up
Kilmarnock (Barassie) GC

The final of the Wallace Thornton Trophy saw defending champions Irvine GC play Kilmarnock (Barassie). In a close encounter, Irvine managed to retain the title with a 2 1/2 - 1 1/2 win over the Kilmarnock (Barassie) team.

Wallace Thornton Trophy Winners
Irvine GC

Under 16 Runners Up
Ayr Belleisle GC

The final of the Under 16 Knockout Trophy featured the teams from Ayr Belleisle and Ballochmyle. In what proved to be a very close match, with two of the four ties being decided on the final green, it was Ballochmyle who secured the trophy, for the third time, with a 3 - 1 victory.

Under 16 Knockout Trophy Winners
Ballochmyle GC

Thee final of the Champion Of Champions Trophy was contested between Jordan Fraser of Ayr Belleisle and Graeme Greer of Prestwick St Nicholas. Graeme Greer forged an early three hole lead but in a late fightback, Jordan Fraser won the final three holes of the round for a one hole victory. None of the two finalists were able to be present to pick up their awards.

League Championship Runners Up
Kilmarnock (Barassie) GC
The 47th Ayrshire Junior Golf league Championship in 2015 saw a repeat of the 2014 final, with defending champions Kilmarnock (Barassie) again facing Ayr Belleisle for the title. Two of the six ties went to the final hole whilst a third was concluded at the seventeenth, and in a reverse of the 2014 result, it was Ayr Belleisle who took the title in 2015 with a 5 - 1 victory, giving the club only their second League Championship title in the history of the event.

2015 Ayrshire Junior Golf League Champions
Ayr Belleisle GC

The evening concluded with a vote of thanks proposed by Ayrshire Golf Association President James McMurdo, of the host club.

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