Thursday, May 11, 2017

AYRSHIRE MATCHPLAY CHAMPIONSHIP - Hamilton storms to title hat trick at Prestwick

2017 Ayrshire Matchplay Champion
Craig Hamilton
with AGA President John Rushbury
Craig Hamilton (Ballochmyle) stormed to a third Ayrshire Matchplay Championship title on Thursday evening, 11th May, at Prestwick Golf Club, when he defeated county team mate Jim Johnston (Ayr Belleisle) in the 2017 championship final.

Hamilton had been taken to the final green in all three of his previous ties during the week, but he had an easier passage in the final, eventually winning on the fourteenth green by 6 & 4.

An opening par four was enough to give Hamilton the early lead, which was extended to two holes when Johnston had a bogey at the par five third hole.

A birdie three at the fourth hole put Hamilton three ahead but Johnston won the fifth, only to ssee Hamilton birdie the sixth to restore his three hole advantage.

Jim Johnston and Craig Hamilton
With final referee Iain Harvey

Hamilton finished the outward half with three successive par fours, which also saw him extend his lead to four holes when Johnston could only manage a five at the eighth hole.

Pars were good enough for the players to exchange the next two holes, Johnston winning the tenth and Hamilton the eleventh before a birdie four at the twelfth put Hamilton five ahead with six to play.

The players matched each other with pars at the difficult thirteenth hole, which left Hamilton dormie five.

At the fourteenth, both players found the green in two, but when Johnston missed his birdie putt he conceded the hole, and the match, to Craig Hamilton by a 6 & 4 margin.

At the conclusion of the final, Ayrshire Golf Association President John Rushbury presented prizes to both players and handed over the Ayrshire Matchplay Trophy to the 2017 winner, Craig Hamilton.

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