Friday, August 23, 2019

AYRSHIRE BOYS MATCHPLAY CHAMPIONSHIP - Ross McDonald wins 2019 title at Prestwick

2019 Ayrshire Boys Matrchplay Champion
Ross McDonald (Kilmarnock Barassie)

Ross McDonald (Kilmarnock Barassie) is the 2019 Ayrshire Boys Matchplay Champion after beating new Ayrshire Boys Champion Kerr Brooks (Irvine) in the final of the championship which was held at Prestwick Golf Club from 13th to 15th August.

McDonald opened with a 2 & 1 win over Christopher Hunter (Ballochmyle) in the first round which set up a semi final against Fraser Russell (Royal Troon) who had a 4 & 2 win over Jamie McKinnon (Caprington) in the first round.

In the other half of the draw, Kerr brooks beat Harvey McDonald (Ayr Belleisle) by 2 & 1 in the first round to set up a semi final with Harvey Broadfoot (Troon Welbeck) who had a single hole win over Jack Allan (Ballochmyle) in round one.

The semi finals were played on Wednesday 14th August with brooks beating broadfoot by 3&1 and McDonald crushing Russell by 7 & 5.

The finalists
Kerr Brooks & Ross McDonald
The final on Thursday 15th August was played in fine conditions with the Prestwick links in first class order.

McDonald took the early initiative in the final, a birdie three at the first giving him the lead, which he followed with three pars that resulted in him winning the fourth hole too, to go two up in the match.

Brooks struck back immediately and a birdie two at the blind par three Himalayas hole was followed by a fine up and down from heavy greenside rough at the sixth to take two successive holes and square the match.

The two players matched each other over the closing holes of the outward half to turn for home with the match all square.

Brooks went ahead in the match for the first time when he won the tenth with a fine par four and when McDonald bunkered his tee shot at the par three eleventh hole, Brooks took full advantage to go two up in the match.

McDonald showed his fighting spirit to reduce the deficit by winning the par five twelfth with a par and when brooks lost a ball two holes later, the match was again all square as the players moved into the famous closing loop of four holes on the historic Prestwick links.

A half in par fours at the fifteenth kept the match all square with three to play, with the sixteenth providing, as it has in many matches before, the pivotal point of the final.

At the sixteenth both players hit fine drives to within fifty yards of the green and both successfully found the putting surface in two, with long birdie putts remaining.

Slightly further from the hole, McDonald putted up close enough for a certain four whilst Brooks’ effort pulled up five feet short of the hole and his par putt missed the hole on the low side, giving McDonald a crucial one hole lead with two to play.

At the seventeenth, both players hit good drives but whilst Brooks’ approach dropped short of the green and into the vast bunker, McDonald’s effort found the back of the green before rolling down to within nine feet of the hole.

A good bunker shot from Brooks left him with an eleven foot putt for par but his brave effort pulled up just short, leaving McDonald with two putts for the hole and the championship.

In a fitting finale, McDonald rolled his birdie putt into the hole for a 2 & 1 victory.

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