Thursday, June 27, 2024

AYRSHIRE WOMEN'S MATCHPLAY CHAMPIONSHIP - Audrey Thompson wins inaugural title

Audrey Thompson (Loudoun GC) is the inaugural Ayrshire Women's Matchplay Championship winner following a 5& 3 win over Rachel McCready (Largs) in the final of the Lomond Property sponsored event, at Rowallan Castle GC on Wednesday the 26th of June.

After halving the first hole it was rachel who took the early lead at the 142 yard par three second hole. While Audrey found a bunker from the tee, Rachel succcesfully found the green and after putting up to within five feet of the hole succesfully holed her next putt for a winning par three, after Audrey failed with her 20 foot par attempt.

The lead was short lived however, Audrey winning the third after rachel's approach found a greenside bunker and she failed to get up and down from the hazard.

At the next two holes, which were both halved, Rachel had opportunities from around 12 feet on both holes to win the hole, but on each occasion just failed to hole her putts, and the match score remained all square after five.

At the sixth both players found the back of the green in two but while Audrey succesfully negotiated the green in two putts, rachels second putt from five feet for a par lipped out on the left and Audrey took the lead in the match. Again the lead was short lived, Rachel winning the seventh to square the match with a  regulation par four after Audrel's thinned approach found the front greenside bunker, from which she was unable to get up and down to salvage her par.

The eighth hole was halved in fours after both players wrere unable to find the green from the tee, which preceded a run of three holes in which Audrey took control of the match.

At the par five ninth hole both players found the large green in three. Putting first from around 60 feet, rachel made a good attempt, her putt finishing two feet from the hole, but this was to no avail when Audrey, facing a testing downhill putt from around fifty feet, saw her excellent putt roll down the green and disappear into the hole for a winning birdie four.

Audrey's lead was extended to two holes at the par three tenth hole whe n rachel failed to get up and down from off the left of the green, while Audrey secured a winning regulation par, having found the front right part of the green from the tee.

As pressure mounted on Rachel, Audrey, with a fine two putt birdie four at the eleventh, extended her lead to three holes after rachel was unable to matgch her following a fluffed chip on her approach to the green.

An uncharecteristic quick hook off the twelfth tee by Audrey, which led to a lost ball, gave Rachel a glimmer of hope and she took the opportunity by winnning the hole to reduce the match score to two down with six holes to play, but at the par five thirteenth a great putt from 25 feet by Audrey was enough to win the hole and restore her three hole advantage with five holes to play.

At the fourteenth both players missed the green to the right with their approach shots. Playing first from light rough and a downhill lie, Rachel did well to get her chip to within ten feet of the hole, while Audrey's chip from just off the green finished a mere six inches from the hole, with her par four being conceded. Despite a great effort, rachel's par putt attempt to halve the hole pulled up six inches short of the cup, and Audrey moved to the fifteenth tee dormie four.

Needing to win all the remaining holes, Rachel was unfortunate to find both a fairway bunker from the tee and a greenside bunker with her approach, while Audrey capitalised on a perfectly positioned tee shot to hit her second onto the right apron of the green. From a distance of around forty five feet, Audrey rolled her third down the green five feet past the hole, and when Rachel failed to hole her putt for a five from fifteen feet, the hole was conceded and Audrey Thompson won the 2024 title and trophy with a 5&3 winning margin in the match.

At the conclusion of the championship final, Ayrshire Golf Association Vice President Barry O'Rourke presented prize vouchers to both finalists and handed the championship trophy to the 2024 winner Audrey Thompson.

The Ayrshire Golf Association would like to express thanks to Rowallan Castle GC for hosting the championship, and the championship sponsors Lomond Property for their support.   

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