Friday, August 13, 2004

AYRSHIRE BOYS MATCHPLAY - Murchie and Stewart in the final.

The semi finals of the Ayrshire Boys Match Play at Prestwick tonight were both closely contested affairs, with the two matches finishing at the 19th and 18th holes respectively.

In the first semi final, between Craig Mclaughlin (Largs) and Jamie Murchie (Lamlash), the lead was never more than one hole throughout. Murchie was one ahead after 6, but when he found sand from the tee at 7, McLaughlin squared the match with a solid par. Murchie restired his lead with a par at 11, after McLaughlin bunkered his tee shot, but mClaughlin squared the match again at 13 with a solid par after Murchie fauled to get up an down from the left of the green.

McLaughlin went one ahead at 15, par being enough after Murchie found sand from the tee. Despite bunkering his tee shot at 16, Mclaughlin played a good recovery from the back of the green to half in par 4. At 17, Murchie had a superb two putt from the rear of the green for par, and despite a fine approach shot to 10 feet, McLaughlin narrowly failed to hole his birdie putt which would have given him the match.

Mclaughlin was still favourite with a one hole lead at the last, but Murchie played an excellent approach shot to a few inches, giving him a birdie three and a halved match after McLaughlin narrowly failed with his birdie attempt.

At the 19th hole, McLaughlin followed Murchie's good tee shot by putting his on the railway. Despite this, Mclaughlin played the hole well with his second ball, narrowly missing his put for a five, which left Murchie with two putts from 15 feet to take the match at the first extra hole.

In the second semi final 14 year old Michael Stewart (Troon Welbeck) faced the defending champion Nicky Sinclair (Kilmarnock Barassie). Sinclair won the first hole after Stewart found trouble from the tee but Stewart squared the match by the 6th. Sinclair had restored his one hole advantage through 10, but a birdie 4 at the 12th gave Stewart the hole and squared the match once again. Sinclair's lead was restored once again at 15, Stewart finding an unplayable lie from the tee requiring a penalty drop, whilst Sinclair posted a solid par to take the hole.

A par at the 16th was enough for Stewart to square the match once again, after Sinclair three putted, and at the 17th Stewart produced his best approach shot of the day, his second coming to rest some 8 feet from the pin. Sinclair missed the green on the right, and despite a good approach chip, was unable do do better than a bogey 5, leaving Stewart two putts for a one hole lead, which he duly took.

At the final hole, Stewart's drive pulled up a mere 5 yards from the green, and despite his best efforts, Sinclair could only match Stewart's par 4, giving Stewart a one hole victory and a place in the final.

FINAL - 1600 hrs on Saturday 14 August at Prestwick Golf CLub

Jamie Murchie (Lamlash) Vs. Michael Stewart (Troon Welbeck)

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