Monday, August 30, 2010

AYRSHIRE JUNIOR GOLF LEAGUE - Wallace Thornton & Semi final updates

The Ayrshire Junior Golf League competitions for 2010 are rapidly nearing a conclusion, with some semi final matches being played recently.

In the LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP, Kilmarnock (Barassie) go to their return match in the semi final at Ardeer with a 4 - 2 advantage after winning thier home match recently.

In the UNDER 16 KNOCKOUT TROPHY competition, Ayr Belleisle have booked the first place in the final after a 3.5 - 0.5 home win over West Kilbride, and now await the winners of the other semi final tie between Prestwick St Cuthbert and Irvine.

In the WALLACE THORNTON TROPHY, defending champions Troon Welbeck took a step closer to defending their title with a 3 - 1 home win over Prestwick St Cuthbert recently in Section 1. With 12 points from three matches played and only one remaining, the holders need only a draw in their final match at Ballochmyle progress to the final against Kilmarnock (Barassie), winners of Section 2.

WEST OF SCOTLAND LADIES - Kilmarnock (Barassie) and Prestwick St Nicholas chase Greenlees glory

As the 2010 West Of Scotland ladies Inter Club Greenlees Trophy Leagues progress rapidly to a conclusion, two Ayrshire clubs are bidding for glory in their respective leagues.

In DIVISION 1, Kilmarnock (Barassie) lie in second place, only 1.5 points behind the leaders, with one match remaining to be played.

A recent 7.5 - 1.5 home win over Kilmacolm and a narrow 5 - 4 away defeat at Ranfurly Castle took the Barassie ladies to 38 points, with the leaders, Cathkin Braes on the 39.5 mark.

Milngavie are presently in third spot on 36.5 points

The remaining fixtures, and the margin of victory or defeat for the leading teams will be crucial.

Kilmarnock (Barassie have one match remaining, at home to Troon Ladies, whilst Cathkin Braes last match is a home game against Ranfurly Castle.

Milngavie have a home match against Troon Ladies and an away match at Douglas park still to complete.

Despite lying seventh of the nine teams in Division 1 at present, Troon Ladies have three matches remaining and may yet mount a challenge for the title if the games go in their favour.

Ayrshire's other representatives in Division 1, West Kilbride, are presently in sixth place in the league on 26 pts, after their recent defeat by 7 - 2 at Douglas Park, and have one match remaining, at home to Ranfurly Castle.


39.5 - Cathkin Braes
38.0 - Kilmarnock (Barassie)
36.5 - Milngavie
30.5 - Kilmacolm
27.5 - Ranfurly Castle
26.0 - West Kilbride
24.0 - Troon Ladies
21.5 - Douglas Park
17.5 - Cardross

Remaining Fixtures :-
Troon Vs Douglas Park
Cardross Vs Douglas Park
West Kilbride Vs Ranfurly Castle
Douglas Park Vs Milngavie
Kilmarnock Barassie Vs Troon Ladies
Cathkin Braes Vs Ranfurly Castle
Milngavie Vs Troon Ladies

In DIVISION 2, a string of good results has pushed Prestwick St Nicholas into fourth place in the table with a realistic chance of grabbing promotion, or even the league title, over their last two matches.

In recent games, the St Nicholas ladies beat Eastwood by 6 - 3 away from home and followed up with a win by the same scoreline at home to league leaders Whitecraigs.

Whitecraigs, who have finished their matches, lead the division with 48.5 points ahead of Hilton Park on 40.5 pts with all matches played also.

With two teams being promoted to Division 1, Prestwick St Nicholas require 5 points from a possible 18 over their remaining matches, away to Williamwood and at home to Lanark, to push themselves ahead of Hilton Park in second place, whilst 13 points from their two remaining matches would put the St Nichoolas ladies in pole position for the title.


48.5 - Whitecraigs
40.5 - Hilton Park
36.0 - Prestwick St Nicholas
30.5 - Eastwood
27.0 - Haggs Castle
25.5 - Erskine
23.5 - Williamwood
22.0 - Lanark
13.5 - Bothwell Castle

Remaining fixtures :-
Haggs Castle Vs Williamwood
Bothwell Castle Vs Lanark
Haggs Castle Vs Erskine
Williamwood Vs Prestwick St Nicholas
Erskine Vs Bothwell Castle
Prestwick St Nicholas Vs Lanark

THE NORTHERN OPEN - Ayrshire players success in qualifying event

A number of Ayrshire professionals were successful in gaining a place in the 2010 Northern Open, at the qualifying event which took place on Monday 30th August at Dunblane New GC.

Top of the group oflocal qualifiers was Andrew Fullen (Largs) who bettered the qualifying score by four shots with his return of 72.

Close behind on 73 was David Fleming (Prestwick) with Ian Colquhoun (Dundonald Links) and Martin Shaw (Kilmarnock Barassie) one shot further back on 74.

Michael Sweenie (Turnberry) just missed out, by virtue of a card play off, on the cut mark of 76.

Ayrshire interest in The Northern Open also extends to two other successful qualifiers, former Scottish Boys Champion and Kilmarnock (Barassie) golfer Alan Reid (West Lothian) returning a score of 71 to qualify along with former Caprington player John Robertson (Glasgow) who returned a 74 to book his place in the championship.

The Northern Open will be held this year at Meldrum House GC from 21st to 23rd of September. 

SCOTTLAND GOLF - Mixed fortunes for Ayrshire pair in representative golf

Ayrshire's current Scottish internationalists had mixed fortunes last week in representative events.

In the Belgium Junior Championship, played at the Royal Golf Club of Belgium, Jack McDonald (Kilmarnock Barassie) finished in joint 21st place after rounds of 72, 75, 78 and 74 gave him a 299 total.
The other SGU representative at the championship, Liam Johnston (Dumfries & County) finished in joint 16th place on 297, after rounds of 72, 77, 74 & 74.

The boys event was won by Thomas Elissalde of France with a total of 284 (74/71/71/68)

SLGA representative  Kelsey McDonald (Nairn Dunbar) was the winner of the girls championship.

In the St Andrews Trophy match at Castelconturbia near Milan in Italy, between  GB & I and The Continent Of Europe, Michael Stewart (Troon Welbeck) was on the losing GB & I side who went down by 14 - 10.

Over the two days of competition, Stewart teamed up with fellow Scot Ross Kellett for the foursomes. On day one the Scots pairing beat Pontus Wiedegren and Jesper Kennegard of Sweden by 2 holes and made it two wins from two on the second morning when they again combined to defeat J Lopez-lazaro & Romain Wattel of France by 2 & 1.

Stewart did not fare so well in his singles matches however, losing out on day one by 4 & 2 to Nino Bertasio of Italy and being defeated by one hole on day two by Max Kieffer of Germany.

SCOTTISH GOLF UNION - Stewart crowned Order Of Merit Champion

(SGU Press release)

Ayrshire’s Michael Stewart has been crowned the 2010 Scottish Golf Union Order of Merit Champion to round off a superb season for the Troon Welbeck golfer.

The 20-year-old Scotland international, who captured the Allied Surveyors Scottish Amateur Championship at Gullane last month, finished 43.5 points clear of Peterhead’s Philip McLean, who edged out fellow North East player Jordan Findlay for the runner-up spot following the completion of the domestic circuit after yesterday’s South East District Open Championship.

Stewart, who won the SGU Boys’ Order of Merit two years ago, has just returned from Italy where he represented GB&I in the St Andrews Trophy, while he is part of the three-man Scotland team which will defend the Eisenhower Trophy in Argentina in October. In June, he reached the last 32 of The Amateur Championship at Muirfield, finished seventh at the prestigious St Andrews Links Trophy and tied third in the Tennant Cup at Haggs Castle.

The former East Tennessee State University student was delighted with his latest honour, saying:

“It’s great to win the Order of Merit and it’s a nice reward for all the hard work I’ve put in over the last year. I was playing well over in the States during the early part of the season and I’ve managed to keep that going since returning to Scotland in May.”

“Winning the Scottish Amateur Championship at Gullane was obviously the highlight and I’m also delighted to achieve my main goal of being selected for the Eisenhower Trophy team. My coach Ian Rae has been a big help as had my dad and its nice having such supportive people around me.”

“My next target is the Walker Cup next year at Royal Aberdeen. I talked at length to Nigel Edwards the GB&I captain in Italy last week and he gave me some great advice and shared his experiences so I’m really looking forward to next season with a place in that team to aim for.” added Stewart, who was also Scotland’s leading points scorer at the recent Home Internationals, dropping just half a point in six matches.

McLean, runner-up in the St Andrews Links Trophy and winner of the Edward Trophy, improved by two places on last season’s fourth spot in the SGU rankings to clinch the runners-up spot, with a resurgent Findlay just 2.5 points behind him in third place.

Last year’s Allied Surveyors Scottish Amateur Champion David Law ended the year strongly with three consecutive top four finishes to capture fourth spot in an injury-ravaged season, with St Andrews New’s Peter Latimer, winner of the East of Scotland Championship, in fifth place just ahead of Fife and Scotland team-mate James White.

Former winners of the SGU Order of Merit include Andrew Coltart (1991) Dean Robertson (1992, 93), Gordon Sherry (1995), Steven O’Hara (2000, 2001), Callum Macaulay (2007) & Steven McEwan (2008).

Final Standings in the 2010 SGU Order of Merit

466.00 - Michael Stewart Troon Welbeck
422.50 - Philip McLean Peterhead
420.00 - Jordan Findlay Fraserburgh
382.50 - David Law Hazlehead
380.00 - Peter Latimer St Andrews New
375.42 - James White Lundin
355.00 - James Byrne Banchory
350.00 - Scott Larkin Royal Aberdeen
341.25 - Graeme Robertson Glenbervie
337.50 - Greg Paterson St Andrews New
332.50 - Brian Soutar Leven GS
317.50 - Allyn Dick Kingsknowe
296.60 - Paul Shields Kirkhill
270.00 - Ross Kellett Colville Park
270.00 - Bryan Innes Murcar Links

DOC THOM AYRSHIRE ORDER OF MERIT - McInally secures title for first time

With one counting event still remaining to be played, Tommy McInally (Loudoun) has secured the Doc Thom Salver and the Ayrshire Order Of Merit title for 2010.

Surprisingly this is the first occassion that McInally has won the county Order Of Merit.

Opening the season with a win in the Ayrshire Strokeplay Championship at Prestwick St Cuthbert, McInally was also placed first in the Order Of Merit counting events at Ayr Seafield and Lo9udoun whilst he also picked up points with placings at Ballochmyle and Largs. A third place at the Welbeck Links at the weekend gained McInally enough points to ensure that he could not be caught by his nearest challengers with only the Order Of Merit points at the Arrol Cup at Prestwick St Nicholas next month still available.

Tommy rounded of the season in style by retaining the Ayrshire Champion Of Champions Trophy at Royal Troon in mid August.

Scottish Amateur Champion Michael Stewart (Troon Welbeck) remains in second place, courtesy of the points gained after his national title win, whilst Scotland internationalist Steven McEwan (Caprington) has moved into third place courtesy of a recent third place in the Viking Krus at Largs and a first place at the Welbeck Links on Sunday 29th August.

Present positions in the Order Of Merit table are :-


AYRSHIRE FOURBALL CHAMPIONSHIP - Third final in four years for Maybole pair

Fourball aces David Wallace & Scott McCahill (Maybole) - pictured right -  have secured their place in the final of the Ayrshire Fourball Championship, for the third time in four years.

In their semi final match away to John Brodie & Alan Smeeton (Chase) the maybole pairran out winners by 2 & 1.

McCahill and Wallace now wait to see if their final opponents will be Johnny O'Neill & Gary Ross (North Beach) or Alastair Brown & Roger Thyne (Kilmarnock Barassie).

SLGA MATCHPLAY FOURSOMES - Dalmilling ladies fourth in national event.

The team of Ann Sym, Gillian Henderson & Jackie Ridge from Ayr Dalmilling Ladies were edged into fourth place on Sunday 29th August when the semi finals and final of the 2010 SLGA Scottish Matchplay Foursomes were held at Douglas Park GC.

In the semi finals, the Dalmilling team lost out to the eventual runners up, Murrayfield.

Claire Penman and Frances Millar from Carnoustie Caledonia Golf Club won the title, beating Murrayfield by 4 & 3 in the final.

After their semi final defeat, the Ayr Dalmilling ladies were edged out by Saline Golf Club, by one hole, in the third - fourth play off match.

Friday, August 27, 2010

CLUBGOLF JUNIOR MASTERS - Kieran Young leads Ayrshire challenge to finals

Kieran Young (Skelmorlie) led a trio of Ayrshire players who qualified for the Clubgolf Junior Masters finalsgroup of the SGU Clubgolf Junior Masters final from the regional final at Greenock Whinhill on 22nd July.

With the leading 12 players in the Stableford event qualifying for the final, to be held at The Renaissance Club on Sunday 3rd October, Young was joined by fellow ayrshire youngsters Keiran Tumilty (West Kilbride) and Tom nairn (Prestwick St Nicholas)


Kieran Young (Skelmorlie) (17) - 43pts 
Lewis Reid (Aberfoyle) (10) - 38pts
Stephen (wilson (Greenock Whinhill) (6) - 38pts
Keiran Tumilty (West Kilbride) (11) - 36pts
Anthony McCaulay (Greenock Whinhill) (6) - 36pts
Jason Scott (Vale of Leven) (21) - 35pts
Tom Nairn (Prestwick St Nicholas) (19) - 35pts
Ewen Ferguson (Bearsden) (3) - 35pts
Ross Hardie (Milngavie) (11) - 35pts
Tom Niven (Dalbeattie) (20) - 35pts
Ally Morrison (Inveraray) (24) -34pts
Gordon Yule (Bishopbriggs) (6) - 33pts

Other Ayrshire scores :-
23 - Shaun Hedger (West Kilbride) (14) - 28pts
28 - Stuart Russell (Prestwick St Nicholas) (20) - 25pts
31 - Greg Pollock (Skelmorlie) (28) - 23pts

SGU CAPTAINS & SECRETARIES CHAMPIONSHIP - Irvine Ravenspark cary Ayrshire hopes to finals

Irvine Ravenspark were the only Ayrshire club to qualify for the finals of the 2010 SGU Captains & Secretaries Championship from the regional qualifying competition at at Cathcart Castle on 17th August.

With the top eight clubs progressing to the finals, to be held at Murrayshall on Tuesday 21 September, the Ravenspark pairing of  Ian McPhail and Tom  McFarlane shared second place in the competition, just one shot behind the leading team.


Langlands - Alexander McLaughlin/Thomas McDermott - 64 (-5)
Dumbarton - John Stirling/Maureen Buchanan - 65 (-4)
Irvine Ravenspark - Iain McPhail/Tom McFarlane - 65 (-4)
Drumpellier - Alec Palmer/Ian Thomson - 65 (-4)
Cowal - Donald Mackay/Craig McKechnie - 66 (-3)
Bonnyton - Howard Lockhart/David Smith - 66 (-3)
Wigtown & Bladnoch - Tony Bark/John Smith - 66 (-3)
Linn Park - Peter Mitchell/Tom Dunn - 66 (-3)

Other Ayrshire scores :-

T19 - Saxone - Wullie Creevy/Michael O'Brien - 72 (+3)
T26 - Stewarton - Brian Nicholson/Gordon Bennett - 74 (+5)
T26 - Tam O' Shanter - Chris McGhee/Douglas Owens - 74 (+5)
T26 - New Cumnock - Graham Kowalski/John McGinn - 74 (+5)
33 - Troon Merchants - Tom Crawford/Tom McClements - 77 (+8)
36 - Ayr Seafield - William Frew/Brian Milligan - 84 (+15)
No score - North Beach - Gary Ross/Bobby Hogg

SGU CLUB HANDICAP CHAMPIONSHIP - loudoun lead the way in Cochrane Castle qualifier.

Loudoun led the way as Ayrshire provided 6 of the 10 qualifying teams from the regional qualifying event at Cochrane Castle on 20th August, who won a place in the final of the SGU Club Handicap Championship which will take place at The Dukes, St. Andrews on Friday 1st October.

The Loudoun pairing of Chris Bone & John Haggarty, who were also both members of the Loudoun Team who won the Ayrshire Club Championship in July and will represent Ayrshire in the Scottish Club Championship final next month, returned a five under par score of 66 to take the top spot.
Saxone took third place, Tam O Shanter were forth, New Cuumnock secured the sixth qualifying place whilst Chase & Prestwick St Nicholas came in eighth and ninth.


Loudoun - Chris Bone & John Haggarty - 66 (-5)
Dumbarton - Crawford Harrison & Eamon McElroy - 67 (-4)
Saxone - Michael O'Brien & Gordon Bettaney - 67 (-4)
Tam O' Shanter - Steven Cole & Stevie Arrandale - 67 (-4)
Port Glasgow - Campbell Gisbey & Gerard McGachy - 67 (-4)
New Cumnock - Charles Allan & Steven Waddell - 68 (-3)
Ranfurly Castle - Crawford MacKay & Colin MacDonald - 68 (-3)
Chase - Chris Phillips & John Brodie - 69 (-2)
Prestwick St Nicholas - Robert Craig & Iain McCall - 69 (-2)
Calderbraes - John Adams & Martin Hicks - 69 (-2)

Other Ayrshire scores :-

13 - Brunston Castle - Donald Anderson & David McDade - 70 (-1)
26 - Troon St Meddans - Scott Thomson & Robert Gilmour - 72 (+1)
34 - Stewarton - Alec Anderson & Barry Stewart - 73 (+2)
35 - Pontoon - Kevin McKeown & Michael Thompson - 74 (+3)
38 - Ayr Dalmilling - Donald MacDonald & David McGawn - 74 (+3)
39 - Crosshouse - David Robertson & Douglas Robertson - 74 (+3)
40 - Malletsheugh - Kevin Ward & Kevin Coupland - 74 (+3)
46 - Irvine Ravenspark - Andy MacFarlane & Bernie Price - 76 (+5)
54 - Troon Welbeck - Bill Taylor & Del Chamberlain - 78 (+7)
59 - Troon Merchants - Charlie Thom & Kenny Dunbar - 82 (+11)
62 - Ayr Seafield - Gordon Scott & Andrew Sargent - 83 (+12)
64 - Ayr Carrick - Sandy Knox & Chris Brown - 85 (+14)
66 - Brodick - Donald Rudge & Ian MacDonald - 91 (+20)
No score - Turnberry - Ian Hutcheson & James Byers

Thursday, August 26, 2010

AYRSHIRE JUNIOR GOLF LEAGUE - Kilmarnock (Barassie) through to Wallace Thornton Trophy final

Kilmarnock (Barassie) have secured their place in the final of the 2010 Wallace Thornton Trophy competition after recording wins in all four of their qualifying section matches.

In SECTION 2, Kilmarnock (Barassie) followed their 3-1 home win over Ayr Belleisle with a similar scoreline at home to Ardeer and on the road they were even more impressive with a 4 - 0 win at Troon St. Meddans and a 3.5 - 0.5 win at Prestwick St. Nicholas. 

Ayr Belleisle completed their with home wins by 4 - 0 against Prestwick St Nicholas and 3.5 - 0.5 against Troon St Meddans

Troon St Meddans are involved in the remaining matches in the section, at home to Ardeer and away to Prestwick St Nicholas.

In SECTION 1, holders Troon Welbeck have set the early pace with 3.5 - 0.5 wins at home to Irvine and away to West Kilbride in their opening fixtures. Their remaining matches are at home to Prestwick St Cuthbert and away to Ballochmyle.

West Kilbride completed their home fixtures with a 3.5 - 0.5 win over Ballochmyle.

Prestwick St Cuthbert have still to complete any of their four section matches whilst Irvine have, in addition to travelling to St Cuthbert, have West Kilbride and Ballochmyle to entertain at the Bogside course.

The final of the Wallace Thornton Trophy competition will take place at largs in September.

CLUBGOLF - Caprington success in attracting new juniors

(Press Release from Ann Lang of Clubgolf)

Caprington junior numbers heading towards tenfold increase

Kilmarnock’s Caprington Golf Club has prescribed extreme remedies to a drought of young players. Now, four months in to its new program, the club is heading towards a tenfold increase in its junior numbers.

The impetus, energy and motivation to avert what, if it had carried on unchecked would have been the junior club's demise, started when a new junior committee was elected.

“The average age of membership is shocking and the junior club was close to becoming defunct,” said one of them, George Morton. “There were no youngsters and of our 300 members only 30 or so were under the age of 30. It was a situation that couldn’t be left to go on.”

A meeting was called with the main vision of making Caprington a child friendly club and senior executives listened carefully to plans to move things forward. Then, at this year’s AGM George Morton, George Barnes and Colin Marshall were appointed to run the junior section.

Together with the help from a former junior player Mark Smith, they handled the administration work, , created a child protection policy, made inroads with the local education department, met counterparts from other clubs involved in the East Ayrshire Junior Golf partnership and began to source funding and contacted the junior national golf program, clubgolf, for advice.

clubgolf is a partnership between the Scottish Golf Union, the Scottish Ladies' Golfing Association, the Professional Golfers' Association, the Golf Foundation and sportscotland launched to create a legacy to Scotland’s successful bid to host the 2014 Ryder Cup.

To get the ball rolling at Caprington, club Pro Bob Josey began offering free junior coaching, with help from the junior committee. Letters and posters went to the community and schools and stories generated in the local press targeted children who had never before had the opportunity to play golf. Club members joined in by donating equipment and balls.

“At the first coaching session we had a dozen children,” said George. “Then we held a ‘bring a pal’ night and their friends, brothers and sisters came along.

“Adult members became involved so we organized a Texas scramble, with an adult accompanying a youth and two kids, and we had over 30 kids turning up. Afterwards we brought everybody into the club, gave them food and drink. For the first time for a few years the club had a real family atmosphere.”

A radical aspect of the junior drive was the club's decision to offer free memberships to the children. In just four months 40 have taken up this offer.

Providing everything for free is a short-term incentive to create interest but George is convinced he can attract external funding so that no child will ever be turned away on the grounds of cost.

He is confident the club will earn an award that will pay for himself and three fellow members to attend Level 1 coaching in October. Having four qualified volunteer coaches would be a major breakthrough to the club’s plans to offer structured clubgolf coaching to large numbers from next March.

The program will take off this winter with taster sessions at the club and clubgolf introductory game coaching in schools. Plans for 2011 include offering children’s ‘fit for golf sessions’ and enter junior teams into the local leagues, having not been able to do so in 2010.

“Every single week we are seeing more kids at the coaching and they're all coming in from outside the club,” said a delighted George. “It's happening without us even approaching the schools in a big way.

“We have had a fantastic response from local children and it's obvious to see how much they are enjoying it.

“To get 60 children in our coaching is our aim. Considering we started with just six four months ago, that would be a 1000% increase, which would be quite impressive.”

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

BELGIAN JUNIOR INTERNATIONAL TOURNAMENT - McDonald selected to represet Scotland

Jack McDonald (Kilmarnock Barassie) has been selected in a squad of two boys and two girls to represent Scotland in the Total Belgian Junior International Tournament at the Royal Belgium Golf Club this week.

McDonald is joined by Liam Johnston (Dumfries & County) as well as Scottish Womens' Amateur Champion Kelsey MacDonald (Nairn Dunbar) and Scottish Girls Champion Lesley Atkins (Gullane Ladies).

MAIL ON SUNDAY GOLF CLASSIC - Skelmorlie ladies in last eight of national event

(Info from Jenny McGee)

The ladies from Skelmorlie are celebrating reaching the last eight of the 2010 Mail On Sunday Golf Classic

The club are ecstatic at reaching Round 9 after winning a thrilling match against Deer Park ladies on Saturday last, in their first appearance in the event.

The Skelmorlie Team -
Back row: Janet Harkness & Alex Sargent
Front row: Gillian Pollock, Kath Mackellar, Aileen Donaldson & Jenny McGee.                                    
Team member Jenny McGee gave a run down on the latest match.

"Our match against Deer Park turned out to be yet another nail-biter. With the first four games tied at 2-2 it was once again down to our captain Kath Mackellar to keep her cool at dormy two down. This she did in fine style, sinking two crucial long putts to force play on to the 19th hole".

"This was the third such scenario she had been involved in, having been in a similar situation against Dumbarton in Round 3 and Bearsden in Round 5. Once more she played the 1st hole in textbook fashion and having reached the green in two she putted out to seal yet another victory and send us on our way to Manchester next month".

as Jenny explained :- "We (Skelmorlie) are only a small club, which many folk,even in our own county of Ayrshire, have never heard of. However, in recent years we have gained many more lower handicap ladies and therefore felt we were capable of entering a good team. We are a mix of youth and experience, our youngest player being 21 year-old Alex Sargent, who has been playing since a junior of 11 and now plays off 12".

"The rest of our team of six consists of two PE teachers,one retired and one head of department in a local high school, a retired meteorologist, a retired geography teacher and a young mum of two promising boy golfers who is an office manager.

All at Ayrshiregolf wish the Skelmorlie ladies all the best in the next stage of the competition in Manchester.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

EISENHOWER TROPHY - Michael Stewart selected for Scotland to defend world title

Michael Stewart (Troon Welbeck) has been selected in the team of three players who will defend the World Amateur Team Championship for Scotland later this year.

(SGU news release)


The Scottish Golf Union has named the trio of James Byrne (Banchory), Ross Kellett (Colville Park) and Michael Stewart (Troon Welbeck) as the men tasked with defending the World Amateur Team Championship for Scotland in Buenos Aires, Argentina in October.

Scotland famously made history by winning the Eisenhower Trophy in Australia two years ago when the team of Wallace Booth, Gavin Dear and Callum Macaulay, captained by George Crawford, stormed to a nine-shot victory in Adelaide to become the first GB&I nation to lift the World Championship, which was followed by a win in the European Team Championship nine months later.

The three players selected are the leading Scots in the World Amateur Rankings, with Byrne currently at number 13, Kellett ranked 59th and Stewart just outside the top 100 at number 104.

Byrne, who has just begun this final year at Arizona State University, reached the final of the Amateur Championship in June and was a beaten semi-finalist at last month’s Allied Surveyors Scottish Amateur Championship. He narrowly missed out on a place at this summer’s Open Championship when he lost in a play-off at Kingsbarns and was Scotland’s leading performer at the European Amateur Championship, finishing in eleventh place.

Kellett will have fond memories of Buenos Aires where he reached the final of the Argentinean Amateur Championship last December, losing out to Frenchman Romain Wattel. The 22-year-old from Colville Park in Motherwell earned his maiden SGU Order of Merit success this year by winning the Tennant Cup in July and was a member of Scotland’s victorious European Amateur Team Championship last summer.

Stewart is Scotland’s man in form, having captured the Allied Surveyors Scottish Amateur Championship crown at Gullane before collecting five and a half points out of a possible six at last week’s Home Internationals to finish the country’s top points scorer. A former Scottish Boys Champion, the 20-year-old from Troon has recently returned from East Tennessee State University and represented GB&I at the Jacques Leglise Trophy two years ago.

Ian Rae, the SGU National Coach who worked with the victorious team two years ago, will once again accompany the players alongside captain Scott Knowles and looked forward to the defence of Scotland’s title:

“Winning the Eisenhower Trophy in Australia was a wonderful achievement for Scotland and really helped raise the profile of amateur golf in this country. Wallace, Gavin and Callum all became household names and I’m sure golfers across Scotland will be excited about the defence of our title in Argentina.”

“We have three very talented players in James, Ross and Michael who will go into the Championship with great confidence having all enjoyed good seasons to date. We have a strong team and know the players have the belief that they can bring the famous trophy back to Scotland once again, although I’m sure we’ll have some very tough opposition.” added Rae.

The Scotland team, sponsored by Aberdeen Asset Management and TaylorMade-adidas Golf, will travel to Sao Paulo on 17 October to begin their preparations, eleven days before the event gets underway (28 – 31 October) at Buenos Aires GC and Olivio GC.

Speaking at the announcement, Martin Gilbert, Chief Executive of team sponsors Aberdeen Asset Management, said:

“We are very proud to support the Scotland amateur golf team and their victory two years ago in Australia was a wonderful moment for sport in this country.”

“This is our fourth year of sponsorship with the SGU and we are delighted to play a part in the development of the country’s future stars. In James, Ross and Michael, we have three exceptional young players and we wish them every success in defending the title in Argentina.”

Sunday, August 22, 2010

WEST OF SCOTLAND INTER COUNTY BOYS LEAGUE - Ayrshire lose to Stirlingshire

The Ayrshire Under 18 team lost to Stirlingshire on Sunday 22nd August, at Caprington Golf Club, in the fourth of their series of five matches in the West Of Scotland Inter County Boys league for the Wishart Trophy

Stirlingshire took the early advantage, winning three of the four Under 16 ties, and after the honours were shared in the four Under 18 ties, Stirlingshire ran out winners overall by 5 - 3

Match Results

Under 16
Darren Young (Annanhill) lost to Peter Maxwell (Glenbervie) by 1 hole
Jack Thomas (Irvine) lost to Andrew Wood (Glenbervie) by 3&1
Daniel Forbes (Ardeer) beat Cameron Buist (Dunblane New) by 3&2
Greg Telfer (Prestwick St Cuthbert) lost to Blair Carnegie (Dunblane New) by 2&1

Under 18
Greg Vernon (Annanhill) lost to Dariusz Kunecki (Callander) by 1 hole
Ben Gibson (Troon Welbeck) halved with Euan Douglas (Dunblane New)
Gregor MacIntosh (Girvan) halved with Callum Bisset (Glenbervie)
Charlie MacNeal (Troon Welbeck) beat Gerg Nicol (Glenbervie) by 3&1


Ayrshire's final match in the series for 2010 is against Lanarkshire on Sunday 12th September at Carluke

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

ST ANDREWS TROPHY - Michael Stewart called up to GB & I side


The Great Britain and Ireland team to face the Continent of Europe in the 2010 St Andrews Trophy Match has been confirmed, with Michael Stewart (Troon Welbeck) one of three Scots named in the team.

“We have selected a very strong team for the match,” said GB&I Captain Nigel Edwards. “I’m pleased that we have a balanced team made up of players who all have undoubted talent and proven track-records in match play competition.

“We go to Italy knowing that we will face a tough Continent of Europe side, but we look forward to the challenge and expect to perform well.”

The nine players who will contest the match at Castelconturbia near Milan, Italy, are as follows:

James Byrne, Banchory: Byrne, who studies at Arizona State University, reached the final of the Amateur Championship at Muirfield in June and, more recently, finished 11th at the European Amateur Championship in Finland. He also represented Europe at the Palmer Cup in June at Royal Portrush.

Laurie Canter, Saltford: The reigning South African Amateur Champion has enjoyed an excellent season, winning a number of titles including the Hampshire Hog and the West of England Amateur. A strong match play competitor, he won five and a half points out of a possible six at last week’s Home Internationals.

Paul Cutler, Portstewart: 2010 Lytham Trophy Champion Cutler reached the quarter-final stage of the Amateur Championship. Cutler represented Ireland at the Home Internationals, earning two points from a possible three from his singles matches.

Ross Kellett, Colville Park: 2009 European Amateur Championship runner-up Kellett won the Tennant Cup at Glasgow – Gailes Links and Killermont in June. Earlier in the year he finished in fifth place at the Portuguese Amateur and, recently, he represented Scotland at the Home Internationals.

Tom Lewis, Welwyn Garden City: The 2009 Boys Amateur Champion won the Berkhamsted Trophy this year, as well as finishing runner-up in the Welsh Open Stroke Play. In 2010 he has formed part of winning England teams at the European Team Championship, the Home Internationals and the European Nations Cup.

Matthew Nixon, Ashton-under-Lyne: Another member of the winning English team at the Home Internationals, Nixon has been remarkably consistent this year, producing a string of good results including a third-place finish at the Lytham Trophy and a fourth-place at the Scottish Amateur Stroke Play Championship. He also reached the semi-finals of the 2010 Amateur Championship.

Eddie Pepperell, Drayton Park: 2009 Boys Amateur Championship runner-up Pepperell has enjoyed a successful season with wins coming at the Welsh Open Stroke Play and the Berkshire Trophy. He was also part of the English team at the European Team Championship and the Home Internationals.

Michael Stewart, Troon Welbeck: Winner of the 2010 Scottish Amateur Championship, former Scottish Boys Champion Stewart earned five and a half points from a possible six for Scotland at the Home Internationals.

Darren Wright, Rowlands Castle: The 2009 West of England Amateur Champion added the Brabazon Trophy to his list of achievements this year, before forming part of the victorious English team at last week’s Home Internationals.

The Continent of Europe team is:

Alexis Godillot (France) – Non-playing Captain

Nino Bertasio (Italy); Jesper Kennegard (Sweden); Max Kieffer (Germany); Espen Kofstad (Norway); Johann Lopez-Lazaro (France); Morten Orum Madsen (Denmark); Kalle Samooja (Finland); Romain Wattel (France); Pontus Widegren (Sweden).

The 2010 St Andrews Trophy will be held at Castelconturbia, Italy, on August 27-28. Four foursomes ties will be played each morning, with eight singles matches being played on Friday and Saturday afternoon.

The St Andrews Trophy Match is played every two years between Great Britain and Ireland, and the Continent of Europe. It was first played in 1956 over the West Course at Wentworth. Great Britain and Ireland have won the last five matches, including at Kingsbarns in 2008. The most recent Continent of Europe victory came at Golf Villa D’Este in 1998. The GB and I team is selected by The R and A and the Continent of Europe side by the European Golf Association

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

BRITISH BOYS AMATEUR CHAMPIONSHIP - Kilmarnock (Barassie) championship success

Kilmarnock (Barassie) had a most succesful week, along with Dundonald Links, when they hosted the Boys Amateur Championship which concluded on Sunday.

(From the R & A Website)

Spain’s Adrian Otaegui has become the Champion Boy Golfer for the Year after winning the 2010 Boys Amateur Championship. He defeated Germany’s Max Rottluff 4&3 in Sunday's 36-hole final at a cloudless Kilmarnock (Barassie). Otaegui is the next in a long list of Spanish winners of the event, including Jose Maria Olazabal in 1983, Sergio Garcia in 1997 and Pablo Martin in 2001.

Having been all-square after the 20th hole, the 17-year-old from San Sebastian, who now lives near Biarritz in France, struck a telling blow in winning four consecutive holes from the 21st to the 24th with scores of par, birdie, bogey and par, respectively. Otaegui had his lead cut to three-up after a Rottluff birdie on the 29th hole, but a birdie for a half on the 30th followed by three consecutive pars saw him claim victory on the 33rd, after his opponent could only make bogey.

“I am very excited to win this Championship. I played well. I didn’t putt as well as the other days, but I was solid with the irons and I think I only missed two fairways in the afternoon,” said the full Spanish international, who earns an exemption into the 2011 Amateur Championship at Hillside and Hesketh. “The four holes from hole three were very important. I didn’t make many mistakes and Max missed the green a few times.

“It’s amazing to have my name on the trophy next to Garcia, Olazabal and the other good players from Spain who have won. Olazabal is my hero and I sometimes practice with him, so I will call him tonight to let him know that I was the winner. I’m sure he’ll be very happy.

“It has been a great week and I liked this course very much,” added Otaegui, who has been selected in the nine-man team to represent the Continent of Europe in the Jacques Leglise Trophy Match against Great Britain and Ireland on 27 & 28 August at Castelconturbia in Italy.

For Rottluff, who played alongside Otaegui in the stroke play qualifying rounds, it was a disappointing end to the Championship. But the 17-year-old from Dusseldorf was, nevertheless, pleased with the way the week had gone.

“I actually played better today than I did in the last two days, but it did not go my way and Adrian played very well,” said Rottluff. “The four holes that I lost together this afternoon were bad for me. It’s very difficult to come back against a player as good as him from four holes away.

“I’ve have had a good Championship and I’m happy that I got to the final of the Boys Amateur. I will be back next year to see if I can win it.”

Burnham and Berrow, along with Enmore Park, will host the Boys Amateur Championship on 9-14 August 2011.

SCOTTISH AMATEUR CHAMPIONSHIP - BBC Highlights of Michael Stewart's win

Readers wanting to catch highlights of Michael Stewart's win in the Scottish Amateur Championship at Gullane can do so via the Scottish Golf Union link below

Monday, August 16, 2010

LADIES GOLF - Audrey Thomson wins national championship

On the day that Tommy McInally took the Ayrshire Champion Of Champions Trophy back to Loudoun Gowf Club, there was cause for double celebration at the club on Friday when 4 handicapper Audrey Thompson won the Barnardo's Scottish Grand Final at Arbroath Golf Club.
With 31 Stableford points on a very windy day, Audrey tied with Penny Maxwell (Strathmore), who plays off 33, and 18 handicapper Fay Rosenburg (Braehead) at the head of the 43 strong field of qualifiers, who won through to the finals via club qualifying competitions held throughout Scotland.

Audrey was declared the winner by virtue of the best inward half, ahead of the other two players.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

AYRSHIRE BOYS MATCHPLAY CHAMPIONSHIP - Double delight for Wilson at Prestwick

David Wilson (Troon Welbeck) - pictured right - became the first ever player to retain the Ayrshire Boys Matchplay Championship, at Prestwick Golf Club on Saturday evening, after fighting back from a number of holes down to retain the title with victory at the first extra hole of an exciting match.

In the final, Wilson faced the 2009 West Of Scotland Boys Matchplay title winner Euan Walker (Kilmarnock Barassie) - pictured below - and it was Walker who took the early lead with a winning par four at the first hole.

With the second halved in par threes, Wilson levelled the match at the third where a par five was enough to better Walker's effort.

With Wilson struggling from the tee, Walker the fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh and fouund himself four up as the defending champion was unable to do any better than a bogey at all four holes.

At the eighth hole Euan Walker had the opportunity to go five up but his short putt for a par four slipped past and the unexpected half seemed to boost Wilson's resolve to get back into the match.

Wilson took advantage of the lett off at the eighth over the next two holes, winning the ninth with a birdie three and the long tenth, into the wind, with a fine par four to reduce the defecit to two holes.

Euan Walker stopped the fightback briefly at the eleventh where a par three restored a three hole lead for him but a birdie four at the twelfth and a good par four at the difficult thirteenth brought Daviod Wilson back to within one hole of Walker. 

The fourteenth was halved in par fours as the players turned into Prestwick's famed finishing loop of four holes which have provided many a tale of exciting matchplay golf over the years.

This proved to be one such tale. David Wilson squared the match for the first time since the opening hole at the 15th with a great shot onto the green which set up a winning birdie three. 

Despite losing his considerable leading margin, Euan walker showed his mettle at the 288 yard sixteenth hole where he drove the green  and holed his putt for a winning eagle two against David Wilson's birdie three.

Again the defending champion came back at the seventeenth, and a good putt for a par four was enough to square the match once again. A half in par fours at the final hole took the match into extra holes, and the players returned to the first tee once again to tackle the famed 346 yard Railway hole. 

David Wilson teed off first and pulled his tee shot a little left, whilst Euan walker hit a  good iron to the left centre of the fairway. Wilson them produced a fine eight iron from difficult rough which rolled up and came to rest just four feet from the pin.

Under the pressure of the situation, Euan walker pulled his nine iron approach left of the green and into the greenside bunker, from which he slplashed out to fifteen feet in three. To his great credit, Euan Walker holed his put for a very good par four, leaving David Wilson facing his four fout putt for a winning birdie three to retain his title.

Wilson stepped up and bravely holed the putt for  victory at the first extra hole and a place in the record books.

At the conclusion of play, prizes were awarded to both players by Ayrshire Golf Association Past President Ricky Magee (Caprington) and the trophy was passed into the custody of David Wilson for another year.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

AYRSHIRE CHAMPION OF CHAMPIONS - Two in a row for McInally at Troon

Defending champion Tommy McInally (Loudoun) made it two in a row at Royal Troon on Friday evening when he defeated Scott McCahill (Maybole) in the final of the 2010 Ayrshire Champion Of Champions Trophy competition to retain his title.

McInally, who had four previous wins in the event under his belt, looked favourite against first time finalist McCahill, but from the first hole McCahill served notice of his ability, holing from four feet for a birdie three to take a one hole lead after one. With the outward holes playing downwind, the two players shared the next three holes with pars before the match was squared when McCahill was long and left from the tee at the par three fifth hole and could not get up and down, prompting him to concede McInally's 15 foot putt for a two.

As McCahill found a bunker on the right from the tee at the long sixth, McInally took full advantage and , with his opponent struggling to the green in four before missing his par putt, Mcinally was conceded a second successive birdie and took a one hole lead in the match.

A half in solid fours at the seventh brought the players to the 8th tee, the famous Postage Stamp. McInally's ball was bunkered on the front right of the green whilist McCahill's effort came to rest on the steep bank of rough on the left of the green.

McInally's effort to extracate himself saw his ball run into an adjacent bunker before he made the putting surface in three with his next effort. Mccahill, facing a severe slope down to the green and with little green to work with, played a superb wedge shot which came to rest 12 feet from the hole. McCahill completed a superb recovery by holing his putt for a par three and squaring the match once again.

A less dramatic hole to finish the first half saw the players half the hole in par to turn for home all square.

In fine but testing conditions, with a stiff breeze from the North, McInally and McCahill's scores of 35 and 37 respectively against the par of 36 were impressive.

The players turned back for home at the 10th and back into the testing breeze. It was over these inward holes that McInally took control of the match and used his shotmaking ability to its full advantage to overcome McCahill.

At the 10th hole, McCahill found a rough hollow on the right from the tee and his attempt to reach the green from the unfavourable lie saw his ball plummet into a gorse bushe, necessitating a penalty drop to get the ball back in play.

McInally missed the green to the right with his approach whilst McCahill played his fourth shot onto the back left fringe of the putting surface. An excellet chip to 10 feet from the hole by McInally, coupled with a missed bogey attempt by McCahill prompted a conceded par four to McInally who was now one hole ahead once again.

The railway hole, the hardest hole on the course, was halved in bogey fives and when McCahill failed to get up and down after missing the 12th green in two, whilst McInally two putted from the bottom tier of the green for a par four, McInally's lead was extended to two holes.

The players again turned into a stiffening wind at the 13th and it was noticable that McIanlly was considerably longer offf the tee into the breeze, giving him a distinct advantage over the closing holes.

So it proved at the 411 yard 13th hole which was playing considerably longer into the wind. McCahill was slightly left from the tee and his approach came up short and in a gulley on the left of the approach to the green. Mcinally, hitting from some 30 yards further on, and left with an approach shot of over 200 yds struck a superb wood shot which he drilled through the wind and which came to rest on the green some 40 feet from the hole. As McCahill struggled on the hole, McInally had a comfortable two putt for his par four and a three hole lead.

With holes running out, McCahill was unable to get up and down for his par at the par three 14th hole, leaving McInally with a 7 foot putt for a winning three, which he duly slotted home to go dormie four.

The 15th hole, which proved to be the last one of the match, saw McInally again show his prowess into the wind, with his second shot coming up just short of the green whilst McCahill struggled to control his approach. Moments later, after a good chip to the green, McInally's par four was conceded by McCahill and the Champion had retained his title with a 5 & 3 victory.

At the conclusion of the match, which was watched by a sizeable gallery of spectators, prizes were presented to both players by Ken Arthur, Captain of Royal Troon Golf Club - pictured below with the finalists -, who then passed the Champion Of Champions Trophy into the custody of Tommy McInally for another year.

McInally can now look forward to trying to match his previousl feat of winning the title three years in a row, which he successfully achieved in 2003, 2004 and 2005 to become the first and only player to do so in the 35 year hstory of the event.