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.

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