Thursday, August 21, 2014

AYRSHIRE BOYS MATCHPLAY CHAMPIONSHIP - Jack takes second county title in three weeks

2014 Ayrshire Boys Matchplay Champion
Jack Thomas
Jack Thomas (Irvine) won his second county title in three weeks when he claimed the Ayrshire Boys Matchplay crown at Prestwick Golf Club on Thursday 21st August, beating Ayrshire team mate Murray McCrone (Troon Welbeck) in the final. 

17 year old Thomas was bidding to become the secons successive player to win both boys strokeplay and matchplay titles in the same year after Louis Murray (Troon Welbeck) completed the double last year.

Conditions for the final were good, with bright skies and a testing wind from the sea.

Thomas played probably his best golf of the week in beating 16 year old McCrone in the final.

Both players opened with par fours but a bogey at the short second home from McCrone saw him go behind in the match early on.

After a half in par fives at the cardinal hole, the third, Thomas extended his lead to two holes with a birdie three at the fourth. The players halved in par at the next two holes but successive bogeys from McCrone, at both the seventh and eighth holes, saw Thomas' lead increase to four holes.

McCrone desperately needed to halt the slide, and when Thonas could only make five at the ninth hole, McCrone capitalised with a par four to take the hole and reduce the deficit to three holes as the players turned for home.

The fight back from McCrone was short lived however, a double bogey six at the tenth hole allowing Thomas to restore his four hole lead.

Both players bogeyed the par three eleventh hole but another par at the long par five twelfth hole was good enough for jack Thomas to increase his lead to five holes with six to play.

McCrone is well known in the county for his fighting qualities in match play and he secured a good par four at the long thirteenth hole which was enough to reduce the deficit to four holes once again.

With the fourteenth halved in par fours, Thomas moved to the fifteenth tee dormie four, and a par four on the testing fifteenth was enough for Thomas to win the hole and take the title with a 5&3 victory.
2014 finalists
Jack Thomas
Murray McCrone
At the conclusion of the championship, in the presence of a group of spectators and Prestwick Golf Club members, as well as visiting members from the Royal & Ancientt Golf Club of St Andrews, Ayrshire Golf Association President Milton Murray presented prizes to both finalists and handed the trophy and commemorative medal to the 2014 champion Jack Thomas.

In conclusion, Jack Thomas thanked Prestwick Golf Club and their members for hosting the championship and Ayrshire officials for organising the event, as well as paying tribute to his caddie and clubmate Stuart Easton and his final opponent Murray McCrone.

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