Ayrshire comfortable qualified for the Matchplay stages of the 2016 Scottish Area Team Championships on Friday 2nd September at Dalmahoy, in their bid to retain the title they won last year.
With the best five of the six scores from each course being added to give the team score, Ayrshire’s four over par total of 709 saw them through as the fourth of the eight qualifiers.
Keith Hamilton (Ayr Belleisle) led the way for Ayrshire with an excellent three under par score of 70 in the morning over the longer East course, with no dropped shots and birdies at the third, ninth and seventeenth. Keith followed his morning round with a two under par 66 in the afternoon over the West Course. After carding three bogeys in the opening five holes, Keith birdied the sixth and seventh, bogeyed the eighth and closed out the outward half with a further birdie at the ninth to be one over par at the turn. A bogey at the tenth was then followed by four birdies in five holes from the twelfth to give him a round of 66.
Led the way for Ayrshire
with 5 under par total
Keith’s five under par total of 136 for his two rounds was joint fifth best individual effort of the day, behind Connor Syme (Drumoig) on 131 (-10)
The other players on the longer East course in the morning were Malcolm Pennycott (Whiting Bay) and John Shanks (Irvine)
Malcolm went to the turn in the morning in one under par with birdies at the third and eighth and a bogey at the seventh but the inward half proved more of a struggle, four bogeys being carded for an eventual score of three over par 76.
Two bogeys on the outward half and a double bogey at the thirteenth from John Shanks put him four over par with five to play. Things looked brighter for him with a birdie at the sixteenth but a bogey, double bogey finish laft John on 79 (+6) for his morning round.
Over the shorter West course in the morning, Steven Wallace (Prestwick St Cuthbert) and Michael Smyth (Royal Troon) both returned level par 68’s, whilst Charlie Macneal (Prestwick) was one further back on 69.
Steven had a bogey, birdie start and a double bogey six at the fourth followed by a bogey at the ninth saw him out in three over par 37. Steven turned things around in the inward half with no dropped shots and birdies at the eleventh, thirteenth and fourteenth to finish on level par for the round.
Michael had a very solid round with birdies at the second and sixth being offset by bogeys at the fourth and fourteenth to match Steven’s level par total of 68.
Charlie birdied both the sixth and seventh on his outward nine in the morning and despite a bogey at the fifteenth he was on course to match his teammates until a double bogey at the par three seventeenth pushed him to one over par for the round.
After the morning rounds, Ayrshire lay in fifth place, with the top eight qualifying to progress to the Matchplay rounds.
Playing the longer east course in the afternoon, Michael Smyth carded a four over par 77. All the damage was done early on with five bogeys in the opening eight holes, but Michael dug deep and covered the remaining holes in one under par, recording birdies at the ninth and fourteenth and dropping just a single shot at the sixteenth.
Steven Wallace added a two over par 75 in the afternoon, an opening eagle three and a closing birdie at the ninth being offset by four successive bogeys from the fifth for a one over par 37 in the outward half, with further bogeys at the eleventh and thirteenth and a birdie four at the final hole adding up to a very useful 75 for the team score.
An opening birdie four from Charlie Macneal in the afternoon was spoiled by a double bogey seven at the ninth but a birdie four at the tenth got Charlie back to level par befoe bogeys at the twelfth, thirteenth and sixteenth took his score up to a creditable three over par 76.
Best for Ayrshire
over West Course
Over on the shorter West course in the afternoon Keith Hamilton’s excellent two under par effort was overshadowed by Malcolm Pennycott’s display, an opening run of bogey, birdie, bogey beign followed by birdies at the fifth, sixth and ninth to give Malcolm a two under par outward nine, which he followed with three birdies and a single bogey at the thirteenth in the inward half for a four under par return of 64.
John Shanks had a solid afternoon round on the West course, birdies at the fourth and ninth and a bogey at the seventh seeing him to the turn in one under par. Successive bogeys at the eleventh and twelfth in the inward half gave John a score of 69, one over par, for his afternoon round.
In the defence of their title, Ayrshire ultimately qualified comfortably for the Matchplay stages in fourth place of the eight qualifiers, behind Lothians, North east and Fife.
The full list of team scores is :-
692 (-13) – Lothians
698 (- 8) – North East
705 (par) – Fife
709 (+4) – Ayrshire
710 (+5) – Glasgow
711 (+6) – Lanarkshire
713 (+8) – North
713 (+8) – Perth & Kinross
715 (+10) – Angus
725 (+20)- Renfrewshire
727 (+22) – Borders
738 (+33) – South
738 (+33) – Argyll & Bute
739 (+34) – Dumbartonshire
747 (+42) – Stirlingshire
753 (+48) – Clackmannanshire
The Matchplay stages commence on Saturday morning with the quarter finals.
Each match comprises four singles ties and one foursomes, all ties to be played to a finish.
The semi finals are played on Saturday afternoon under the same format whilst the final is scheduled to take place on Sunday with three foursomes in the morning and six singles in the afternoon.
The draw for Saturday morning’s quarter finals is:-
Lothians Vs North
Ayrshire Vs Glasgow
North East Vs Perth & Kinross
Fife Vs Lanarkshire