Wednesday, May 08, 2019


The quarter final matches in the 2019 Ayrshire Matchplay Championship were completed at Iirvine GC on Tuesday night, 7th May, with three former champions making it through to Wednesday night's semi finals.


Michael Smyth
Defending champion Michael Smyth (Royal Troon) avenged his defeat in the 2016 final when he got the better of the 2016 winner John Shanks (Irvine) in their last eight encounter.

Smyth went behind in the match when he conceded the second but a birdie three at the fourth from the Troon player squared the match, only for Shanks to win the next with a birdie, before Smyth countered with a birdie three at the next hole to square the match once more after six.

Smyth edged in front at the eighth when a par three was good enough to take the hole, but a bogey at the ninth from Smyth let Shanks square the match as they turned for home.

Good golf from both players saw the majority of holes covered in par in the inward nine but significantly Smyth added birdie threes at the twelfth and fifteenth which gave him a two hole lead with three to play. At the par three sixteenth, Shanks could not match Smyth's par three and the match ended 3&2 in favour of the defending champion Michael Smyth.

Tommy McInally
In Wednesday's semi final Michael Smyth will face another former winner in Tommy McInally (Loudoun).

McInally faced the challenge of Blair Morton (Royal Troon) in the quarter finals and took and early lead when a par four was enough to win the opening hole., and the lead was maintained until the fifth when Morton squared the match with a birdie three.

McInally took the next two holes with a par and a birdie but a poor finish from him to the outward nine saw him lose both the eighth and ninth to par to leave the match all square at the turn.

A birdie three at the twelfth restored McInally's advantage and when Morton bogeyed both the fourteenth and fifteenth, McInally was three ahead with three to play, with a par three at the sixteenth eventually being enough for him to close out the match by 3&2.

Darren Mallinson
Darren Mallinson (Irvine) maintained local interest with a win over Robbie Muir (Kilmarnock Barassie) in their quarter final match.

Par figures over the opening three holes and a birdie three at the fourth gave Mallinson a two hole lead at that stage but successive birdie threes from Muir at the fifth and sixth was enough to square the match, which remained that way until the turn.

A par and a birdie at the opening two holes of the inward nine put Mallinson two up once again and although Muir pegged him back a little with a birdie three at the fourteenth, mallinson closed the match out by 3&2 by winning the fifteenth with a birdie three and the sixteenth with a birdie two.

Scott Brown
In the semi finals Mallinson will face another former champion in Scott Brown (Prestwick St Cuthbert), who overcame William Fleming (Ballochmyle) in the quarter finals in the only tie to go past the sixteenth hole.

Fleming took the opening hole with a par but Brown hit back immediately with an eagle three at the par five second hole to square the tie.

A concession by Fleming at the fourth followed by a birdie three at the fifth put Brown two ahead, only for Fleming to reduce the lead to one by taking the sixth hole with a birdie three, and Brown quickly restoring his two hole advantage by winning the eighth with a par three which he maintained to the turn.

A pr four at the eleventh was enough to put Brown three ahead at that stage but a bogey at the twelfth by Brown and successive birdies from Fleming at the next two holes saw the lead evaporate and the players moved to the fifteenth hole with the match all square.

Brown went ahead again immediately with a birdie three at the fifteenth and a par three at the sixteenth from both players, followed by a winning birdie three from Fleming at the seventeenth saw the match return to all square with just the final hole to play.

In keeping with the excellent play over the closing holes, the final hole was also won with a birdie three, with Scott Brown taking the honours and moving into the semi finals with a single hole victory in the match.

The semi finals are scheduled to take place at Irvine GC on the evening of Wednesday 8th May, with the final at the same venue twenty four hours later.

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