Wednesday, May 01, 2019

CAREER GRAND SLAM IN AYRSHIRE - Who has won all four major county mens' titles ?

Following on from Michael Smyth's first win in the Ayrshire Strokeplay Championship at Loudoun on Sunday 28th April, which completed his career 'grand slam' of major Ayrshire mens' titles, which include the Ayrshire Champion Of Champions Trophy, The Ayrshire Strokeplay Championship, The Ayrshire Matchplay title and the Ayrshire Order of Merit for the Doc Thom Salver, the question has been asked....'How many players have completed the 'career Grand Slam' in Ayrshire.

Although a number of players have completed three of the four, there are only four players who have won all four titles in their playing career.

Leslie Crawford
The first to complete the set was former Ayrshire Golf Association secretary R. Leslie Crawford of Caprington and then Kilmarnock Barassie GC, who won the first of his seven matchplay tites in 1970, followed by further successes in the competition in 1971, 1974, 1978, 1983, 1989 and 1991.

Leslie's first success in the Strokeplay Championship came in 1975, followed by further wins in 1983, 1989 and 1990.

His single success in the Champion of Champions came in 1978 and he became the first player to complete the 'Grand Slam' when he won the Doc Thom salver in 1983.

Allan Thomson

The following year, 1984, former Scotland internationalist J. Allan Thomson of Ayr Belleisle GC won his only Matchplay title to complete the career 'Grand Slam', having won the Champion of Champions Trophy in 1979, two Strokeplay Championships in 1978 and 1991 and seven Order of Merit titles in 1980, 1982, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1988 and 1991.

Tommy McInally

It would be another 26 years before another player completed the quadralateral of all four major mens' Ayrshire titles, when Tommy McInally of Loudoun Gowf Club won the Doc Thom Salver for the Order of Merit in 2010, which added to his Matchplay Championship success in 2006, three Strokeplay championships in 2003, 2010 and 2015 and five Champion of Champions Trophy wins in 2003, 2004, 2005, 2009 and 2010.

Michael Smyth

And so to 2019 and the fourth player to achieve wins in all four County 'Majors'. Michael Smyth of Royal Troon won the first of his four Matchplay Championship titles in 2011, with further wins in 2013, 2015 and 2018 and won the first of his two Order of Merit titles the same year, 2011, which he followed with another Doc Thom salver win in 2017 when he also had his one Champion of Champions Trophy win to date. After losing in a play off for the Strokeplay Championship in 2011, success in a similar play off for the 2019 championship saw Michael join Leslie, Allan and Tommy in a select band of golfers in Ayrshire. .

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