Saturday, July 20, 2019

SCOTTISH BOYS' & GIRLS' CHAMPIONSHIPS - Ayrshire players make their mark with three through to semi finals

Ayrshire players are to the fore in the Scottish Boys’ and Scottish Girls’ Championships, being played this week at Blairgowrie GC, with Ruben Lindsay (Ayr Belleisle), Freya Russell (Royal Troon) and Rachel Foster (Prestwick St Nicholas) through to Sunday morning’s semi finals in their respective events.

In the Boy’s Championship, Ruben Lindsay was the best of the Ayrshire Qualifiers for the matchplay stages when he finished sixth overall in the strokeplay qualifying rounds which were played on Wednesday and Thursday, with two rounds of 72 for a level par total of 144.

The cut for the matchplay fell at 155, 11 over par, which saw Elliot Thom (Turnberry) (75/75=150) and Alyx Murray (Troon Welbeck) (79/73=152) also qualify for the latter stages, whilst Sean Addie (Ayr Belleisle) (79/79=157), Dylan Cairns (Prestwick St Nicholas) (82/78=160) and Liam Kirkham (Troon Welbeck) (78/82=160) failed to progress.

All three Ayrshire players successfully negotiated the first round of the matchplay on Friday morning, Elliot Thom winning at the 19th against Calum Daun (Nairn), Alyx Murray beating Jamie Marchbank (Dumfries & Galloway) by 1 hole and Ruben Lindsay having a 2 hole victory over Callum McMillan (Kirkcudbright), but both Thom and Murray bowed out in the second round on Friday afternoon, Murray losing at the 19th to Jack McDonald (Dunbar) and Thom losing 3&1 to Gregor Graham (Blairgowrie).

This left Ruben Lindsay, who won his second round match by 5&4 against Jamie Roberts (Muckhart) as the only Ayrshire player left in the championship as it progressed to the last 16 stage on Saturday morning, and Lindsay marched on to the quarter finals on Saturday afternoon with a 2&1 win over Jack Lockhart (Pitreavie).

In the quarter finals on Saturday afternoon Ruben Lindsay was up against Aidan O’Hagan (Old Ranfurly). Despite conceding the first hole to go one down, Lindsay Squared the match at the fourth when O’Hagan could only manage a bogey five. Lindsay then went one up at the fifth when a par three was good enough to take the hole, and although O’Hagen matched Lindsay’s birdie three at the sixth, Lindsay soon doubled his lead to two holes with a birdie four at the eighth hole.

O’Hagen slipped up again at the tenth with a bogey five which allowed Lindsay to increase his lead to three holes and a birdie three at the fifteenth from Lindsay saw him secure his place in Sunday morning’s semi finals with a 4&3 victory.

In the semi finals Ruben Lindsay will play Andrew Thornton (Muckhart) whilst Cameron Gallagher (Longniddry) will play Evan Orr (Newmachar) in the other semi-final.

The Scottish Girls’ Championship began two days later, on Friday 19th July, with the two strokeplay qualifying rounds which saw three Ayrshire players through to the matchplay Stages of the Championship.

Rachel Foster (Prestwick St Nicholas) qualified in second place after rounds of 74 and 73 for a one under par total of 147 and she was joined in the matchplay by Claire McLaughlin (West Kilbride) on 153 (78/75) and Freya Russell (Royal Troon) on 155 (78/77).

The cut for the matchplay stages fell at 157, with Luisa Gibson (Irvine) just missing out, in 17th place,  on 159 (82/77).

As in the boys’ championship, In the first round of the matchplay played on Saturday morning all three Ayrshire players progressed, Claire McLaughlin beating Carys Irvine (Craigielaw) by 5&4 whilst Freya Russell beat Evana Hynd (Lundin GC) and Rachel Foster had a nailbiting win over Ellen Caton (St Regulus) at the first extra hole.

In the quarter finals on Saturday afternoon Claire McLaughlin bowed out, defeated 7&5 by Katy Alexander (Blairgowrie) but Freya Russell won a place in the semi finals with a 1 hole victory over Porscha Wilson (Burntisland Golf House) alongside Rachel Foster who cruised into the last four with a 5&3 win over Cameron Neilson (Alvaneu Bad).

In Sunday morning’s semi-finals, Freya Russell will play Katy Alexander (Blairgowrie) whilst Rachel Foster plays Eilidh Henderson (Loretto School).

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