Saturday, July 30, 2016

George Duncan beats Andrew Burgess 3 and 1 to be the new Scottish Amateur champion.

George Duncan (Windyhill) is the 89th Scottish Amateur Champion.
In a disappointing final - disappointing after the two cracking, semi-finals on Friday - the 21-year-old student at Lincoln Memorial University, Tennessee, beat another US college student, Andrew Burgess (Nairn and Armstrong State University), also 21, by 3 and 1 in the 36-hole concluding match over Royal Aberdeen's Balgownie links.
They say that you play your best golf GETTING to the final rather than when you get there and that was certainly the case today.
Duncan, who was two up after the first 18 holes, was approxiately six over par for the 35 played.
Burgess, who was round in an excellent 66 to beat the favourite Connor Syme (Drumoig) in Friday afternoon's semi-finals, conceded three holes in the final so it is difficult to give an approximation of his standard of play in relation to par. It could have been double digits over.
But let us take nothing away from either the Nairn or the Windyhill current club champions.
From a starting field of 256, these two world unranked players battled their way until they were the only two left standing.
Their performances in reaching it against all the odds deserve to be remembered.
World rankings are based on performances in stroke-play tournaments. 
And, as we all know, match-play is a different game.
Two places in the Scotland team for the Home Internationals at Nairn were left blank, to be filled AFTER the Scottish amateur championship.
With the Ailsa Summers controversy - the champion who was not selected for Scotland's Women's Home Internationals team - still reverberating round the women's game, what will the MEN who select the Scotland teams do with this potentially hot potato.
Do they leave out both Duncan and Burgess? Do they choose both men or only the champion? An interesting dilemma.
Burgess started the final well enough and went two up with a par at the 13th. But that was his high point. He bogeyed three holes in a row from the 14th, allow Duncan to go one up at the16th - the first time the Windyhill man had led, and he never looked back after birdieing the short 17th to go two up, a position he retained over the lunch break.
The writing was on the wall for Burgess when he went three down at the 21st. He did reduce his deficit to two holes three times over the remaining holes but he could not reproduce the sub-par golf that KO'd Syme 24 hours earlier.



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