Friday, November 20, 2009


.................................MICHAEL STEWART (image by Tom Ward Photography)

Michael Stewart beats David Law on 18th green

after match of highest quality in Argentina

Michael Stewart claimed the scalp of Scottish men's and boys' match-play champion David Law in a classic head-to-head first-round tie which was the scoring highlight of the Argentina men's open amateur golf championship at Buenos Aires Golf Club.

Troon Welbeck's Stewart, winner of the Scottish boys' match-play title last year and a second-year student at East Tennessee State University, edged through to the last 32 by a one-hole margin over Hazlehead's Law. Both men produced sub-par performances.

There was one eagle and eight birdies in the match which twisted first one way, then the other.

Law seized the early initiative by winning three early holes, the first with a par, the second with a birdie and the sixth with another birdie to be three holes up on the seventh tee.

Stewart then got into his stride with birdies at the seventh and eighth to cut the Aberdonian's lead to one hole before the Ayrshire young man holed an eagle putt at the 10th to square the great contest.

But Law hit back with a birdie at the 12th to regain the lead only to go one down for the first time in the match when Stewart birdied both the 13th and 14th.

Law came again to square the match at the 15th - again with a birdie.

After a half in pars at the 16th, Law three-putted the 17th for his only bogey of the round. It was to prove a costly one. Stewart won the hole to regain a one-hole lead and closed his opponent out with a half in par at the last.

Stewart will now play Australia Ryan McCarthy, the No 22 qualifier. Stewart was the 11th qualifier.

Both the other Scots in the international field won their ties.

Ross Kellett ( Colville Park ), the No 4 seed, won by 5 and 3 against Valentino Dall'arche ( Argentina ), the No 61 qualifier. Kellett now plays Toni Hakula ( Finland ), the No 29 qualifier.

James Byrne (Banchory), a student at Arizona State University and the No 17 qualifier, won by 4 and 2 over the No 48 qualifier, Martin Celsi (Argentina). Byrne now plays the top German prospect, Sean Einhaus, the No 16 qualifier.

England's Eddie Pepperell ( Drayton Park ), the No 19 qualifier, beat Mariano Malmierca ( Argentina ), the No 46 qualifier, by 4 and 2 and now plays Sergia Sosa ( Spain ), the No 14 qualifier.

Scottish open amateur stroke-play champion Tommy Fleetwood (Formby Hall), the No 40 qualifier, lost by 3 and 2 to New Zealand 's Peter Spearman Burn, the No 25 qualifier.

The top seed, Germany 's Benedict Staben lost by 3 and 1 to the last of the 64 qualifiers, Argentina 's Facundo Villaneuva.



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