Thursday, October 07, 2010

Murcar Links member Bews is runner-up in Amateur 1-2 finish

North-east's winning team at the Scottish Alliance championship. Left to right: Ian Bratton, Jordan Findlay, Anthony Bews, Philip McLean and Andrew Campbell. Kevin Duncan was also a team member but had to leave before the prizegiving. Image by Cal Carson Golf Agency.



Fraserburgh's Jordan Findlay, recapturing the form that saw him reach two British boys' championship finals in a row as a teenager, outstripped his amateur and professional rivals to win the Scottish Golfers' Alliance championship by the comfortable margin of five strokes at Murcar Links today. He had started the last round with a lead of two from Terry Mathieson, the former Murcar amateur who is now on the pro staff at Dunbar.
Now 22 and beaten finalist in this year's Scottish amateur championship at Gullane, Findlay's rounds of two-under-par 69 in a half-gale on Day 1 at Murcar Links, a two-under 70 in the second round at Newburgh and a repeat 69 on his return to Murcar for the last round, gave him an excellent final total of six-under-par 208.
"I was brought up playing golf in the wind at the Broch (Fraserburgh), so I was quite at home with the weather over the three days," said Findlay who gained his first Scotland cap in the home internationals.
"I've been playing well for most of the season. The big disappointment was failing to get past Stage 1 of the European Tour Qualifying School at Dundonald Links but I am going to stay amateur for another year, and have a real go at earning selection for the Walker Cup match at Royal Aberdeen next September. It's a tall order but if I can play well in the Lytham Trophy and the British amateur championship next year, it can be done."
Findlay birdied the long fourth with two putts, the short fifth, the 11th and the long 14th in halves of 36 and 33. He bogeyed the first with three putts and the sixth where he was bunkered but other than that it was a most assured front-running display that suggests the former US college circuit player could yet make the grade as a tour pro at next year's Qualifying School.
It is indicative of Findlay's improved form from about midway through the season that he was not selected for the North-east District team who won the SGU team championship in May.
"I just wasn't playing well enough at that point of the year," said Jordan.
Anthony Bews, who works in Gary Forbes' Murcar Links pro shop but is an amateur with no plans to turn pro because he is "enjoying the game so much," also had plenty of reasons to be cheerful after rounds of 67, 75 and 71 (37-34) for one-under-par 213 saw him finish second – the first 1-2 amateur finish in the Scottish Alliance championship for a long time.
Bews, who was a member of that title-winning North-east District team in May, birdied the 17th and holed a par-saving 25ft putt at the last to be the only other player apart from Findlay to be under par for the 54 holes and also to finish one shot ahead of professionals Paul McKechnie (Braid Hills) (72-73-69) and Terry Mathieson (Dunbar) (69-72-73).
They finished joint third on level par 214 and split the first two pro prizes of £1,000 and £750. There were six pro prizes in all.

"I had 18 birdies over the three days - and finished level par," said McKechnie (pictured right) who was out in 34 and home in 35. "That tells you something!"
The Braid Hills pro's hopes of winning the title for a third time (he was Scottish Alliance champiuon in 1997 and again in 2006), died at the long 14th where he lost a ball and ran up a double bogey 7. Birdies at 17 and 18 could not repair the damage.
"I had my chances but couldn't take them," said a disappointed Mathieson (pictured below) who had halves of 37 and 36. "Jordan three-putted the first hole for a bogey and I got a par 4, which meant I was only one shot behind him on the second tee.
"But I missed a short putt at the second and another at the seventh, and the way Jordan was playing after he settled, I needed something a lot better than that to catch him."
North-east won the team trophy with a total of 1306. Midlands (1365) and Edinburgh and East (1402) were third. North-east's team members were Jordan Findlay, Anthony Bews, Andrew Campbell (Deeside), Philip McLean (Peterhead), Kevin Duncan (McDonald Ellon) and Ian Bratton, the Newburgh pro.
George Wither (Lothianburn) won the senior title for the second year in a row. The over-55s section is decided over the first two rounds and George had scores of 79 and 75 for 154.
Par 214 (2x71, 1x72). CSS: Murcar Links 76 (reduction only), 75, 75.  Newburgh: 74, 72.
208 J Findlay (Fraserburgh) (am) 69 70 69.
213 A Bews (Murcar Links) (am) 67 75 71.
214 P McKechnie (Braid Hills) (p) 72 73 69, T Mathieson (Dunbar) (p) 69 72 73.
217 A Lockhart (Ladybank) (p) 74 73 70, C Matheson (Falkirk Tryst) (p) 75 71 71.
220 A Campbell (Deeside) (am) 71 78 71, P McLean (Peterhead) (am) 67 78 75.
221 K Duncan (McDonald Ellon) (am) 77 70 74, J Fowler (Hayston) (am) 71 73 77.
224 I Bratton (Newburgh) (p) 81 72 71, A Reid (West Lothian) (p) 78 73 73, R Fitzpatrick (Inchmarlo) (p) 75 72 77.
225 G Brown (Montrose Links) (p) 72 75 78.
226 G Lornie (Paul Lawrie Foundaton) (p) 73 77 76, S Lamb (Broomieknowe) (p) 74 75 77.
228 I Buchan (Craibstone) (p) 77 75 76.
230 G Murray (Spey Bay) (am) 79 77 74, G G Wither (Lothianburn) (am) 79 75 76, J Hopwood (Carnegie) (p) 73 79 78.
Other totals:
232 S E Harrod (Ballumbie Castle 78 79 75.
233 J MacKay (Kilmarnock Barassie) 75 79 79.
234 F Clarke (Newmachar) 78 81 75.
235 A J Webster (Edzell) 77 82 76, R Harrower (Boat of Garten) 80 77 78.
236 R Stewart (Tulliallan) 87 71 78.
238 G Finlay (Ballumbie Castle) 80 79 79.
241 Laura Murray (Alford) 83 77 81
243 C Stewart (Kippie Lodge) 81 82 80.
244 A K Pirie (Hazlehead) 80 78 86.
245 I Esslemont (Newburgh) 80 82 83.
246 R Leadley (American Golf) 84 80 82.
247 P Brookes (Pitreavie) 86 81 80, C Alexander (Murcar Links) 85 80 82.
248 P W McIntosh (Newburgh) 89 79 80, C Cassie (Nigg Bay) 85 80 83, M Fraser (The Duke's) 80 85 83.
250 L Fowler (Royal Aberdeen) 81 86 83, G Cree (Troon Welbeck) 85 80 85.
252 J White (Harrison) 79 84 89.
253 M Forster (Cruden Bay) 88 81 84.
254 K Beveridge (Inchmarlo) 85 81 88.
256 R Murray (West Lothian) 83 82 91.
257 H Roulston (Stonehaven) 80 84 93.
260 J D Murray (Banchory) 91 78 91
262 J Forrest (Northern) 85 84 93.
271 D Philip (Newburgh) 80 87 104.
NRs D MacKay (Newmachar) 83 83 NR, I Graham (Crow Wood) 76 78 NR.

Three leading trophy winners at the Scottish Alliance championship. Left: George Wither (Lothianburn), champion of the over-55s for the second year in a row, Scottish Alliance champion Jordan Findlay, and right, Anthony Bews who was runner-up to Jordan and, under the rules of the competition, gains the Leading Amateur Trophy. Images by Cal Carson Golf Agency.



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