Friday, May 11, 2012


 David Wilson (Troon Welbeck) completed a notable county title double on Thursday evening when he won the Ayrshire Matchplay Championship at Western Gailes in an exciting final against Tommy McInally (Loudoun) played in testing conditions.
Having won the Ayrshire stroke-play crown last month at Prestwick St Nicholas, Wilson (pictured right with the trophy) became only the third player ever to win both the county's stroke-play and match-play titles in the same year, following on from Leslie Crawford (Kilmarnock Barassie) in 1983 and Gary Holland (Ballochmyle) in 1999.
The final was played in bitterly cold conditions with a strong northerly wind sweeping across the course, and Wilson's hopes of the title took an early setback when he lost the first to a par four and the third to a birdie three to go two behind after the opening three holes.
A par four at the fifth hole was sufficient for Wilson to reduce the defecit to one hole and a birdie at the 498 yard par five sixth hole saw Wilson level the match.
Wilson went ahead for the first time with a birdie three at the eighth hole but a bogey five at the next hole allowed McInally to square the match after nine, as the players turned for home.
Wilson began the inward half with three successive par fours which was sufficient to give him a three hole lead with six remaining.
A par three at the 13th hole allowed McInally to reduce the defecit to two holes and Wilson's lead was further reduced at the 14th when McInally played an excellent approach to the hole after both players were unable to reach the green in three.
At the 15th and 16th holes Wilson had opportunities to increase his lead again but failed to get up and down on both occassions, allowing McInally to halve both holes and remain just one behind with two to play.
The 17th saw McInally reached the fringe of the green in two whilst Wilson found a difficult lie in heather to the left. Wilson chipped onto the green to 15 feet whilst McInally's approach putt ran some four feet past the hole. After Wilson failed to hole his effort for par, McInally held his nerve to hole his par putt and square the match once more.
Having seen his lead disappear, Wilson had to try to raise his game once again in a final effort to take the title. Both players hit good drives down the last. With a difficult pin position at the front of the green, McInally's approach ran some 60 feet away from the hole, near to the back of the green, whilst Wilson's effort was only slightly closer on the right side of the putting surface.
McInally putted first but his effort drew up some five feet short of the hole. Wilson followed with an excellent left to right putt over a difficult slope which came to rest just a few inches left of the hole, prompting a conceded par from McInally.
McInally now faced a difficult five foot putt for a half to take the match into extra holes but despite striking the putt well, the ball slipped past the left side of the hole and victory was David Wilson's by one hole.
At the conclusion of the match, Ayrshire Golf Association Vice President Milton Murray (Largs) presented vouchers to both finalists and handed the Ayrshire Matchplay Trophy and commemorative medal over the the 2012 winner, David Wilson.



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