Wednesday, May 02, 2012


Clydebank's Scott Henry, 25, birdied the second extra hole to win a four-man sudden-death play-off climax to another exciting Optical Express PGA Tour event at Spey Valley Golf Club, Aviemore.
The circuit began last month under the PGA in Scotland umbrella with a 54-hole competition at Dundonald Links where the feature was some very low scoring by the winner, Gareth Wright.
Over two rounds for the second staging this week, another quality field produced a tremendous finish which boiled up into joint first-round leader Chris Doak (unattached) 66-70, Jason McCreadie (Buchanan Castle) 68-68, Callum Macaulay (Tulliallan) 69-67 and Scott Henry (The Carrick on Loch Lomond) 67-69, tieing on eight-under-par 136 - great scoring over Dave Thomas's design through the heather and pine trees on the banks of the fast-flowing River Spey and with the picture postcard backdrop of the snow-capped Cairngorms.
Former Northern Open champion McCreadie had a chance to win it at the first extra hole - the first on the card -  but could hole a 6ft birdie putt.
On to the next, the 18th,  and Scott Henry, pictured by Cal Carson Golf Agency, ended fears/hopes that the play-off could last for an hour or two when he stuck his approach to 3ft and sank the birdie putt to earn the £1,750 first prize.
Henry, pictured in action, turned pro after a short but stellar amateur career. He won the Scottish boys' match-play championship in successive years, 2004 and 2005, and then won the Scottish men's open amateur stroke-play championship at Craigielaw in 2006.
As a pro, he won on the Alps Tour last season.
Henry, a shot off the pace with a first-round 67, was becalmed for the first half of his second circuit. He birdied the long third but dropped a shot at the seventh and was still level par for the day after 12 holes.
Then Scott covered the last six holes in three under par with birdies at the long 13th, 14th and long 17th for a 69.
Callum Macaulay, with a 67 for 136, played best of the four play-off participants over the regulation 18 holes today. But all his fireworks came over the first 13 holes. He birdied the first, second, third and fifth and had an eagle 3 at the 13th with only a bogey at the short fourth to deduct from that.
With five holes to play, the former Scottish amateur champion from Tulliallan was all set for victory but he could "only par" from the 14th in, a stretch in the first round he had covered in four under par.
Doak, like McCreadie a former Northern Open champion and that win was achieved over the Spey Valley course, could not hold on to his overnight advantage. A 70 opened the door for his challengers to join him in the pole position. In fact Doak was thankful for birdies at the long 13th and 17th just to get into the crowded play-off.
Lloyd Saltman (Archerfield Links) will have boosted his confidence for the season ahead with a 68 for 138 which saw him finish in a creditable tie for fifth place alongside former Scottish amateur champion Andrew McArthur (Windyhill) whose challenge died with a  second-round 72.
There was only one amateur in the field but youngster Conor O'Neil (Pollok) gave an outstanding performance to finish seventh on 139 with scores of 71 and 68. For a short time he was actually the clubhouse leader.




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