Thursday, April 04, 2013



The top two seeds at the Scottish Boys Championship, supported by TaylorMade-adidas Golf, kept their title bids on course on a windy fourth day at Monifieth Golf Links.
In glorious conditions, tempered by the stiff breeze, the last-32 players were filtered down to the quarter-final stage in Angus.

St Andrews player Ewan Scott, seeking to go one better than his runner-up finish 12 months ago at Murcar Links, was forced to dig deep before the No 1 seed could enjoy his dinner.

The 17-year-old SGU Boys Performance Squad player saw off Ben Murray (Portlethen) 3&2 in the fourth round this morning, before he was involved a topsy-turvy meeting with Andrew Burgess from Nairn, a member of the SGU Boys’ Development Squad.

Burgess was two up early on before Scott replied, going three up after 12. However, two lapses from Scott’s putter from short distances allowed his opponent back into the contest. Indeed, Scott, the reigning Golf Data Lab Scottish Youths champion, found himself only one up on the 18th hole and pushed his drive on the par-5 530-yard closing hole into the tress.

Faced with only a low escape, the 17-year-old managed to play a 5-iron cut shot that scampered up to the middle of the green from some 230 yards. It was certainly a shot to make Ian Hutcheon, Monifieth's great amateur, indeed the 18th hole is named after him, proud.

“I got lucky with my lie but couldn’t really get the ball up in the air, so it was nice to be able to play a shot like that at the 18th,” said Ewan, who made birdie to halve and win by a hole. “It was a tight match, a really tight one, so I’m delighted to be through.”

Scott faces Stuart Easton, 16, from Irvine in the quarter-finals, after the Ayrshire player impressively defeated the eighth seed, Calum Hill of Tantallon 5&4.

Easton, who plays off a one handicap and is the junior club champion at his home club of Irvine, lost in the first round last year but is doing rather better at the second attempt.

The 16-year-old posted 13 pars and a birdie to see off Hill, a feat all the more impressive as he has been battling a hand injury.

“I’m the underdog and I might be underestimated,” he said, ahead of meeting Scott tomorrow. “But I’ll just go and play my best. If it’s not good enough then so be it.”

In the second quarter of the draw, another St Andrews player, Ben Kinsley, continued his fine progress. Former Scottish Under-16s champion Kinsley enjoyed a 5&3 win over Duncan McNeill from Powfoot in the last-16 and now meets another member of the SGU Boys’ Development Squad, Euan Walker of Kilmarnock (Barassie).

Walker took out the fifth seed, Alan Waugh from Cowglen, at the last hole having been one down with three to play. Walker is playing in his fourth and final Scottish Boys and has now reached his best-ever stage. “It was a really close match with Alan, there was never more than two holes in it,” said Walker, who earlier beat his club-mate Blair Gavin.

Elsewhere, Glenbervie’s Ben Craggs progressed to the last-eight, as did his fellow club member Blair Carnegie. Craggs, watched on by his father, Kevin, SLGA National Coach, now faces third seed Ewen Ferguson in another intriguing last-eight clash.

There were emotional scenes at the 18th as Ferguson defeated his fellow Bearsden player and near neighbour Cameron Kirkwood. Both coached by Gregor Monks, they've grown up together from around the age of five and have lived virtually next door to each other since.

Ferguson, 16, won a see-saw match with a birdie at the last and said: “It’s one of the hardest games I’ve ever had. We know each other so well, live 30 yards away and play all the time, which made it so hard. We usually tend to have a laugh, but we couldn’t do it.”

In the final quarter-final tie, the second seed, Bradley Neil, will face off against Carnegie. Blairgowrie’s Neil has yet to be taken past the 16th in securing five comfortable victories and is now at the stage he was at last year, before he lost to Scott.

“I lost to Ewan in the last-eight last year, which was disappointing after I'd been ahead,” he recalled. “This year is a different year and I’m a year older and a year wiser. I also know the course well here and know the course. I’m just taking things one round at a time.”

Scottish Boys Championship, supported by TaylorMade-adidas Golf
Monifieth Golf Links
Fifth-round scores
Scott bt Burgess 1 hole
Easton bt Hill 5 and 4
Kinsley bt McNeill 5 and 3
Walker bt Waugh 1 hole
Craggs bt Syme 3 and 2
Ferguson bt Kirkwood 1 hole
Carnegie bt McGuigan 2 and 1
Neil bt Davren 5 and 4
Quarter-Final draw:
 Scott v Easton
Kinsley v Walker
Craggs v Ferguson
Carnegie v Neil



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