Friday, April 05, 2013


Ewan Scott and Bradley Neil, the top two seeds in the Scottish Boys Championship supported by TaylorMade-adidas Golf, will tomorrow contest a mouth-watering match for the prestigious title after an intriguing day of play at Monifieth Golf Links.

Perhaps for the first time since 1994, when Steven Young (Inverallochy) and Portpatrick’s Euan Little met in the Dunbar final, the leading two Under-18 players in the country will contest the 36-hole Boys matchplay showpiece.

For St Andrews player and top seed Scott, there is the chance to continue his impressive start to 2013 and avenge last year’s Scottish Boys Championship loss to Craig Howie of Peebles.

For Blairgowrie’s Neil, it’s a chance to continue his own strong beginning to the year and make up for his quarter-final defeat to Scott 12 months ago at Murcar Links. Regardless, the stage is set for a classic battle between arguably the best two young players in the country, both aged 17.

“People have been saying it’s the match everyone wants to see, so it’s great to have achieved it,” said Ewan, who won a Team GB gold medal alongside Neil at the Australian Olympic Festival earlier this year, as well as thriving indvidually by reaching the semi-finals of the South African Amateur and winning his category at the Faldo Series Asia Grand Final.

“I don’t think anyone can predict the winner, who knows how it’s going to go,” added Neil, like Scott a member of the SGU Boys Performance Squad and both products of the Scottish Golf Academy.

Neil has been in imperious form this week, playing only 94 holes from a possible 126 in his seven matches and hasn't even played the 17th or 18th. Scott, meanwhile, has had to work harder, playing a hole more despite his bye into the second round.

The day began in serene fashion for both players, with each achieving 5&4 wins over Stuart Easton (Irvine) and Blair Carnegie (Glenbervie) at the quarter-final stage respectively.

Scott was three-under-par for his 14 holes, but he faced a far tougher test in his last-four tie – meeting his friend and fellow St Andrews player Ben Kinsley, who knocked out Euan Walker of Kilmarnock Barassie in the quarters.

Kinsley, a SGU Boys Development Squad player, raced to a three-up lead after six holes, before Scott’s recovery immediately began.

Ewan, the reigning Scottish Hydro Boys’ Order of Merit winner, said: “Ben made a solid start and the 7th hole was kind of the turning point. He three-putted there and then I made a good birdie on the 8th with a flop shot to eight feet.

“We both made birdies on 9 and he then three-putted the 10th which took it back to square. It was then nice to birdie 15 and 16 and get the job done.”

Of the final, he added: “Bradley is playing well and has not yet seen 17 or 18, so hopefully I can take him there tomorrow afternoon and try and beat him. I definitely feel I am a better player to a year ago, more all-rounded after my play this winter, so I’m sure it will be a great game.”

Great Britain & Ireland Boys' cap Neil, who saw off the challenge of Ben Craggs, son of Kevin, the SLGA National Coach, in their semi-final by the margin of 4&3, added: “The seedings have worked they should. The expectation was there for us to do it, but we still had to hold our own ends of the bargain.

“We’re both good players and know what’s it about tomorrow. He has slightly more experience than me and was in the final last year, but who knows what will happen. It’ll be about who performs the best on the day and handles the pressure.”

Earlier, Glenbervie’s Craggs edged out the No 3 seed Ewen Ferguson from Bearsden by two holes, setting up a semi-final clash with Neil.

For Ferguson, having come through two matches the day before at the 18th, there were shades of tiredness.

“I’m obviously disappointed,” said the 16-year-old. “I didn’t play as well as I can, to be honest. Driving is usually the best part of my game, but it let me down.

"I was two down after three holes and it was difficult to chase from even then, as Ben was really consistent. All morning he was hitting fairways and greens. The tough two games I had yesterday maybe kicked the stomach out of me. I didn’t have the usual spring in my step.”

Tomorrow’s final between Neil and Scott is FREE so please come along and support the players for what should be a great match. Each player is seeking to join the Boys Championship roll of honour, including such famous names as Andrew Coltart, Steven O'Hara and Scott Henry.

The 36-hole final starts at 8.30am with the second tee-off at 1pm.




Post a Comment

<< Home

Copyright © Colin Farquharson

If you can't find what you are looking for.... please check the Archive List or search this site with Google