Friday, September 22, 2017

Fyfe, Howie and Henderson claim Order of Merit honours
The trio of Calum Fyfe, Darren Howie and Stewart Henderson are celebrating success after winning their respective domestic Order of Merit titles at male level in 2017.
For Cawder’s Fyfe, winning the Men's Order of Merit has seen him secure a notable double after claiming the Boys’ rankings in 2014, while Peebles’ Howie stormed to this year's Under-18 crown. Hamilton’s Henderson, meantime, secured the Senior Men’s title for the first time by a slim margin from last year’s winner, Graham Bell from Downfield. Indeed, their battle came down to the final putt on the final green of the season.
The Girls’, Women’s and Senior Women’s Orders of Merit will be finalised soon when their fixture lists are completed.
Fyfe, 20, looked back on a year of consistency, one which saw him post five top-five finishes, to total 1345 points and beat Scottish Men’s Amateur champion Sam Locke (Stonehaven) into second spot on 980. Clydebank & District’s Steven Stewart was third domestically on 863 points.
Finishing his season on a high with remarkable rounds of 64 and 62 for an individual qualifying total of 18 under par at the recent GolfKings Scottish Men’s Area Team Championship at Newmachar, Fyfe said: “I’ve practiced so hard to play consistently and that’s what I’ve achieved.
“I’ve worked hard on a good set up with my coach, Alan McCloskey, and it’s made a massive difference, as well as knowing exactly what I’m doing in practice. Newmachar was the highlight, absolutely.
" I’ve played good golf all year so to cap it off was great as everything clicked for me. I need to thank my dad, John, massively, as he has been great support to me this year.  My focus next year is now on the world rankings and playing in the bigger events.”
Meantime, Howie amassed 1424 points in easing to Under-18 glory, as the Boys’ internationalist saw off the challenge from Boys Open Stroke Play winner John Paterson (New Club St Andrews) and Inverallochy’s Marc Watt.
Howie topped stroke-play qualifying at the Scottish Boys and the Boys’ Amateur, as well as finishing second in the Sir Henry Cooper Junior Masters.
The 18-year-old, brother of fellow internationalist Craig, said: “If you had said to me at the start of the season that I’d be in this position, I’d have ripped your hand off! It was all due to consistency for me, I think every strokeplay junior event that counted on the Order of Merit I was inside the top 10 so that gave me a lot of points.
“Whenever John overtook me, I managed to do well in big events like the Henry Cooper and Boys’ Amateur. Next year I’m now looking to play a schedule that includes the bigger events like the St  Andrews Links, European Amateur, British Amateur and try and get selected for the teams at Men’s level.”
Elsewhere, Henderson, 51, is celebrating his best year in the amateur ranks after ending the title hopes of the defending champion, Bell from Downfield.
It all came down to the Seniors Order of Merit Finals Day at Blairgowrie, where Henderson finished just a stroke ahead of Bell after the latter missed a five foot putt for par on the final green. Henderson finished on 903 points, just 20 ahead of Bell. Having won the Autumn Meeting and earned a Scotland cap at European level in Sweden, Henderson said: “I only played in one event last year, the South of Scotland, which I won, so this has been my first full year really.
“I’ve been happy with my consistency and coming out on top against guys like Ronnie Clark from Erskine and Graham I feel is a great achievement. It’s been a really, really good season and to get capped also satisfied a lot of ambitions.”
> View final standings

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