hole to win the hole with a birdie two.
Findlay then made a brilliant four at the
next for a half to stay in the game and
a birdie four at the 33rd hole narrowed
the gap to two holes once more.
With the pressure on and a large
crowd circling the green, Stewart hit the
“tee shot of his life” for the winning bird-
ie at the 34th hole, becoming the first
golfer since Steven O’Hara back in 2000
to win the national men’s championship
two years after collecting the boys.
“It’s a very special moment for me
winning the Scottish Amateur Champi-
onship here at Gullane. Jordan played
some fantastic golf but I got some good
breaks and hit great shots at crucial
times,” Stewart said. “I went out this
afternoon as if I was still level and
needed to be at my best to hold him off.”
“It’s a fantastic achievement and
extra special to have my dad on the bag
and family and friends through from
Troon. I worked hard over the last few
weeks to be able to shape the ball both
ways, which you need to do here, and it
paid off. It’ll be a quiet celebration back
at my home club tonight before I head
off to Finland for the European Indi-
vidual Championship,” he added.
McDonagh, who rallied from 3-down in
his semifinal win over Daly, had no answer
to Greene’s brilliance with the putter.
“He played well and holed more
than his share of putts,” said Mc-
Donagh, who is studying at the National
University of Ireland-Maynooth on a
Paddy Harrington Golf Scholarship. “In
fact, he holed my share as well. I just
couldn’t get the ball to drop.”
Staff and Wire Reports
GREENE WINS SOUTH OF IRELAND
John Greene wielded a hot putter in
defeating Kelan McDonagh 2 and 1 in the
final of the 109th South of Ireland Cham-
pionship on Wednesday at Lahinch.
The reigning Waterford Scratch Cup
champion from Carlow had a convinc-
ing 5 and 4 win over Limerick’s Pat
Murray in the semifinals. It was the
seventh time the hard-luck Murray had
lost in the South of Ireland semis. The
20-year-old McDonagh, from Athlone,
won an epic morning semifinal on the
20th hole against Castletroy’s Cian Daly.
There were many turning points in
the afternoon final, mostly courtesy of
Greene’s putter. The 24-year-old holed
putts from 15-20 feet no fewer than six
times, with four of them demoralising
putts to save a hole.
The final nail for McDonagh likely
came at the 15th, where Greene drove
into heavy rough left, chopped out to 75
yards, pitched to 15 feet and then made
the putt for par. Meanwhile, McDonagh
was just off the front edge of the green
in two, although some 100 feet from the
pin. He left his first putt eight feet short
and missed his par putt, leaving the
match dormie with three holes to play.
McDonagh won the 16th hole with
a par, but Greene wrapped up the
championship by matching McDonagh’s
bogey on the 17th.
“They call me ‘Greener’ but the put-
ter is now the Green Machine,” the win-
ner told the
. “I holed
everything I looked at. It’s a massive
win for me. Kelan beat me 4 and 3 in
the second round last year and I felt he
had all the luck on his side that time.
Today it all went my way.”
JONES WINS WALES AMATEUR
BEFORE SPARSE CROWD
PEMBROKESHIRE, WALES |
Ryder Cup to be staged at Celtic Manor,
Wales, in October, and Rhys Davies, the
young Welshman with the deadly put-
ting stroke, pushing for a place in the
Europe team, and with Welshman Nigel
Edwards captaining the 2011 Walker
Cup, golf in Wales is more high profile
in a country better known for its rugby
than it ever has been.
So it was a shame that last week’s
Wales Amateur, held at the venerable
Tenby Golf Club, should highlight a
current weakness in Welsh amateur
golf – a lack of competitors.
Organisers could have coped with
128 players; in fact, only 86 entered.
Furthermore, the final was watched by
fewer than 50 spectators, most over
50. This takes nothing away from the
comfortable 3 and 1 victory by Alastair
Jones, the 20-year-old Wales youth
champion and a student at Texas State
University, over Oliver Farr, the No. 1
seed, in the 36-hole final.
“Both Alastair and Oliver are coming
from some way back as far as contention
for events like the Walker Cup are con-
cerned,” Edwards said, “but there is no
reason why they couldn’t work their way
into contention. They are both very good.”
But it does send out a worrying
message to the game’s authorities in
the Principality. “The low entry was
disappointing,” said Edwards, whose
full-time job is as director of Player De-
velopment and Coaching for the Golfing
Union of Wales.
“Our numbers of players in Wales
are down and we are starting from
a very small base anyway. There are
60,000 men and women golfers in
Wales compared with one million male
golfers in England. There are 330,000
golfers in Holland, by comparison. I
think we need to look at our market-
ing of the event and try and make more
people aware when it is being staged.”
This apparent lack of interest in the
Amateur was highlighted by the way
Mitchell Reid, 18, and Ryan Haskell, 16,
became the youngest pair to win the
Victory Shield, an historic foursomes
competition in Wales that is always
played at the start of Amateur week –
but did not then compete in the Ama-
teur championship because they said
they did not know about it.
With handicaps of plus- 1 and plus-
2, respectively, Reid and Haskell were
precisely the sort of young amateurs the
GUW is trying to attract – and not suc-
ceeding in doing so at present.
Jordan Findlay finished second at the
Scottish Amateur Championship.
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