The format of the Scottish Boys Championship changed this year to two qualifying rounds of strokeplay with the top 64 and ties then entering the matchplay. The event started on Friday 30 June with the two rounds of strokeplay played over Scotscraig and Drumoig on successive days.
Of the 183 entrants, eleven boys from the South travelled up to Fife full of hope of putting in a performance to reach at least the matchplay stages
Angus Bendall (Castle Douglas), who had been playing well recently, had a three over par score of 74 over Scotscraig on Friday and followed it with another three over par round of 76 over Drumoig the following day to post a total of 150 and a tie for 13th place. Two good solid rounds and entry to the matchplay.
Another to post two solid rounds was Jamie Marchbank (D&G) with 77 over Scotscraig and 79 over the longer Drumoig course and a total of 156. He had five birdies in his two rounds and finished tied for 53rd place.
With the cut coming at 157, these were the only two boys to reach the knock-out stages. Five others, Lewis Cheetham, (D&C), Callum McMillan (Kirkcudbright), Iain Rae (Dalbeattie), Finlay Copeland (D&G) and Mitchell Cowie (D&C) gave themselves a good chance with steady rounds on the Friday but could not reproduce the same form the next day and just missed the cut.
Individual results, Drumoig scores first:-
150 Angus Bendall (Castle Douglas) 76, 74
156 Jamie Marchbank (D&G) 77, 79
159 Callum McMillan (Kirkcudbright) 79, 80
159 Lewis Cheetham (D&C) 79, 80
160 Iain Rae (Dalbeattie) 76, 84
160 Finlay Copeland (D&G) 78, 82
162 Mitchell Cowie (D&C) 77, 85
171 Nathan Watson (Kirkcudbright) 89, 82
177 Glen Irvine (D&G) 93, 84
177 Jamie Alison (D&G) 93, 84
180 David Sharp (D&C) 90, 90
In the 2nd round of the matchplay on Sunday 2 July over Scotscraig there was a magnificent result for Jamie Marchbank (D&G) when he beat Darren Howie (Peebles), the leading qualifier and No 1 seed by 1 hole. Jamie continued his good form in the 3rd round and recorded a fine victory by 2 & 1. In the last 16 on Monday afternoon he was one down at the turn but rallied on the back nine, was all square after twelve, and continued the fight back to win 2 & 1.
Jamie continued to play well on Wednesday morning in the quarter-finals. He unfortunately lost at the 20th after a titanic struggle between two evenly matched players. He is a very likeable boy who has acquitted himself well this week and hopefully this will be the catalyst which encourages him to fulfill his potential. Well done Jamie, you have done yourself, your family, your Club and the South proud.
Angus Bendall also played very well in his first match and was 1 up after four holes. He then won four of the next five holes to be 5 up at the turn before closing out the match on the thirteenth green by 6 & 5. In the 3rd round (last 32) he did not play as well as previously and was one down after four holes and two down after twelve before losing by 3 & 2.
In the Scottish Girls Championship, being run concurrently, two girls from the South Area were in the field of forty-two. Maria Cowan (Wigtownshire County) with scores of 78, 83 (161) made the cut of 164 comfortably for the top sixteen and the matchplay stages. Ailsa Brannock (Castle Douglas) unfortunately missed out. She had scores of 94, 90 (184) and finished tied 42nd.
In the 1st round of the knock out Maria was unfortunately eliminated, but not disgraced, after losing by 2 & 1
Ailsa fared better in the Scottish Girls Nett Matchplay event winning her 1st round match by 4 & 2. In the quarter finals she was two down after nine holes before eventually losing by 4 & 3.
Congratulations to all the players from the South who will have gained invaluable experience and enjoyment from competing in a national event.