It was a 24th birthday to remember for West Linton’s Gemma Batty, as she was crowned the Scottish Women’s Amateur Champion at the first time of asking at The Golf House Club, Elie.
In a closely fought match against Craigielaw’s Gabrielle Macdonald, the game was all square going down the final hole. First to play her approach to the green, Batty produced a fine second shot to 15 feet. Then, from a slightly awkward lie, Macdonald struck a solid approach which took a cruel hard bounce finishing up out of bounds behind the green and Batty won the match 1-up.
Batty, originally from Leeds, moved north of the border with her family four and a half years ago and the University of Stirling student represented Scotland for the first time at last year’s Home Internationals after patiently waiting three years to do so under the residency rule.
“It feels pretty special – a great way to spend my 24th birthday. To come out and play here today was a pleasure, and obviously to get the win was a bonus on top of that.”
“To be honest, it was disappointing to see Gabby’s ball go out of bounds on 18, I didn’t want it to end like that. She played some lovely golf and it was nip and tuck all the way around.”
“The key to my success this week was my ability to hit fairways and greens. The rough is quite lush out there and it’s hard to control the ball going into the greens, so I put myself on the fairways and gave myself the best opportunity to put it close.
“My favourite shot of the day was my five-wood into seventeen. I knew I needed to hit a good one to get it up there, and I knew Gabby was going to give it a go after a great drive. To make birdie and half the hole was crucial, allowing me to go down 18 all square with a chance to win.”
In yesterday’s semi-final, Batty stormed to an impressive 5&4 victory over the 2016 champion Ailsa Summers (Carnoustie Ladies) after defeating Minto’s Tara Mactaggart 3&2 in the morning quarter final.
Today was Macdonald’s third final appearance in five years and the Craigielaw member showed real mettle on her route to the final, taking out the in-form Welsh and Irish Women’s Open Champion Hannah McCook at the third extra hole in the semi-final, straight on the back of beating top qualifier Chloe Goadby on the 5th extra hole in the morning session.
“Gemma played nicely, I’m happy for her, it’s a good win. I just needed to hole a few more putts earlier on in the match, ones that I was making throughout the week,” said Gabrielle Macdonald
“It was disappointing to miss a couple of 6-footers but I played well all week, so I will try and take the positives from it.”
In the Clark Rosebowl for the 16 players who missed out on the top-32 matchplay, Lousie Fraser (Kingsknowe) took the honours yesterday after winning 1-up in the final against Katie Scott (Strathaven).