St Andrews’ John Paterson produced the best round of the week to secure home glory in the Scottish Boys’ Open Championship, while Germany’s Hannah Leonie Karg stormed to success in the Girls’ equivalent.
Trailing Jamie Stewart (Old Ranfurly) by five strokes going into the final 18 holes of the event, Paterson stormed through the field with a four-under-par 67 to pip Stewart by two strokes, after his closing 74, and secure his biggest amateur win to date.
Paterson finished on one under par in this week’s windy conditions, with his final round highlighted by eagles at the first, after he drove the green, and a 60 feet putt at the eighth. The New Club St Andrews player even had the luxury of missing from six feet for what would have been another eagle at the last.
Stewart, last year’s Scottish Boys’ Order of Merit champion, was only one behind on the 18th tee but his hopes of a birdie to tie were dashed when his drive landed on the fly in a fairway bunker.
“I just wanted to go and post a score and give them something to think about,” said 17-year-old Paterson, a sixth year pupil at Madras College in St Andrews. “It would have been unfortunate for me after missing the putt on 18, I thought that would be costly, but I felt my putting was a big key to my success this week.
“I’ve never had two eagles in a round before, so it was a good time to do it in the final round. It’s a great win and my mum, Fiona, was in tears so it means a lot to me and my family.”
After the new date for the event produced the highest number of entries in 12 years, Peebles’ Darren Howie finished third on two over, his hopes undone by a double bogey at the 12th, with Eric McIntosh (Bruntsfield Links) completing a Scotland top four a stroke further back. Icelander Ingvar Magnusson, the first-round leader, finished in fifth spot. John Wilding (Heysham GC) took the honours for leading Under-16.
Paterson joins a winners’ list that includes Stephen Gallacher, Scott Jamieson and Scott Henry.
Meantime, up the A92 at Montrose, Karg was in sparkling form to secure a 10-shot victory, also her biggest victory in the game.
The 17-year-old from Hamburg coasted to an Angus triumph after 17 birdies and two eagles across the 54 holes for her 12 under par total, helped by a course record-equalling 66 on Thursday.
“I’m really pleased with my score, it was really great,” said Karg, who travelled with a number of her national team-mates. “I won the German Under-16 Strokeplay Championship, but this tournament is my biggest win. I played really, really good to shoot 66 on Thursday and every day under par is a great week overall for me.
“I’ve played in Scotland before, played in the Scottish Girls’ Open back in 2014 and other events, so I felt comfortable at Montrose. I want to go to the LPGA Tour one day, so maybe this is a good start for me to achieving that goal.”
Aboyne’s Shannon McWilliam finished runner-up on two under, beating Hollie Muse from West Lancashire into second place on countback. There was disappointment for McWilliam after her poor start on Wednesday, tempered with her comeback efforts over the final 36 holes.
“It wasn’t the best start in round one (79), but I felt I could come back and post under par rounds,” said McWilliam.
“I wanted to win this week, as it’s my last year. I also know the course well, as I come down every winter and play here, but the first round just didn’t help. It was very impressive scoring from Hannah and well played to her.”
Another English player, Martha Lewis from St George’s Hill, finished in fourth place, with the next best Scot coming through the efforts of Cardross’ Jillian Farrell in a tie for fifth. Farrell built on her recent victory in the Junior Tour to post another good week’s work, while Strathmore’s Kirsty Brodie, who shared the lead on day one, had to settle for a tie for 15th place overall. England’s Euphemie Rhodes took the trophy for top Under-16.
Further images from both events will soon be available on Scottish Golf’s Facebook page.
Image top: Kenny Smith