Turnhouse’s Euan McIntosh, 49 years-young, is relishing the challenge against Old Course Ranfurly teenager Jamie Stewart in tomorrow’s 36-hole Scottish Men’s Amateur Championship final at Blairgowrie.
McIntosh, a former Tour professional, defeated Peebles’ Stephen Roger 4&3 in the semi-final clash, however, the game could have ended differently had fortune not been on his side at a crucial point in the game.
“The turning point came at the par-4 12th hole. Stephen knocked it onto the back edge of the green in one. I drove it into the trees, chipped up, holed a 60-footer for birdie and Stephen three-putted.
“At that point I was 2-up and it was looking like I was going to go back to 1-up. Then all of a sudden, I holed that mammoth putt, I’m 3-up and to be honest was the pivotal point in the game.
“I thought to myself, if you have that sort of luck on your side, it is going to be your day.
McIntosh, who carded seven birdies with no dropped shots, is looking forward to his first appearance in the Scottish Amateur Championship final:
“Against Jamie in the final, I am going to have to be at my absolute best, Jamie is one of the best prospects in the country. I am obviously an older chap, it is going to be very difficult, but I am up for the challenge.
In the other semi-final, eighteen year-old Stewart defeated Andrew Thomson (Lanark) 2&1.
Stewart was 4-up through 12 holes and appeared to be comfortable, however, Thomson produced a late comeback winning the 13th & 16th holes to close the gap. Two down with two to go, Thomson’s hopes of taking it to extra holes were dashed when they halved the 17th in par.
Looking ahead to the final, the young Renfrewshire man said:
“It feels good, one of my goals at the start of the week was to make the final and give myself a chance to win it, so I am delighted.
“Tomorrow is going to be a very tough match, I know Euan well. He is a great player and a great guy, who I expect will go out and make a lot of birdies.
“This is my first national match-play final, I’m up for it and can’t wait to get going.
Talking of the recent change to the Championship format, now in its second year of 36-hole stroke play qualifying into match-play, Stewart said
“I prefer it, most countries have a similar format. Everyone pay’s money to play in this championship, where before you could get knocked out in the first round and that’s it. With the new format, everyone gets two practice rounds and a minimum of two stroke-play rounds, so it’s fantastic.
The 36-hole final starts at 8.30am tomorrow with entry free for all spectators.