Welsh wonder Ffion Tynan highlighted her growing potential with victory in the Scottish Girls’ Open Championship at a blustery Monifieth, while Germany’s Patrick Schmuecking claimed the Boys’ title up the chilly coast at Montrose.
Tynan, the 15-year-old from Minchinhampton GC, secured both the Under-16 and Under-18 honours at the Angus venue, finishing as the only player under par to claim a two-stroke victory over English duo Rosie Belsham (Whitley Bay), also an Under-16, and Natasha Slater (Ulverston).
Slater looked in control of proceedings in the challenging conditions, but dropped six shots in the last five holes, including a double bogey on the 16th, to open the door to the chasing pack.
Tynan stepped in with a steady closing 72, helped by a birdie on the 17th and a confident closing par, for a one-under-par total for her three rounds.
Ffion, who represented Great Britain & Ireland in the Junior Vagliano Trophy match last year, said: “I was really excited going into the last day. I was trying to be really aggressive, get a couple of putts dropping and put pressure on my playing partners being behind.
“I was just hoping to get a top-three finish but I knew I was capable of getting more if I did everything I wanted to do. I kept myself positive, believed in myself and tried to deliver.
“I haven’t won both categories before, but I’ve had a few events where I’ve gone to the wire.”
In a fine week for the younger players, the leading Scottish player was Aboyne’s Carmen Griffiths in sixth place on eight over par. Despite the weather, Tynan enjoyed the challenge posed on Scotland’s east coast.
“The weather hasn’t been great this week, but I really enjoyed it,” he said. “It’s a great course, I loved it, even in the wind and cold. There was pressure from the course as well as the players.
“I’ve just got my World Amateur Golf Ranking now and I’m hoping to get my handicap to a plus figure by the end of the year. Now that I know I can win higher categories as well, rather than my own age category, is great for my confidence.”
Meantime, at Montrose, Schmuecking (pictured) followed in the footstep of compatriot Hannah Leonie Karg by securing another German success at Montrose.
Karg cruised to a runaway success at the course in the Scottish Girls’ 12 months ago, but Schmuecking had to dig far deeper to achieve his triumph. His birdie on the 15th proved vital as he dropped shots on the 16th and 17th before a closing par saw him finish on six over par for the weather-hit event, reduced to 54 holes.
In doing so, he pushed Scottish pair Greg Dalziel (Airdrie) and Aaron Hall (Kilspindie) into a share of second spot on seven over, denying Dalziel a memorable double after his victory in the Scottish Boys’ matchplay last summer.
Schmuecking, aged only 16, claimed his first victory outside of Germany and said: “It’s very special for me, having trained a lot in the winter. It’s my first year in the German national squad and that helped a lot so I’m very thankful to them for all their support.
“It was very tough out there in the wind, it was strong. I had played in Scotland before, various events, and also in England, so I was used to it. I really like links golf, but I had never experienced that kind of wind before so it was probably the toughest I’ve played in.”
The +2 handicapper, who hails from Wiesbaden near Frankfurt, added: “The birdie on 15 was pretty clutch for me and it was great to par the last to hold on and win.”
Nairn’s Calum Scott continued his progress to finish as the leading Under-16 player in sixth place.