Two thrilling finals that went the distance at Scotscraig saw 13-year-old Hannah Darling become one of the youngest-ever Scottish Girls champions and Airdrie’s Greg Dalziel held off Australia-based Josh Greer to win the Boys Championship crown.
Hannah, from the Broomieknowe club in Bonnyrigg near Edinburgh has just finished second year at school, but produced a stunning 2-hole win over Cardross’ Jillian Farrell in the first ever 36-hole girls final, holing a ten footer on the last for a birdie to close out the match.
In the Boys’ final – the chanmpionships were being staged at the same venue for the first time – 16-year-old Greer from the Joondalop Country Club in Perth finally ran out of putts in a fluctuating battle with Dalziel, also 16, as the Airdrie teenager prevailed holding fast to a one-up lead over the last seven holes of the final.
But the main story of the day was Darling, one of the youngest players in the draw who couldn’t quite believe she’d beaten Farrell, four years her senior.
“It’s still a bit fresh, but my phone is going crazy right now,” she said after her victory. “I was confident about this week even though I was one of the youngest, you have to believe you can do it.
“But it was always more about doing my best and comparing myself to the girls who were here, and obviously it turned out well.”
Hannah started playing through the clubgolf programme, got a handicap only two years ago and is still playing off three.
It was her short game that was the key yesterday, and a degree of fortitude having seen Farrell whittle away at her commanding lead.
When the 13-year-old chipped in for birdie at the seventh of the afternoon round she’d stretched her one-up lead at lunch to five-up, but back came Farrell with five birdies on the back nine.
However the key was Darling chipping in again for eagle at the 16th, meaning her slender one-up lead was instead two-up with two to play.
Farrell birdied 17 to force the final to the last hole, but the Cardross player was bunkered off the tee and took five as Hannah rolled in the final ten-foot birdie putt to clinch victory.
In the boys final Greer continued his superb work around the greens and was even getting more distance than Dalziel in the warmer conditions as he build a two-up lead at lunch and Dalziel struggled to convert chances.
But the Airdrie teenager spent his lunch break on the putting green and finally broke the rot with a three at the fourth, his first birdie of the final, which got him back to two down.
That turned out to be the momentum changer as a birdie two at the short sixth and Greer’s bogey at the eighth squared the match, and the slightly build Australian-based player three-putted the ninth to miss a chance to retake the lead.
Dalziel took the lead for the first time with a par at the 11th, and the pair traded blow for blow down the back nine in the sunshine.
Greer had his chances, missing makeable birdie putts at 14 and 15 and then three-putting the 16th when Dalziel found trouble off the tee but escaped with a half in five.
Dalziel eventually got up and down from the front of the green at the last, holing out for victory from eight feet after Greer missed another birdie chance from just outside him.
Boys Championship Final: G Dalziel (Airdrie) bt J Greer (Joondalop CC) 1 hole.
Girls Championship Final: H Darling (Broomieknowe) bt J Farrell (Cardross) 2 holes.