Germany’s Patrick Schmeucking toughed out the final few holes at Montrose Links to clinch the Scottish Boys Championship while 15-year-old Ffion Tynan came from behind to win the Girls’ title at Monifieth in more testing conditions on the Angus coast yesterday.
Schmeucking, a 16-year-old from Frankfurt, won the Boys title in a championship reduced to 54 holes after frost delays yesterday, and a six-over winning aggregate of 219 shows just how tough the weather was over all three days at Montrose.
Tynan finished with the only under-par round at either venue to take the Girls’ title from Natasha Slater of England at Monifieth.
For Schmeucking, it was just a matter of survival defending a narrow lead into the teeth of a 30 mph wind but two key birdies proved crucial, as well as a solid par up the final hole.
“I’ve played in Britain before but never won outside Germany,” he said afterwards. “I’ve never played in such tough conditions as this and I’m delighted to have won.”
Scots pair Greg Dalziel – the current Scottish Boys matchplay champion – and Aaron Hall set the target in the clubhouse with rounds of 72 and 73 respectively to finish on seven-over, then watched as a succession of contenders struggled into the wind down the closing stretch.
But Schmeucking’s solid approach game proved crucial, spinning back a 70-yard pitch to within three feet for his birdie at 15, and then another pitching wedge to the last allowed him the two-putt he needed to close it out.
Meanwhile the 15-year-old Tynan underlined her credentials as one of British golf’s top prospects by coming from behind at Monifieth to win the Girls’ Championship.
In a week when Augusta National announced they’d be hosting a women’s amateur event from next year, it seems like a very realistic goal for the Welsh girl from Minchinhampton, who took both the main title and the Menzies Trophy for best Under-16 finisher with her final round of one-under 72 to complete a one-under aggregate of 218.
Out in three-under, a double bogey at the 15th threatened to derail her hopes but long-time leader Natasha Slater was suffering a real nightmare on the closing stretch, dropping five strokes in the last six holes to see a two-shot lead become a one-stroke deficit.
When Tynan birdied the 17th, that gave her all the cushion she needed to see out the win.
“I was really excited going into the last day, trying to be aggressive,” said Ffion, a member of the GB&I Junior Vagliano Trophy squad.
“I was hoping for a top-three finish but I knew I was capable of getting more if I did everything I wanted to do.”
Victory means that Ffion is now on the world rankings, and a top 50 place on those is going to be a qualifier to get into the new Augusta event.
“I’ve got my WAGR rating now, I’m hoping to get my handicap to a plus figure by the end of the year and try to get a couple more high tournament finishes,” she added.
Slater shared second place with another English girl Rosie Belsham. Best Scottish finisher was another Under-16 contender, Aboyne’s Carmen Griffiths, who had a five-over 78 yesterday to finish nine behind the winner.