AYRSHIRE, Scotland (Sept. 1, 2013) -- Despite a last round 83 over the Turnberry Kintyre course, Colin Johnson secured the Scottish Mid-Amateur Stroke Play title defeating John Ralston of Shotts GC on the second extra play-off hole.
Johnson had put himself 8 clear of the field after 36 holes with solid rounds of 72 and 69 and looked to have an easy task of securing the title and the World Amateur Golf ranking points that were available. Johnson had just won his own club championship at Hainault Forest the weekend before the event and was obviously playing well. He looked confident as he teed off on day 2 and looked to have the title in the bag with 9 holes to play as nearest challengers Ralston and Stephen Creed were not making much of a move.
Then some uncharacteristic errors from Johnson saw him drop a series of shots coming home to finish his final round with an 83 for a 54 hole total of 224. Everyone thought that Johnson had done enough to edge out Creed who finished on 225 but Ralston was the seemingly forgotten man and he also finished on 224 to force the play-off.
Johnson and Ralston began their play-off on the Ailsa course and after a miraculous up and down from deep rough short and left of the first from Johnson the pair headed to the tricky second hole. Ralston found a fairway bunker whilst Johnson found the green after a controlled tee shot down the right of the fairway. Ralston played a brilliant shot to the front edge of the green just 15 feet from the flag leaving Johnson a tricky putt from 40 feet behind the hole. Johnson rolled his put up to 4 feet and Ralston then left his first putt some 6 feet short. Ralston then left his par putt tantalisingly on the edge of the hole and this gave Johnson 4 feet for the championship. Johnson held his nerve and holed out for his first major Mid-Amateur title and the precious WAGR points.
“I am thrilled to win the Scottish title and especially over the links at Turnberry. I played solidly for 36 holes but was a little nervous over the last 9 holes but glad I held on to win. I’ve had a great 5 days of golf winning this title and my own club championship and couldn’t be happier as my two boys have been with me here in Scotland cheering me on.”
Johnson moves on to Sunningdale and the remaining events on the Mid-Amateur Golf Tour in the hope that he can continue his form and catch OOM leader Stephen Creed form Makstoke Park.
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