Fleetwood Storms to Scottish Victory
01 Jun 2009
see also: Moray Golf Club
ABERDEEN, Scotland (May 31, 2009)--England’s Tommy Fleetwood stormed to victory this afternoon at the Bidwells Scottish Stroke Play Championship hosted at Murcar Links, after posting his fourth consecutive sub par round in the tournament.
Fleetwood claimed his first national title extending his third round 3 shot lead to 8 shots over Perthshire’s Gavin Dear, the leading Scot and his nearest rival.
Fleetwood, who led the field from day one along with his English foursomes partner Matt Haines, continued to exert his dominance over the field which contained 13 other Walker Cup squad players including two World Champions, over the following two days.
With an opening 5 under par 66, which set a new course record over the longer layout at the Aberdeenshire links – which stood for 24 hours – followed by rounds of 69 and 67 plus a further 66 saw the Formby Hall player finish 16 under for the tournament.
Records continued to tumble as Fleetwood’s four round aggregate of 268 beat the previous tournament best total of 269 set back in 2004 at Lundin by Richie Ramsay – incidentally the previous course record holder at Murcar in it’s former layout.
The 18 year old current English Counties Champion and runner up in last year’s British Amateur, said, “For three holes on the bounce I didn’t hit one good shot at any of them but still manage to get birdies at all of them. The first time I looked at the leaderboard I was 17 under and then I dropped a shot but it was my only bogey of the day and nothing could go wrong for me today.
“It is probably the best four rounds I have strung together, certainly in a big event like this and I was feeling pretty tired towards the end. I have enjoyed a pretty solid season so far this year and this win might help put me on the plane to Merion for the Walker Cup later this year.”
With a number of R&A selectors including GB&I Walker Cup captain Colin Dalgleish in the galleries for the past few days, Fleetwood’s awesome performance will certainly have boosted his chances.
World Champion Gavin Dear claimed second place after he finished with a level par 71 and said he was ‘disappointed not to have challenged more during his final outing’. The AIB Irish Amateur Stroke Play Champion said, “I didn’t realise what I needed to do until I reached the 10th hole and saw the scoreboard and realised that Tommy had torched the front 9. From that point on I knew I had too much to do and towards the end I was just cruising for second place.
He added, “Hopefully this result and my previous wins will help my Walker Cup chances.”
The leading Scot, Dear was flanked by another English internationalist, Portuguese Amateur Champion Dale Whitnell who finished 4 under for the tournament to take the bronze medal. North East favourite James Byrne from Banchory, current course record holder at Murcar after posting a 6 under par 65 in yesterday’s second round finished tied for 4th place alongside another player in the Walker Cup squad, Luke Goddard from Hendon.