IRVINE, AYRSHIRE, Scotland (July 29, 2011) -- Tomorrow’s Scottish Amateur Championship final will be contested between Dunbar’s Daniel Kay and Hazlehead’s David Law after a dramatic afternoon at sun-kissed Western Gailes.
Law, aiming to become the first player to win multiple titles since Charlie Green almost 30 years ago, produced a superb display of links golf to end the challenge of James Ross before Kay clinched a dramatic victory over number two seed James Byrne with a birdie three at the first extra hole.
Paul Lawrie protégé Law, who beat Paul O’Hara in the final at Royal Troon two years ago, birdied two of the opening four holes to race into an early three-hole before Ross hit back with a wins at the next two holes. Law’s lead was increased to four after birdies at 9 and 11 and put the match almost out of sight with a winning par four at the 12th.
Royal Burgess member Ross showed great sprit to win the 14th with a fine birdie four after an excellent approach, but Law clinched his final berth with a par three at the 15th.
“I hit the ball really good this afternoon after struggling a bit this morning,” said Law, who also won the Scottish Boys Championship in 2009. “I went to the range at lunchtime for fifteen minutes to do a couple of drills that I’ve been working on with Neil Marr and got it going straight away against James.”
“This is the tournament I enjoy the most and it feels great to play in front of a big crowd in your national championship. This event feels the most special to me after winning at Royal Troon and hopefully I’ll have a few down from the North East tomorrow to cheer me on.” he added.
In the second semi-final, it was Kay who got off to a good start, winning the second with a birdie two before Byrne responded with a birdie at the fifth to draw level. Kay won the sixth but Byrne showed his class to notch excellent birdies at the 8th and 10th to move ahead for the first time. Last year’s Amateur Championship silver medallist went two up with a par at the 13th, but a wedge to four feet for birdie at 14 and a 4-iron to 20 feet for birdie two at 15 from Kay squared the match once more.
The game took another twist when Byrne drilled in a superb 30-foot putt at the 16th to go one clear and after a half in four at 17, the 20-year-old from Dunbar took the match to extra holes after Byrne couldn’t get up and down for par on the 18th.
Kay hit a nervy tee-shot at the 19th but produced a stunning nine-iron from a seeded divot to 8-feet and when Byrne couldn’t hole from the back of the green, Lothians man Kay calmly rolled in the winning birdie putt to seal the match.
“It feels like the best win I’ve ever had,” said Kay, who reached the semi-finals of the 2009 Scottish Boys Championship in 2009. “The win against Kris Nicol earlier in the week gave me confidence and I’ve putted well all week and cut out the silly mistakes.”
“You always enter an event thinking you can win it. I’ve been working with my coach Colin Brooks for the last few years which has been a big help and working at The Renaissance Club gives me a chance to use their great facilities, which has also benefitted my game.”
Tomorrow’s 36-hole final tees off at 8.30am with the afternoon round taking starting at 1.00pm. With great weather forecast and the prospect of some fantastic golf on show from two very talented 20-year-olds, spectators are encouraged to come to Western Gailes and support the players.