Jamie Stewart (MU Athletics photo)
PERTH, Scotland (Aug. 3, 2018) –Jamie Stewart came into this week’s Scottish Men’s Amateur Championship hoping for a strong performance before he heads back across the pond to continue his college education in the U.S.
The Renfrewshire teenager, who attends the University of Missouri, is living up to his expectations after safely booking his spot in tomorrow’s semifinal draw at Blairgowrie. Stewart defeated Banchory’s Ferghus Milne, 4 and 3, in this morning’s third round, then after a hot streak which saw seven birdies in his final 10 holes, triumphed 5-and-4 against Jim Johnston from Ayr Belleisle.
“I just played solid today,” Stewart said. “There is a spell around the middle part of the course where you can really make some birdies and I have done that quite well this week. This is my last event before I head back out to college in America, so I was looking for a good week.”
Stewart struggled at the start of the week, going 2 over in the first round of qualifying before turning things around with a nice 7 under on the Rosemount.
“Match play can be a bit of a lottery so my goal was to get through qualifying and see what happens,” he said. “Blairgowrie has been a great venue, I love both courses, the greens are in fantastic condition and I’m looking forward to the semi-final.”
Stewart’s opponent tomorrow will be Lanark’s Andrew Thomson, who defeated Stuart Easton in this morning’s third round, then edged out Kilmacolm’s Matthew Clark, winning 1-up in a closely contested match that went right down to the wire.
“I have really enjoyed my week so far, I have played very well, managed a lot of birdies which is making life a little easier,” Thomson said. “My short game has been the strongest part of my game for sure. I have holed a lot of putts from inside 10 feet and I have actually holed out three times this week from around 100 yards. So it’s been a good week with the wedge and I hope it continues.”
Tomorrow’s other semifinal will see Euan McIntosh face Stephen Roger from Peebles. McIntosh, a former professional, only returned to the amateur game in 2016 after not playing golf for 10 years.
Glasgow-born McIntosh was 3 up through 10 holes on teenager Connor McKinney, yet after a valiant comeback, McIntosh birdied the first extra hole to win the match.
After his match Euan was full of praise for his opponent.
“Young Connor was fantastic today, lesser people would have given up after being 3-down, but he produced three birdies on the trot 11 through 13 to bring it back to all square,” he said. “I got out of jail at 14, getting up and down from 142 yards for a par and a half. That gave me a lift for the rest of the match.”
Roger, who defeated Euan Walker by 1 hole, is drawing on good memories of Blairgowrie this week.
“I love the venue this week, I actually won the handicap event at the Paul Lawrie Junior Jug back in 2013, so I have got really good memories,” Roger said. “I really like the course and really enjoying having some fun in the match-play. Both matches today were tough, there were times when I looked like I was heading out, but both times when it came down to the wire I produced, which is always great.”
ABOUT THE Scottish Amateur
The Scottish Amateur Championship began in
1922 and has witnessed many famous victors,
including legendary amateurs Ronnnie Shade
and Charlie Green as well as some of the stars
of the modern game, Colin Montgomerie and
Entry to the Championship is open to any male
golfer who was either born in Scotland, has
Scottish parentage, permanent residency in
Scotland for not less than 5 years and has not
played international golf or competed in a
closed Championship for any other country
other than Scotland. The starting field shall be
256 and, in the event of an over-entry, the
number shall be reduced in order of exact
handicap. Each match shall consist of one
round of 18 holes except the final which will be
played over 36 holes.
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