6th June 2017
Liam JOHNSTON won the Carrick Neill Scottish Men’s Open Stroke Play Championship at Western Gailes last weekend.
Rounds of 69, 66, 69 and 71 for a -9 72 hole aggregate score proved good enough for a two shot victory. He was the first Scotsman to win the title since Wallace Booth in 2008.
Following on from his African Amateur win earlier this year I am now confident he will be selected for the 2017 GB&I Walker Cup team. How can you deny a place to a man with two major national titles to their name in the year of the match?
In recent weeks Liam has also finished tied 13th at the Lytham Trophy and tied 10th at the Irish Amateur Open so his overall form is good too.
Liam is another player who sits outside the Walker Cup squad but who has risen to the challenge of forcing his way in to the selection picture.
Liam Johnston (Photo: Kenny Smith / Scottish Golf)
Coming in the middle of a long run of prestigious events many of our leading players chose to sit this one out. Having said that the field was strengthened by the arrival of most of the Australian and South African summer touring parties.
Just five members of the Great Britain & Ireland (GB&I) Walker Cup Squad competed in Ayrshire. These were Colm CAMPBELL, Craig HOWIE, Conor O’ROURKE, Sandy SCOTT and Connor SYME.
Two of them Craig HOWIE and Connor SYME performed very well. Craig finished tied third on -5 and Connor fifth on -4.
I have been bullish about the prospects for Scottish players in 2017 for some time. When these two are added to Johnston and Robert MACINTYRE it is easy to see why the Scots are likely to form the bedrock of this year’s GB&I Team.
Unfortunately another Scotsman, Jamie STEWART, who did so well at the Brabazon Trophy last week and had moved in to the fringes of the selection story, was unable to back it up here missing the 36 hole cut by some distance (79 75 +12).
The other main story to come out of the Scottish Amateur Open concerns England’s Matthew JORDAN. I mentioned in news article 53. on the Brabazon Trophy that he was putting together a very good run of results but needed to keep going.
Well he certainly did – this week he finished second on -7. Matthew has now recorded successive Top 10’s in the Lytham Trophy (T7), Irish Amateur Open (T4), Brabazon Trophy (5th) and Scottish Amateur Open (2nd). As such he is currently GB&I’s most in form player. This is reflected in his improved SPWAR of 65th which makes him the 8th highest GB&I player in the list.
Click here to view the – Scottish Open SP Results
Click here to view the – Scratch Players World Amateur Ranking
Copyright © 2017, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.