Saturday, June 04, 2016

 Ailsa Summers' birdie-birdie finish wins    
 Scottish women's title at West Kilbride

 Feeling just champion! Ailsa Summers with the trophy. Picture by courtesy of ScottishGolf

Ailsa Summers, 22 year old Carnoustie Ladies Golf Club member, is the 2016 Scottish women's amateur golf champion.
Ailsa beat the 2014 champion, 23-year-old Gabrielle MacDonald (Craigielaw), a good friend from their days at St Andrews University, by 2 and 1 in the 18-hole final at West Kilbride Golf Club, Ayrshire this morning.
Summers, whose mother Mary played in the 1982 British girls final at Edzell and was capped for Scotland in 1986, had four birdies in all and was level par for the 17 holes.
Ailsa finished the championship in great style with winning birdies at the 16th and 17th after she had been pulled back to square when she double bogeyed the 15th.
Summers was never behind at any stage of the field. She was two up twice on the outward half but lost the lead to MacDonald's only birdie and the short 12th to a par.
Summers was 15th of the 32 match-play qualifiers; MacDonald the eighth seed.
MacDonald bt Summers at the quarter-finals stage of the 2014 championship at Prestwick.  
Ailsa has been Angus county champion five times - five in a row from 2009 to 2013 inclusive. She lost in the 2014 final.
Ailsa's mother Mary has won the county title SIX times between 1985 and 2005.
102nd Scottish women's amateur championship
West Kilbride GC, Ayrshire.
Final (18 holes)
Ailsa Summers (Carnoustie Ladies) bt Gabrielle MacDonald (Craigielaw) 2 and 1.

Summers’ Time as Ailsa Shines to Win Scottish title at West Kilbride 

Ailsa Summers overcame former University team-mate Gabrielle Macdonald to claim top honours in the Scottish Women’s Amateur Championship at West Kilbride.
After a tight 18-hole final, the 22-year-old from Carnoustie Ladies edged out Craigielaw’s Macdonald 21 and 1 to add the national title to the St Rule Trophy she won three years ago.
Having lost to Macdonald, 23, in the quarter-finals at Prestwick where Gabrielle went on to win the 2014 Scottish Women's Amateur, there was a measure of revenge for Summers after a nip and tuck contest played between the Scottish Golf national squad players and ex-University of St Andrews students.
“It feels good,” said Summers, who hopes to cap a fine week when she receives her maths and statistics final exam results on Tuesday.
 “It’s a bit of a marathon week, a rollercoaster of emotions and a more gruelling test than stroke play. 
“The important thing for me was to get off to a good start and I managed to do that. I lost to Gabrielle on her way to winning the event in 2014 when she birdied the first three holes, so I was wary of that happening again.”
Instead, it was the Angus lady who this time claimed the ascendancy, capitalising on Macdonald’s early errors to move two up after three. Macdonald clawed a hole back at the short fourth with her par, but Summers restored her two-hole lead after reaching the long seventh in two.
However, the Lothians player refused to buckle and saw putts drop at 11 and 12 to restore parity, before Macdonald pulled her approach at the 13th into a bush and required a penalty drop. Summers caused problems of her own at the 15th, going out of bounds with her second shot, and it was all square again.
But Summers punched a superb 7-iron to four feet under the increasing wind on the 16th and then made a birdie four at the next – after her pulled drive fortunately just missed a bush. Macdonald, meantime, saw her greenside bunker shot fly over the green at 17 and she was unable to recover.
“I always knew it was going to be close and towards the end of the front nine Gabrielle was really starting to roll her putts well,” added Summers. “It was just a matter of time before she started knocking them in and she did on 11 and 12. She really had the momentum at that point, but I drew on the experience of playing the last six holes well in previous rounds and kept that in my mind.
“The 16th was quite a good yardage for me, and it suited my eye that shot coming in from the left. I was standing quite a bit above the ball and it was just a half swing with a 7-iron keeping the ball low under the wind.
"  I then got a massive break on 17.  I was very close to being in a bush but ended up having a swing. It’s those little things that can help you win.”
Macdonald said: “I didn’t play my best, but just kept trying to keep going and got it back to square after 11 when I holed a good putt. But I made a few mistakes and Ailsa played well, so I can’t be too disappointed.
“On the 16th, Ailsa hit a really good shot in from quite far back to four feet to put a bit of pressure on me, and I was in between clubs and pulled my wedge shot.
" It was a shame as this whole week I have done well on the 16th, so it was a bit gutting to lose it and go down, but that’s golf for you. I’m just annoyed I didn’t quite play my best today, but it’s been a good week.”