Borders golfer Jack McDonald battles way to Fife trophy win

Borders golfer Jack McDonald with Fife's Battle Trophy (Picture: Kenny Smith)Borders golfer Jack McDonald with Fife's Battle Trophy (Picture: Kenny Smith)
Borders golfer Jack McDonald with Fife's Battle Trophy (Picture: Kenny Smith)
Borders golfer Jack McDonald is following in the footsteps of the likes of current DP World Tour competitors Grant Forrest and Connor Syme after winning this year’s Battle Trophy at Fife’s Craighead Links on Sunday.

The Galashiels 21-year-old, runner-up in that Crail Golfing Society competition to Moray’s Matthew Wilson last year, went one better this time round, winning by nine shots.

McDonald, representing Kelso’s Schloss Roxburghe golf course, opened with a 73 on Saturday, adding a 74 in round two later that day, stretched his lead to seven shots come Sunday with a third-round 69, then signed off with a 70 for a total of 286 for the 72-hole event, nine in front of Kirkintilloch’s Matthew Allen on 295, with Manchester’s Jack Brooks a shot further back in third place.

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“There are few courses that can provide such great playing conditions this early in the season,” said McDonald. “Last year the wind was out of the west, so to play with an easterly made the course play completely different. It was cold, but great fun.

“It was a treat to putt on those greens.

“Winning the Tennant Cup was definitely a big confidence boost as it showed that I can compete in these events and get over the line.”

That victory follows his Tennant Cup win at Glasgow Golf Club at Killermont in June last year after earlier rounds at Gailes Links in Irvine in North Ayrshire and a third-placed finish at the 49th East of Scotland Open Amateur Championship at Fife’s Lundin Golf Club later that same month.

McDonald, a part-time worker at his Heiton club’s pro shop, attributes his trophy-winning form to practice and the grounding provided by his home course, saying: “It’s been a pretty good time for me over the last 12 months.

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“I’ve played as much golf as possible and put the hours in. It sounds simple but that’s definitely been the key.

“I’m now hitting it far enough so I can compete and I certainly needed that length round Crail at the weekend.

“There are also not many longer courses that we play all year than the Roxburghe’s and, as a result of that, I find myself going to other courses and thinking they don’t seem as long as they maybe do to other people.”

Next up for McDonald is a tilt at the Lytham Trophy at Lancashire’s Royal Lytham and St Annes Golf Club this Thursday and Friday.

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“It’s a bit of a quick turnaround but it’s nice to keep going when you’re playing well,” he said.

“It’s one of the biggest amateur events in the UK so it’s a bit of a step up, but I’m playing well so I can’t ask for much more than that going into it.”