Hannah Darling, at the age of 13, has become the youngest ever winner of the Scottish Girls’ Amateur Championship after holding off a rousing comeback from Jillian Farrell at Scotscraig.
The Broomieknowe golfer secured her first national title after a superb performance in the new-look six-day event, held concurrently with the Scottish Boys’ Championship for the first time.
Jane Connachan, previously the youngest victor, was 14 when she won in 1978.
Darling, a three-handicapper, stormed to a five-hole lead against Cardross’ Farrell, 17, after 27 holes only for her opponent to reel off five of the next six holes to draw level.
Both Scottish Golf Academy players halved the 32nd, before Darling birdied the short next and then brilliantly chipped in for an eagle at the 34th. In a classy run of golf from both players, Farrell replied at the penultimate hole before Darling holed for another birdie to seal a two-hole triumph.
“It’s a bit surreal at the moment, my WhatsApp is going crazy,” admitted Darling, who is going into third year at Lasswade High School and is coached by Ian Muir.
In the boys’ event, there was an equally tense battle as Greg Dalziel and Aussie-based Scot Josh Greer also went the distance.
Greer, who moved from Gourock to Australia with his family five years ago, looked set to enjoy a fairytale visit back to his homeland.
The 16-year-old, who plays out of the Joondalup club in Western Australia, had built up a three-hole lead by the 21st before Airdrie’s Dalziel dug in and squared the match five holes later. With Greer’s putter starting to fail him, Dalziel moved ahead for the first time in the match on the 29th and never let his position slip. Greer, watched by family and friends who had travelled up from the west coast, passed up notable chances at the 33rd and 34th.
“I certainly didn’t picture this coming into the week, but I came through and held on so I’m delighted,” said Dalziel, a two-handicapper.