More success for Scottish golf as Scott Henry wins in Kazakhstan
SCOTT Henry added to Scottish golf’s impressive 2012 title haul after winning the Kazakhstan Open, the Challenge Tour’s major, in a play-off at Zhailjau Golf Resort in Almaty.
The 25-year-old from Clydebank secured the biggest pay-day of his career, earning a cheque for around £52,000, to catapult himself from 48th up to fifth spot on the second-tier circuit’s money list.
It means he has virtually secured his European Tour card for next season at the first attempt, having only earned his step up to the Challenge Tour off the Alps Tour a year ago.
“This is the biggest win of my life, no doubt about that,” said Henry, a two-time Scottish Boys champion who also won the Scottish Stroke-Play title during a glittering amateur career.
“It was my father’s birthday today and I was thinking about him all day to be honest. When I left for the two weeks, he told me that two good weeks in Russia and Kazakhstan would be the perfect present, so to win here for him is a great feeling.
“He has played such a big part in my career and is always trying to get the best out of me – I think this win was for him.”
Henry’s success – he beat Austrian HP Bacher at the second extra hole after the pair had finished locked together on 19-under-par – is the latest in a string of notable victories for Scotland’s touring professionals this year.
Paul Lawrie has led the way with a brace of title triumphs on the European Tour, where fellow Aberdonian Richie Ramsay also tasted victory a fortnight ago.
Raymond Russell preceded Henry as Challenge Tour champion, while Duncan Stewart, twice, Wallace Booth, David Law and Ross Kellett have all chalked victories on various third-tier Tours.
On top of all that, Carly Booth, with a brace of wins, and Catriona Matthew have also made their mark on the Ladies European Tour this season.
Two off the lead heading into the final round, Henry bagged five birdies as he raced to the turn in 32 before seeing his title charge halted by a double-bogey 7 at the 15th.
That left him needing a birdie over the closing holes to tie with Bacher, who had set the clubhouse target after a stunning eight-under 64 had seen him storm up the leaderboard.
Dramatically, it came at the 18th, where the Scot rolled in a 25-foot putt for his three and a closing effort of 69, pumping his fist in delight as the ball toppled into the hole.
“That is a moment I will remember for the rest of my life,” he confessed afterwards. “It was by far the biggest moment of my career and it felt incredible.”
Henry, whose previous best performance on the Challenge Tour was tying for third in the Canary Islands in June, has worked his way gradually up the ladder since turning professional five years ago.
He cut his teeth on a combination of the PGA EuroPro Tour and Alps Tour and admitted earlier this year that it had been a huge boost when he earned support worth around £23,000.
It came from the £1million worth of Scottish Government money that is being chanelled towards helping the country’s brighest young prospects as they try to find their feet in the pro ranks.
“I’ve always dreamed of playing on the European Tour and I’m confident about my game,” said Henry of the new challenge that now lies ahead.”
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for Edinburgh
Sunday 19 May 2013
Temperature: 9 C to 16 C
Wind Speed: 7 mph
Wind direction: North east
Temperature: 9 C to 20 C
Wind Speed: 8 mph
Wind direction: North