Thirty-one years separate the two finalists in the Scottish Amateur Championship at Blairgowrie, where Jamie Stewart, 18, stands between Euan McIntosh becoming one of the event’s oldest winners at 49.
“I am going to have to be at my absolute best as Jamie is one of the best prospects in the country,” said McIntosh as he looked forward to the 36-hole title decider on the Rosemount course at the Perthshire venue. “I am obviously an older chap so it is going to be very difficult, but I am up for the challenge.”
McIntosh, pictured, who would be the oldest player to claim the prize since Charlie Green, in his early 50s, won at Gullane in 1983, has enjoyed a memorable spell since being reinstated to the amateur ranks following a ten-year break from the game.
The Turnhouse player bridged a 27-year gap when he was selected for the Home Internationals in 2016, the same year he topped the Scottish Order of Merit. He went off the boil last season but has been back to his best this year, producing some brilliant golf this week to set up this chance of claiming a notable success. In the semi-finals, McIntosh was all square after six holes against Peebles player Stephen Roger before playing the next nine holes in six-under to record a 4&3 success. “The turning point came at the par-4 12th hole,” he said afterwards. “Stephen knocked it on to the back edge of the green in one. I drove it into the trees, chipped up, holed a 60-footer for birdie and Stephen three-putted.
“At that point I was two up and it was looking like I was going to go back to 1-up. Then all of a sudden, I holed that mammoth putt and I’m three up. I thought to myself, if you have that sort of luck on your side, it is going to be your day.”
Old Ranfurly’s Stewart, winner of the Scottish Under-16s Championship in 2015, beat Andrew Thomson (Lanark) 2&1. “It feels good,” he said. “One of my goals at the start of the week was to make the final and give myself a chance to win it, so I am delighted. Tomorrow is going to be a very tough match as Euan is a great player. I’m up for it and can’t wait to get going.”