”It was a great yardage into the wind,” said the 23-year-old of his majestic blow at the 160-yard ninth hole on the Devenick Course at the Paul Lawrie Golf Centre on the outskirts of Aberdeen, where Gaughan posted rounds of 53 and 51 for a four-under total.
Four behind Forsyth at the halfway stage, he had drawn level with the two-time European Tour winner after starting his final circuit on the nine-hole layout with three straight birdies only to fear his title hopes had disappeared after then dropping two shots in the final five holes.
However, after Forsyth had let shots slip away at both the 13th and 16th and was then ubable to convert a ten-footer at the last for the victory, Gaughan grabbed an unexpected second bite at the cherry with both hands with his title-winning birdie-2 at the first extra hole.
“It is brilliant,” said Gaughan, who picked up a cheque for £3,250, of joining Eric Brown, Bernard Gallacher and Stephen Gallacher on Bathgate’s list of professional winners. “I didn’t think I had any chance of winning over the last couple of days, so it’s a bit of a surprise.”
Gaughan, who is coached by Alan McCloskey and received a valuable putting lesson recently from the Bothwell Castle pro, celebrated his success by jumping straight in the car to make a near 500-mile journey to Collingtree Park in Northamptonshire for the start of a PGA EuroPro Tour event today. “I guess this makes the journey a bit more bearable,” he added, smiling.
While disappointed to miss out on the top prize after having his nose in front for so long, Forsyth, a class act, heaped praise on the winner. “Louis hit a great shot in the play-off,” admitted the 41-year-old, who felt the only difference in his two rounds had been on the greens. “I played okay but I just didn’t get the putter going,” added Forsyth.
Paul Lawrie, the tournament host, carded the best score on the second day – a five-under 49 – as he tied for third on three under with Gareth Wright, Paul O’Hara, David Law and Greig Hutcheon. “Unlike yesterday, I didn’t have either a sore back or sore feet and, when that’s the case, I still feel I can compete,” said the former Open champion.
Rightly so, Lawrie was delighted with the event’s overall success. “All the players have said they didn’t realise we had a proper golf course here and not a pitch and putt - and that’s what we wanted to achieve this week,” he added.
Leading final totals
104 Louis Gaughan 53 51; Alastair Forsyth 49 55 (Gaughan won at first extra hole)
105 Paul Lawrie 56 49; David Law 54 5h1; Greig Hutcheon 53 52; Gareth Wright 51 54; Paul O’Hara 50 55
106 Ryan Campbell 56 50; Gavin Hay 54 52; Peter Whiteford 53 53