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Paul Lawrie Foundation Scottish Boys Championship
14th April 2012
Howie Claims Historic Scottish Boys Win

Peebles' Craig Howie is the Paul Lawrie Foundation Scottish Boys champion after an astonishing afternoon performance saw him close out a 7&6 win over Ewan Scott from St Andrews.

Paul Lawrie & Craig Howie
Craig Howie, with 1999 Open champion Paul Lawrie after his 7&6 win over Ewan Scott (St Andrews) in the Paul Lawrie Foundation Scottish Boys Championship final (Photo: Kenny Smith)

At Murcar Links, the 17-year-old staged a superb display after lunch to win seven holes out of eight and clinch the prestigious Boys' title, first played for in 1935.

Former Open champion Lawrie - whose Foundation sponsored the event for the first time - watched the final unfold before handing Howie the trophy.

The +0.7 handicapper is the first player from a Borders club to win the championship and follows in the spike marks of past winners like Andrew Coltart and Steven O'Hara.

Howie, who came out on top from a starting field of 256 Under-18 boys, needed only 12 putts over the last 10 holes of the 36-hole final to claim victory.

The youngster was a SGU National Boys' squad member in 2009/10 and 2010/11 and played for the Under-16s Quads team in 2010.

A tight battle looked set to unfold after an intriguing opening 18 holes, with Howie edging ahead for the first time after Scott's bogey at the 18th.

But the 16-year-old from St Andrews quickly drew level at the 19th following Howie's pulled tee shot.

It was to be Scott's last success, as Howie took total control following a remarkable burst of hole victories.

As Scott struggled with the putter, Howie simply couldn't miss. He reeled off wins at the 20th, 21st and 22nd to go three up and then won the 24th after another Scott bogey.

After more uncharacteristic player from Scott, the SGU National Boys' Squad player and former England Under-14 champion, Howie went six up after wins at the 25th and 26th.

Howie, who had not been past the fourth round in three previous outings at the Boys, then birdied the 27th for a seventh success in eight holes.

Coached by Colin Brooks, Howie saw out the triumph with victory on the 12th green. "It feels great he said," before shaking hands with Lawrie and lifting the silverware.

"I played really well the whole of the afternoon, especially my putting - I think that's what won it for me.

"I thought I was playing well and had the game to win this week, but there are 256 good players in the tournament.

"I was four down after five holes to Jake Scott in the quarters and thought I might be going out, so it's great to have won overall."

Scott, the third lowest handicapper in the field off +2, was magnanimous in defeat and said: "Craig played proper good golf and holed putts. He was a tough opponent to beat.

"He thoroughly deserved to win the way he played. I've one more chance in this event next year at Monifieth.

"I can still take a lot of positives, I just wish I could have given Craig more of a game this afternoon."

Lawrie, meanwhile, was delighted with the staging of the event ahead of flying to China tomorrow for a return to European Tour action next week.

He said: "On behalf of the Foundation, I'd like to thank everyone at Murcar Links, including the greenkeeping, catering and administrative team, as well as pro Gary Forbes.

"Thanks to the SGU for a fantastically-run event and we are hoping to continue for years to come.

"There was some good golf played between Euan and Craig and congratulations to Craig.

"It's a fantastic event for all the boys to play in and good luck to them all in the future."

Murcar Links staged the championship for a third time with previous winners O'Hara and Scott Henry.

Earlier on Friday, Alan Waugh (Cowglen) and Connar Cook (Caird Park) were awarded bronze medals as losing semi-finalists.

>> Click here for photos and videos from the final of the Paul Lawrie Foundation Scottish Boys Championship


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