CALLUM COCHRANE, last year’s runner-up, is the new Lothians Boys’ champion – following in the footsteps of former Ryder Cup captain Bernard Gallacher.
The Marriott Dalmahoy player beat Royal Musselburgh’s Stuart Blair by two holes in last night’s final to go one better than 12 months ago at the Braids.
Cochrane went one up straight away when his opponent three-putted the first and also won the third, where Blair found trouble from the tee. The East Lothian youngster settled down after getting one back at the fourth before Cochrane went two up again with a birdie-3 at the eighth. For the second night running, Blair put his drive in the trees at the right side of the 11th and couldn’t reach the green in two strokes.
He eventually ran up a 6, allowing Cochrane to go three up. Blair holed a testing four-footer down the hill for a half at the par-3 13th then won the 15th, where a par-4 proved good enough after Cochrane had hooked his tee shot. He did the same again at the next and then went right underneath the ball with his second from up the bank on the left. That allowed Blair to cut the deficit to one with two holes to play before the 17th was halved in par-3s.
At the last both players hit decent drives, with Cochrane playing his second shot first and making the most of that advantage by playing an exquisite chip. Under extreme pressure due to the fact he really needed to hole his pitch, Blair fluffed it and eventually conceded.
Cochrane is the third Dalmahoy player to claim the title in recent years after Stuart George and Tom Blennerhasset. To the credit of Edinburgh Leisure, the course was in superb condition for an event that was sponsored by the Scottish Industrial Sports Association.