ROYAL MUSSELBURGH’S Stuart Blair dug deep to set up a title showdown tonight with Callum Cochrane of Marriott Dalmahoy in the final of the Lothians Boys’ Championship at the Braids.
Blair was two down with six to play but managed to turn his all-East Lothian semi-final tie around to beat Longniddry’s Fraser Johnston by 2 and 1 last night. After winning the 14th, Blair fluffed his chip at the next but then holed a 30-foot putt for a hole-winning birdie 3. Both players then drove the green at the par-4 16th but Johnston three-putted there to fall behind with two holes to play.
Blair flew the green with his tee shot at the par-3 17th but got down in two, holing a ten-footer for his 3, which proved good enough to seal victory as his opponent three-putted again from the apron.
Cochrane, last year’s beaten finalist, won at the 19th in his match against Tantallon’s Calum Hill. One up early on, Cochrane drove into the whins at the sixth, which he eventually conceded. Hill then went one up when a par-4 proved good enough at the seventh. After squaring matters again at the tenth, Cochrane won the 11th with a birdie and the 14th as well to go two up.
He then found gorse off the tee at the 15th before Hill birdied the 16th to go all square again. The 17th was halved in 3s, as was the 18th, where Cochrane holed a 30-footer to stay alive after putting his drive into the ‘Graves’. He then sank a putt from a similar distance at the first extra hole to reach the final for the second year running.
Semi-final results: C Cochrane (Marriott Dalmahoy) bt C Hill (Tantallon) at 19th; S Blair (Royal Musselburgh) bt F Johnston (Longniddry) 2 and 1.