Steven Armstrong has played in The Open, been crowned Lothians champion and tasted success throughout his career at club level.
But he’s just topped the lot after securing a first-ever title triumph for his beloved Turnhouse in the Edinburgh Summer League – 24 hours after winning a trip to The Masters.
As had been expected, the conclusion to this season’s Clarity IFA-sponsored event was a tighly-fought affair at Newbattle between Longniddry and Turnhouse.
Indeed, it was Longniddry who led 4-3 with two games remaining after the East Lothian club had been handed a flying start through Michael Bacigalupo’s 6&5 success in the top match.
But Longniddry’s hopes of landing the title at just the second attempt were dashed when Armstrong, the current club champion, and fellow Turnhouse stalwart Olly McCrone dug deep to win the remaining two matches. McCrone held on to beat reinstated amateur Nathan Free while Armstrong produced an outstanding shot at the 17th to seal his victory over Kevin Girdler.
The win saw Turnhouse become champions for the first time in style, having completed the campaign with a 100 per cent record from 13 games.
“We are delighted to have won against a very strong Longniddry team,” admitted Turnhouse team manager Moray Hanson. “It finished off a fantastic year for the club after winning the Winter League and Inter Club earlier in the season.” Armstrong, who is the club’s honorary secretary, described the triumph as “absolutely unbelievable” and admitted he was especially pleased for one of his team-mates.
“We’ve got a guy in Lindsay Gordon who has played in the Summer League for a long, long time, both in its current format and the previous one and, this is his first victory, so I think it meant more to him than anybody.”
The Turnhouse hero added: “To be sent out last and produce the winning point after Olly had delivered a big point in the game ahead was a bit special as it’s a big thing and the party afterwards at the club was proof of that, believe me.
“There’s been a real squad ethos this year. Everyone has been behind the team that has been picked by Moray Hanson for each game and have given him and those players theur full support. We all wanted the club to succeed.
“There’s a real feeling in the club at the moment that it is trying to do all the right things. We’ve got a golf course in fantastic condition, we’ve got fantatsic practice facilities and a clubhouse that is being improved all the time. It’s creating a really good atmosphere within the club.
“Personally, this tops off a big year for me, having won the club championship, the Turnhouse Open and the Inter-club again.
“And, on Saturday, Lee McCathie and I along with Paul Drake and Kerr Anderson from Pumpherston won a trip to The Masters next year through a Texas Scramble sponsored by yourgolftravel.com. We won the Turnhouse section a week past Saturday, shooting 57 scratch, then shot 61 at Pumpherston to finish low handicap. We get an all-expenses trip to The Masters next year with tickets to Masters Sunday.”
Losing Longniddry team manager Alistair Robertson said his players had been “disappointed” to come so close to landing the title but added: “The match was played in good spirit and we congratulate Turnhouse on their excellent win.”