Mark Napier wins Lothians Championship at first extra hole to defeat Stuart McLaren
Mark Napier is the new Lothians champion after foiling Stuart McLaren’s double bid in a thrilling final at Broomieknowe.
Napier, who claimed the Turnhouse title earlier in the year, won with a birdie at the 19th in a closely-fought affair.
All square with five holes to play, McLaren holed a monster putt for a 2 at the 15th to edge ahead as the Brunstfield Links man sought to add this prize to his Lothians Order of Merit success last year. But Napier hit back with a birdie from three feet at the 17th and then, after the last had been halved in birdies, he hit another approach close at the first extra hole to take the title back to Turnhouse for the first time since 2004, when Steven Armstrong won at Mortonhall.
In the semi-finals, Napier ended the run of host club man Jamie McIntosh in a 2&1 win while McLaren beat Bathgate’s Scott McCandless 5&4, with both players having been three up at the turn.
Napier’s win has lifted him to seventh in the local Lothians Order of Merit, which sees Craigielaw’s Kenny Glen out in front ahead of McLaren. Meanwhile, Bathgate’s Joe Bryce, still tops the national standings after his fast start to the season.
East of Scotland Open champion McLaren sits third behind Glen and second to Bryce.