Scottish Boys’ Amateur Champion win for young Elgin golfer Billy Devine
Easier access to your trusted, local news. Subscribe to a digital package and support local news publishing.
ELGIN golfer Billy Devine defeated defending champion Fraser Laird – of Kemnay – to become Scottish Boys' Amateur Champion at Lanark Golf Club at the weekend.
Devine, of Elgin Golf Club, said it felt "amazing" to win the competition, which he went into after – in his own words – "struggling" for large parts of this season.
"It feels amazing," a delighted Devine said at the trophy presentation. "It hasn't quite sunk in yet.
"I could never have dreamt of winning something like this so it’s really great, it’s a proper confidence boost.
"I’ve struggled a little bit this season – it’s been up and down. So I just came into this week with a clear mind and hoping to do better.
"My scores in qualifying weren’t amazing but I know with match play it can go any way so I still kept that positive mindset and that has done me well.
"There were a lot of holes where I had to dig deep in pretty much every match I played."
Conditions were particularly challenging for players on the Sunday and the final match play stages proved to be an even greater test for players.
Heading into Sunday’s semi-finals (the fifth round of match play for competitors) alongside Devine and fellow finalist Laird were Harry Bent (Gullane) and Alex McGillivray (Nairn).
Devine said he "had to dig deep to mentally overcome that hurdle" of playing his friend McGillivray, who he acknowledged had been playing well in the tournament.
Indeed, McGillivray aced the 7th hole on Saturday morning on his way to a 5 and 3 win against Gallacher. However, Devine managed to secure his place in the final by finishing 2UP against his friend.
Meanwhile, Laird remained in fighting form beating Bent to finish on 1UP.
The final round of match play was hotly-contested and at one stage it was all square thru 10.
However, Devine managed to break away and was soon 2UP thru 15, eventually managing to clinch victory, finishing on 1UP to secure the championship title.
Laird took the runner-up prize and both Harry Bent and Alex McGillivray were awarded the Semi-Finalist Crystal Award respectively.