Angus Carrick went to the brink against brilliant Blairgowrie teenager Connor Graham but survived and followed in his father’s footsteps as Scottish Amateur champion.
The 27-year-old son of 1985 winner and Walker Cup player David birdied the last two holes and then won in sudden death against the 14-year-old in the semi-finals at Murcar Links.
He then ground out victory in the final against fellow Lothians player Connor Wilson, birdieing the 18th for the second time in the day to clinch a 2-hole win.
The 14-year-old Graham seemed set to be the youngest finalist in the championship’s 100-year history when he went to two-up with two to play against Carrick in the Saturday morning semi-final.
However the Craigielaw man conjured up birdies at the final two holes to take them both and force extra time.
Graham had played almost mistake-free golf in regulation but he blocked out his tee-shot on the first extra hole and lost his ball in the gorse. Carrick needed only a regulation par to progress to the final.
“That was some match in the end,” he said. “Credit to Connor, he’s a great player, he’s done tremendously well this week.
“It was a tough game. I didn’t have my top stuff but somehow I managed to scrape through in the end.”
The final was also close throughout, with Wilson – Lothians champion in 2020 – going two-up after seven. Carrick reduced the deficit at the eighth but it was wins at 13 and 14 that gave him the edge, the birdie on the last finally confirming victory.
“I’m absolutely speechless, it’s all been a blur,” said the new champion. “I knew my game was good enough to compete and to win so I went out and gave it my all.
“We both hit some great shots and even after nine rounds of golf, or whatever it is, we were both playing very well. There were a few tired swings in there, but not many.
“I think it was just the last six holes where I won it. I still can’t really remember what happened, but my caddie told me I had four birdies in the last six holes. So, I came back strong and ultimately that’s what won it for me.
“It’s great to emulate Dad,” he added. “It’s really, really nice that we’ve both got our names on the trophy. We’ll always have that to share.”
🏆 | CHAMPION!
Congratulations to Angus Carrick, your 2021 #SGMensAm Champion.
— Scottish Golf (@ScottishGolf) July 31, 2021
Carrick senior said he was “immensely proud”.
“I’m immensely proud of him”, Carrick Snr said. “He played great golf the last four rounds and thoroughly deserved to win. It’s a fantastic result.”
“It’s always hard to lose in a final,” said the defeated Wilson. “Coming second isn’t great, but when you look back at the week I’ve had, it’s been pretty good.
“I hit the ball great, I’ve hit the ball great all week, to be honest. But there were a few mistakes that crept in and they were costly.
“Angus is a great player and he didn’t give anything away. It wasn’t as if either of us was ever going to run away with it, that’s for sure.”