Golf champion Cameron Mukherjee full of praise for Kirkcaldy course after winning Scottish under-14 open title
This year’s contest also saw the overall trophy won by a Scot for the first time in six years, with Cameron Mukherjee emerging triumphant, and he was full of praise for the Balwearie Road course afterwards.
The 13-year-old, of East Lothian’s Gullane Golf Club, defied torrential rain yesterday causing a three-hour hold-up on the morning of the second round to add a 70 to his opening 69 to claim a two-shot victory with a three-under-par 139.
Cameron got the third birdie of his round on the ninth to go out with a one-under-par 34 and followed that up with nine successive pars to keep the title in Scotland for the first time since Pitreavie’s Connor McKinney pulled that feat off at Glenbervie in Aberdeenshire in 2015.
“It feels amazing to win,” said Mukherjee, a pupil at Musselburgh’s Loretto School in East Lothian, sponsor of the championship.
“I didn’t know where I was until I checked the leaderboard at 18. I was just playing my own game, playing against the course.
“The delay probably came at a good time for me. I hadn’t teed off, so it didn’t cause me too many problems, but I still had to stretch a bit before I teed off because we’d been sitting in the car for a while.
“My driving has been great the last two days and I holed a lot of clutch putts from about six, which is always good.
“Winning this is right up there. It’s probably at the top.
“It’s the first time I’ve played Kirkcaldy. It’s a great course. There are some tough greens to hit into and some tight fairways. I like it a lot.”
His mum Angie was also delighted, saying: “It’s absolutely incredible.
“I’m really, really pleased for him. He’s worked so hard. He’s been working on being a bit more steely and I’ve never seen him so calm, collected and focused as he was today. It’s amazing. He was in the zone the whole time. I’m really proud of him.”
England’s Edward Wade finished runner-up to Cameron.
Edward, of Harpenden Common in Hertfordshire, carded rounds of 69 and 72 to finish on a one-under-par 139 after bogeying the last hole.
In third place was Cameron’s Gullane clubmate Kiron Gribble after carding rounds of 70 and 73 for a one-over-par 143.
The highest-placed Fifer was Finlay Galloway, of St Andrews Golf Club. He finished joint fourth with Aaron Mohun, of Delamere Forest in Cheshire, after two rounds of 72.
The boys’ under-12 Scottish open championship, unlike the U14 title, went south of the borderafter being won by George Cooper, of Hollinwell in Nottinghamshire.
He carded rounds of 73 and 79 for a three-shot victory over Aidan Lawson, of Bruntsfield Links Golf Society in Edinburgh. Lawson opened with an 82 but bounced back by scoring 73 in his second round.
Cooper, 10, was also impressed by the Fife course, saying: “The golf course was just brilliant.
“It’s been a great couple of days.
“It feels really good because I’ve been competing against people I’ve not competed against before.
“I feel as if I have played very well this week, especially in the weather conditions we had. It was quite difficult, but I got through it in the end.”
A spokesperson for the host club congratulated Cameron on his victory, saying: “What a superb effort and a worthy champion. You are welcome back to Kirkcaldy Golf Club any time.”
They added: “What a week we’ve had. It wouldn’t have been possible without the help of our members, our volunteers, Fife Council and all the hard-working staff at the club.
“A special thanks goes to our hard-working green staff, who had their work cut out with a long dry spell in the lead-up to the event and then one of the wettest spells we’ve had in quite some time.
“The course was in tremendous condition and they are a credit to the club.
“A big thanks also to Scottish Golf for choosing Kirkcaldy to host the event.”