A KIRKCALDY schoolboy is making a name for himself in golf after winning his first regional title.
Ryan Walsh won the Fife Boys Strokeplay held at St Michael’s Golf Club in Leuchars last Sunday with a four under par score of 66.
The Balwearie High S6 pupil is now hoping to make it a double in this weekend’s Fife Matchplay event over the same course.
Ryan (17) told SportsPress: “I didn’t really think about finishing first. Anything under par would have been a good score.
“I just wanted to finish in the top eight and qualify for the matchplay because I missed out by one shot last year. My top priority was to get my game in shape and qualify, but to win it was brilliant.”
After an eagle, three birdies, 13 pars and just one bogey, Ryan finished four shots clear of the field, a remarkable achievement considering it was his first ever round at St Michael’s.
“My grandad has played it before so he gave me a few tips, and I looked up the stroke-saver on the internet,” he added.
“It was definitely one of my best ever rounds, especially in a Fife event. I’ve been playing well the last few weeks and it just all came together in one round.
“I played steady and holed my putts, then holed my second shot on the last for an eagle, which was a great way to finish.”
Ryan has been a member of Kirkcaldy Golf Club for six years and has established himself as the club’s top junior.
He won the junior championship last year with a record score, and followed that up with the boys’ title at the Ladybank Golf Club this year, where he is also a member.
Several top performances in recent Open events across Fife, including four sub 70 rounds, have also saw his handicap slashed from 4.1 to 1.0.
Dave Watson, junior convener at Kirkcaldy Golf Club, praised the youngster’s commitment to the sport.
“Anyone who plays golf will know how difficult it is to get your handicap down from four to one,” he said.
“It requires a massive effort, and a lot of commitment, and Ryan has shown that.
“He’s been the top golfer in our junior section for two seasons now. He’s left the rest of them in his dust.
“He’s shooting under par regularly and for a young guy aged 17 to do that is great.
“He has level-headed and has a great attitude to the game. He will be a future champion there is no doubt about that.”
The Fife Matchplay finals take place at St Michael’s this weekend and Ryan starts with quarter-final tie against Matthew Millar of Canmore GC.