11 Jul 17
Amateur Andy Chan (right) with partner Greg McBain.
Aberdeen amateur Andy Chan admitted he ‘loved’ his first taste of tournament-style golf after reaching Lombard Trophy Final in thrilling fashion.
Chan and Newmachar Golf Club head professional Greg McBain paired up for the qualifying held at Crieff Golf Club and finished the day booking a trip to Portugal.
They posted an eight under par round of 63 and won by one shot thanks to a crucial birdie at the 18th hole.
That saw them edge Dean Vannet and Darren Reid, of Banchory Golf Club, Gordon Stewart and George Thomson (Cawder Golf Club) and Chris McMaster and Connor Galbreth (Downfield Golf Club) into joint second spot.
The Newmachar duo will now head to the Algarve for the £41,000, Coca-Cola and Pestana Resorts, supported National Pro-Am grand final which will be played at the Vila Sol resort between September 21-22.
It is a venue that Chan, who plays off a handicap of two, has played in the past - and he is delighted to be returning to the venue after a winning performance at the Perth and Kinross course.
“I loved it, it was like a little taster of tournament golf which I’ve never been involved in before,” said the 34 year old technical engineer in the oil and gas industry.
“It was a great experience, that was my first PGA event. I've been playing since I was a kid but I joined Newmachar four seasons ago now and I’m really enjoying it.
“This has been an up and down season but we felt we could be up there at Crieff if we could dovetail well - if I had a bad one it wouldn’t matter so much. That’s how it turned out.
“I’ve been to some of the Portugal courses including Vila Sol, but that was probably 10 years ago now so it’ll have changed a bit.”
McBain admitted he had no idea the final hole had so much riding on it.
“I didn’t know what the scores were when we came to the 18th, it was only as we were going off that I saw eight under par was leading, then we had to wait to see if it was good enough and it was,” he said.
“We had a strong front nine but we needed to sneak that birdie in at the end which was good for us.”
McBain has only been head professional for a few months and this was his first attempt at reaching the Lombard Trophy Final.
“It’s not a bad way to introduce yourself! But it’s also great for the club and raises our profile,” he added.
“I’ve been at Newmachar for about two years now but the head pro’s job came up about three months ago.”