24 Apr 19
Christopher McMaster tamed Mother Nature and the challenging course at Ladybank Golf Club in Fife to qualify for the final of the PGA’s flagship competition, the Titleist and FootJoy PGA Professional Championship.
McMaster, who is attached to Downfield Golf Club, Dundee, posted a four-under-par round of 67 to win the PGA in Scotland regional qualifier and claim the £500 first prize.
In doing so, he finished three shots ahead of Craig Lee, the only other player in the 45-strong field to break par.
They, along with the remaining top ten finishers at Ladybank, will reconvene at Hunstanton on England’s east coast in June to contest the final which carries a £78,000 prize purse with £10,000 going to the winner.
McMaster has qualified for the final at two inland courses in the past - Little Aston in 2018 and The Oxfordshire two years earlier - but missed the cut on both occasions. Now he is looking for a change of fortune at Hunstanton, a course he believes will favour his game.
“I like links golf,” he said. “It suits my game and I’m looking forward to it.”
Not that there was anything amiss with his game at Ladybank where a strong cold easterly wind, typical of links golf, proved problematical for most of the competitors.
Five birdies and a solitary bogey at the par five 13th is testament to that and McMaster added: “The course was in great condition but there was a cross wind on a lot of the holes, so it was paramount to keep the ball on the fairway.
“I managed to do that and also holed a few putts so I’m pleased with the way I played.”
As he is with life in what is proving to be a memorable spring.
“I got married in March and this continues the good feelings,” he added.
In contrast to McMaster’s comfortable margin of victory, with five players tied 10th after finishing on two-over, there was a real scramble to claim the final berth in the final.
In the event, Graham Fox (right) from Clydeway Golf ensured the five-man play-off was as short as possible with a birdie at the first extra hole.
Fox, Lee and McMaster will be joined at Hunstanton by Patrick McKenna (Peterculter Golf Club), Paul McKechnie (Braid Hills Golf Range), Stephen Gray (Lanark Golf Club), Daniel Flannery (Renaissance Club), Ross Munro (Golfclubs4cash), Alastair Forsyth (Mearns Castle Golf Academy), Matthew Burt (Williamwood Golf Club).