Matthew Wilson maintains storming start to 2022 at Craighead Links
OPENS: Monday, April 18th
FORMAT: 72-hole Strokeplay
The 2022 season has barely started but it is already turning into quite a year for Forres Golf Club’s Matthew Wilson.
Last night the 22-year-old collected his fourth significant victory since the start of February with a brilliant seven-shot success in the Battle Trophy open at Craighead Links GC.
The previous weekend he came out on top in another Scottish Order of Merit event (The Craigmillar Park Open), having also collected back-to-back victories in Spain. The Toro Tour has been established to allow elite-levels amateurs and professionals from across Europe the chance to play WAGR-ranked warm weather golf in winter.
And back in February, Wilson won the amateur prize at both Atalaya GC and the first of three competitions held at Azata GC.
At Craigiehead Links yesterday, weather conditions were more typical of central Scotland than Andalucia but the Forres star kept his head to collect the biggest victory of his life.
“My long game and course management was very good,” said the Highlands and Islands player, who finished 11th in last year’s Order of Merit won by Kirkhill’s Lews Irvine.
“There was a lot of thick rough out there and I didn’t lose any balls.
“I did a good job of keeping doubles and triple bogeys off my card and although I didn’t hole many long birdie putts, I did make the putts for par.”
With the wind getting up, especially after lunch, Wilson started the final round with a three-shot lead and put in a front-running masterclass. Birdies at the first, third and eighth helped him get to three under par for 12 holes while his nearest rivals were struggling.
With four holes to go he discovered he had at least a seven-shot lead and could allow himself to play for a bogey on 14, knowing that the only danger to him winning was really big scores. He closed with a one-over-par 73 to leave himself eight under for the tournament. Runner-up Jack McDonald (Schloss Roxburghe) finished a shot ahead of Lundin’s Greg Wishart and Andrew Davidson (Crail Golfing Society).
Wilson set the tone for what was to follow on his very first hole at the two-day event. His birdie at the par five – cumulatively he would be five under par on the opening hole across the four rounds – was the first of three on his way to a bogey-free 69 (-3).
That left him one behind first-rounder leader McDonald but he would be the 36-hole leader having got to five under par at halfway while the Schloss Roxburghe golfer dropped back into second on the back of a second round 73.