Winning Duff House Royal Golf Club’s five-day open was a special moment for Macduff golfer Ellis Gray.
The 22-year-old came through some tight matches to reach the final of the scratch knockouts, where he beat fellow home member Lewis West to clinch victory.
“It’s been an amazing week for me,” said Gray. “It’s something I’ve always wanted to win. I spoke about it earlier in the week to my family so to go on and achieve it, it’s special.”
Gray gained a measure of revenge on last year’s winner Ross McAuslin, who beat him in the semis, by defeating the defending champ at the same stage and progress to a final against West.
West edged out St Andrews’ Gordon Malcolm 2&1 in the other semi-final.
Gray held his nerve to take an early lead which he gradually increased as Friday afternoon progressed and he clinched it on the 15th for a 5&3 success.
“Three of my games went down to the last hole and I just hit the right shots at the right moment,” he said.
“I had some really close games which luckily went in my favour.
“The final was not our best golf, being honest.
“I just came out on top, I hit good shots at the right time and capitalised from that.
“Lewis is a good competitor, He’ll be back next year without a shadow of a doubt.”
A pulsating week of action enjoyed some decent weather on the Banff links with home winners in all three sections.
Keeping up the good work by Duff House Royal members was Kenny Findlay who defeated fellow home player Brian Milne 2&1 for victory in the low handicap final.
And completing the home clean sweep was David Rennie who took the high handicap trophy following his success over Billy Blanchard (Dreamland) 3&2 in the final.
Club vice-captain Alfie Smith said it had been another successful competition this year.
“It has been lovely to see so many familiar faces returning to play in this tournament, and we have been delighted to welcome some new faces too,” he said.
“The tournament has been a success. It’s the 87th time and I would like to give a big thank you to all the staff, the green staff and volunteers related to the tournament.”