At the age of 13, Hannah Darling has become the youngest-ever winner of the Scottish Girls’ Amateur Championship after holding off a rousing comeback from Jillian Farrell at Scotscraig.
The Broomieknowe ace, who only got her first handicap three years ago, secured her first national title after a superb performance in the new-look six-day event, held concurrently with the Scottish Boys’ Amateur Championship for the first time.
Darling, pictured right, eclipses Jane Connachan as the youngest victor, after her win aged 14 in 1978.
“It’s a bit surreal,” admitted Darling, a third year pupil at Lasswade High School who is coached by Ian Muir. “It’s not sunk in yet, to be honest. You have to believe you can do it but I’m obviously one of the youngest here so it was just about trying to do my best and how I compare with older girls.”
In the boys’ event, there was an equally tense battle as Greg Dalziel and Aussie-based Scot Josh Greer also went the distance.
Greer, originally from Gourock before moving with his family to Australia five years ago, looked set to enjoy a fairytale visit back to his homeland.
The 16-year-old, who plays out of the Joondalup club in Western Australia, had built a three-hole lead by the 21st before Airdrie’s Dalziel dug in and squared the match five holes later.
With Greer’s putter starting to fail, Dalziel moved ahead for the first time at the match on the 29th and never let his position slip.
“I certainly didn’t picture this coming into the week, but I came through and held on so I’m delighted,” said two-handicapper Dalziel, also a member of the Scottish Golf Academy. “I just dug in and I love matchplay, so that helped me.”