Kilmarnock ace claims prestigious title in UAE
LEADING amateur golfer Jack McDonald, a member of the SGU men's performance squad, capitalised on some unseasonably Scottish weather in Abu Dhabi to win the Yas Links Open.
A final round 71 in windy and rainy conditions at the desert links course, designed by Scot Kyle Phillips, was enough for McDonald, the 2012 Scottish Amateur ‘Golfer of the Year’, to edge out his University of Stirling team-mate Mathias Eggenberger.
Swiss senior international Eggenberger was in pole position on the final day after a scintillating first round of 64 but McDonald emerged victorious by two shots, with a six-under par total of 138.
It was a proud moment for the Applied Mathematics student, having lost out in a play-off to Stirling graduate David Booth at the same event last year.
McDonald, from Kilmarnock (Barassie), said: “It’s a nice way to start the season and especially to go one better than in 2012. I played some decent stuff at a high quality championship venue and coped well with the conditions, which were somewhat unexpected.”
He was one of 13 Stirling scholarship golfers at a two-week training camp in the Middle East, led by former European Tour professional Dean Robertson, the university’s men’s performance golf coach and supported by golf psychologist,
Dr John Mathers.
Afterwards, the players attended the final day of the Omega Dubai Desert Classic where they watched fellow Scot Stephen Gallacher collect his second European Tour title in stunning fashion.
Robertson said: “The trip was amazing, arguably the best ever, and an excellent opportunity for our scholars to put in quality practice and prepare for the season proper whilst also competing at a high level.
"Jack’s victory was impressive and for our players to see Stephen [Gallacher] winning a European Tour event will inspire them to work hard with the goal to follow in his footsteps.”