Byrne burns it up in Bearsden

BANCHORY golfer James Byrne cruised to victory in the Tennant Cup thanks to two blistering final rounds.

The Arizona State University student won the tournament by seven shots at the Killermont course in Glasgow's Bearsden.

Byrne led by one stroke after the first two rounds at Glasgow Gailes before destroying the field by twice equalling the Killermont course record with two seven-under-par 63s on Sunday.

The 20-year-old was thrilled with his performance.

He said: "I played really aggressively and hit a lot of drivers next to the green. I was chipping and putting well so everything just fell into place. In the final round I was seven under after 15 holes and I knew I only needed one more birdie for the course record. I gave myself good birdie chances on each of the last three holes but unfortunately they just didn't drop for me. But to win by seven shots was a great feeling."

Byrne's four round total of 15-under-par 267 was the joint second lowest in the tournament's history.

The Banchory member was also pleased to make the last 16 in the Amateur championship at Formby, Merseyside earlier in the week.

Byrne comfortably qualified for the match-play rounds after scores of 69 and 74 in the first two rounds of the competition.

He defeated Sam Stuart (St Anne's Old Links) and Sweden's Fredrik Qvicker before losing 2 and 1 to another Swede, Nils Floren last Thursday.

Byrne said: "I was pleased to get into the last 16 but disappointed to lose as I thought I was playing well enough to get to the final. I was pretty unlucky against Nils as he kept getting up and down from everywhere and he birdied the last two holes to win. But I played well and I was happy with how the week went."

The amateur golfer is heading down to Musselburgh this week to try to qualify for this year's Open championship. The top ten players from the regional qualifiers will progress to a final qualifier where they will battle for four spots in golf's most prestigious competition.