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Crail Semi-Finalist

Burns looking for plenty of Crail Golfing Society support as he looks to capture Scottish Amateur

by Bernie McGuire

 George Burns will be looking for plenty of Crail Golfing Society support as he now looks to follow in the footsteps former good friend Bob MacIntyre and capture the Scottish Amateur Championship at golf's seventh oldest club

 Burns, 22 brilliantly fought back from being 2-down after 10 holes to win 1up on the final hole over Cupar Golf Club’s Markus Rickard and earn a place in the semi-finals on the acclaimed Gil Hanse-designed Craighead Links course.

 Burns and MacIntyre were members of the Scottish Under-16s team and continued to be good friends including in 2015 when MacIntyre pulled-off victory in the Scottish Amateur at Muirfield.

 However, when MacIntyre turned pro after the 2017 Walker Cup the pair went their own ways with Burns, who holds an Economics degree and is now employed at the Sports Centre and working on the golf team at St. Andrews University, while MacIntyre is brilliantly lying 14th on the Race to Dubai with earnings in his rookie year of Stg 957,400.

 “Bob and I were foursomes partners in Scottish Under-16s but we now move in different circles since our earlier days in Scottish amateur competition," said Burns.

 “I think Bob’s won a million quid this season and I’m now in the finals of the Scottish Amateur but then I wouldn’t change a thing.”

 Burns will face Peebles Darren Howie in Saturday's second semi-final encounter after Howie bundled-out John Paterson of the New Club at St. Andrews and also 1up with tee-off at 8.45am.

 In the opening semi-final Kirkhill’s Lewis Irvine will play Kilmacolm’s Matt Clark starting at 8.30am.

 Irvine, who is now coached by former European Tour pro, Alistair Forsyth, grabbed a 3 & 2 victory over Hilton Park’s Lachlin Reynolds.

 And it was a battle of the ‘oldies’ when the 37-year old Clark defeated 35-year old 2008 Scottish Amateur champ and reinstated amateur, Callum Macaulay also 1up on the last hole.

 “Callum had eagled the first but given his level of experience, and having played against him before he turned pro, I was just keen not to let him get more than 1up on me," said Clark.

 “I managed to go 2up after eight holes but I was feeling we were not the fittest in the field and tiredness may kick in, and that happened with I easily gave him 11 and I then went OB left off 12.

 “The turning point was when I then stiffed-it to two-feet at 13 for birdie.

 “So, it was never going to be a 6 & 5 job and it was a sad way for it to end with Callum missing the green and just short at the last while I found the green and two-putted for the win.

 “Back in 2008 when he won this event, I was probably at the bottom end of the Home Internationals team whereas he was at the uppermost level and just so naturally-gifted.

 “I’ve reached the quarter-finals twice before so this is new for me to reach a Scottish Amateur semi-final and looking forward to it.”