Wilson wins the Battle

Tyneside’s James Wilson made a successful Border raid to win the Battle Trophy at Crail’s Craighead links.

Wilson, 18, surged up the field and into contention with a brilliant nine under-par third round of 63, which included an eagle and eight birdies after opening with rounds of 71 and 76.

On paper, it equalled the course record of 63 set by Jack McDonald in 2014 but as preferred lies were in operation it won’t count officially.

However, the former Durham County Matchplay Champion’s score slashed Euan Walker’s lead from five strokes to one and the Kilmarnock Barassie man was unable to hold off the charging Wilson as the England Boys cap signed for a final round of 73 for five under-par 283, one stroke in front of Walker.

The third round was played in benign conditions which afforded Wilson the chance to go for every pin and make the most of his chances, but the wind got steadily stronger as the day wore on until it was tearing through the course at more than 20mph, which puts Wilson’s final-round 73 into perspective.

“I’ve entered the Lytham Trophy, so felt that I needed some competitive golf as preparation,” said Wilson, a former Northern Golfer Junior Champion of Champions winner. “Having heard about the Battle Trophy tournament I took a chance and travelled up from Newcastle. I was very impressed with the standard of the Crail course, the condition of the greens and the very high standard of golf being played. There are a lot of good golfers in the North East of England who should make the effort to come here and play in this competition. They would really enjoy it.”