Jun 17 2011 by Mike WIlson, Ayrshire Post (main ed)
MICHAEL SMYTH completed a glory month by winning Ayr's Tam o'Shanter tournament for the second time and admitted: "I'm in the form of my life."
And the 25-year-old reckons it's all down to a drop of the Sherry!
Now with former British Amateur champion Gordon Sherry as his coach, Smyth hopes to join the pro ranks in September.
Smyth beat the host club's 16-year-old Jack McCluskey 5&3 in the final to dump the 240 strong field and follow up his Tammy win of 2006.
He said: "Gordon has seen and done it all. He doesn't just work on my golf, he works on the mental side of things as well.
"He has been a huge help to me and my recent golf has never been better."
Smyth, a former Prestwick Academy pupil, earlier won the Belleisle Cup by nine strokes after blitzing round the course in 10 under.
He won the Ayrshire matchplay title for the first time. And he was runner-up in the strokeplay after missing from seven feet to go into a play-off with Barassie's Jamie Mackay where he lost at the sixth extra hole.
He was runner-up in the Hillhouse Trophy and then qualified for the Lytham Trophy where he finished 31st.
And in the middle of a hectic Ayr Golf Week, Smyth fired a 64 in the Royal Troon medal and was seven under for the back nine.
Michael smiled: "I seem to be doing everything right - my handicap is now plus four.
"I finished a golf scholarship in Atlanta Georgia in 2007 but was back there in March for some warm weather training.
"Debbie and Dennis Paterson are friends of the family and they help me out when I go back there. I'm returning in August for three weeks and then when I come back the plan is to turn pro."
Smyth was five under after 14 when he beat Turnberry's Ronnie McLellan 5&4 in the semi-final. And in the final, he stormed back after losing the first when he misread the wind.
He praised caddie Kenny Mitchell for his help and dad David who carried the bag for the final.
Beaten semi-finalist McLellan faced a real battle to get to the last four – he went to the 28th hole before beating David Longair (St Cuthbert) in the second round.
The Handyside Cup was won for the first time by Brian Armour (Turnberry). He beat previous winner Alastair McKinlay (Haggs Castle) 3&2.
The ladies RC Brown winner was Gale McPherson of Loudoun. In the matchplay event, she beat Ros Purdom (St N) 3&1. And there was a trophy double for Maureen Knox (Dalmilling).
lAyr Golf Week was sponsored by Ayr Central who will also back Troon Golf Week from August 14.