AS birthdays go, it wasn’t a bad way to celebrate. Gemma Batty may have briefly forgotten that she was turning 24 yesterday with her mind fully focused on the final of the Scottish Women’s Amateur Championship final but poor Gabrielle Macdonald gift-wrapped the title for her rival as a keenly contested 18-hole showdown at Elie ended in unfortunate circumstances.

Batty, Yorkshire born and bred but eligible for Scotland on the grounds of residency, marked her first appearance in the national championship by taking the honours on the 18th after Macdonald’s approach from an awkward lie trundled over the back of the green and bounced out of bounds. With Batty already handily placed on the putting surface after a neatly executed second shot, that was effectively that. Having won the English Women’s Open Matchplay title a couple of years ago, this was a notable double for the Moffat-based golfer who also plays out of the West Linton club near Edinburgh.

“This was a very nice way to spend my birthday, especially after waking up this morning and actually forgetting it was my birthday,” she said with a smile after her one hole win. “I'm a bit gutted about the way it finished, though, because there hadn't really been much between us all the way round. I think this ranks above my English win as this is my first year playing in this event and I've been able to showcase my skills.”

Batty had been two-up through 12 holes but Macdonald, the champion in 2014, squared a nip-and-tuck match on the 15th before the agonising late twist decided affairs on the last.