Top amateurs are Blairgowrie Bound
Cream of Scottish golf set to battle for national crown over Perthshire cracker
BLAIRGOWRIE Golf Club has much going for it: home to two fantastic championship courses, one of Scotland’s best nine-hole layouts and the venue for the 2013 Fairstone Scottish Amateur Championship and the 2014 Junior Ryder Cup. Good times, indeed.
Blairgowrie, which offers the beautiful championship courses of Rosemount and Lansdowne and the aptly-named Wee Course, was founded in 1889 and celebrates its 125 years in 2014. This summer gets those celebrations off to an early start, with the cream of Scotland’s amateur talent chasing the coveted amateur crown.
The winner will join an illustrious list of famous names to have triumphed over the Blairgowrie fairways. Australian great Greg Norman, for example, won his first event on the European Tour in 1977 over the Rosemount layout. Gary Player, meantime, is an honorary member, notably playing the courses in 1989 in celebration of the club’s centenary year.
For the field who will assemble for the Scottish Amateur from July 29 to August 3, none will be more desperate to win than Bradley Neil, a Blairgowrie member.
The reigning Scottish Boys champion will be chasing a glorious double - like that first achieved by David Law in 2009 - on home turf, while Grant Forrest from Craigielaw will return to defend his title, after his victory at Royal Dornoch 12 months ago. The likes of Jack McDonald and Graeme Robertson will also expect to go some way in the championship, too.
Douglas Cleeton, managing secretary of the club, commented: “We are honoured to host the Scottish Amateur Championship. This is the first time we have hosted this event and, having twice hosted the Scottish Strokeplay, we know that our Lansdowne course will provide a fantastic challenge.
“We are delighted that the games’ governing bodies have confidence in our venue for these major events, thus we have formed a close relationship in particular with the SGU, PGA and Ryder Cup Europe for the various amateur and professional events we host annually, and of course in 2014 the Junior Ryder Cup, which is being played on Monday 22 and Tuesday 23 September, immediately preceding The Ryder Cup at Gleneagles.
At 7,007 yards from the tips, the Lansdowne is a course of narrow fairways, small greens and a challenge for the very best golfers - entirely fitting for the Scottish Amateur Championship.
“Our green staff work tirelessly to present the courses in championship condition all year round and should be commended for the excellent condition they have managed once again,” added Cleeton. “From a club perspective, it is very much a team effort and that pays dividends when we get to host these fantastic and prestigious events.”