Solid debut in Schools ‘Homes’
Merchiston coach Alan Murdoch has hailed his team after they achieved second place in the school’s first ever appearance at the Independent Schools Golf Association Home Internationals.
The two-day scratch strokeplay event, which took place in Wales in late March, saw Merchiston finish ahead of home side Monmouth and Ireland’s Campbell College, but 13 shots behind English winners Whitgift.
Murdoch, who is also director of golf at Kings Acre, is hopeful his team have reaped the benefits of playing in the event and that they learned a lot from the experience.
“Overall, I was pleased with the boys and how they played,” said Murdoch. “They all did themselves proud in a pressure situation and I was delighted with second place.
“There’s no substitute for this kind of experience. The more these boys can get into a competitive environment and play in these kind of tournaments, the more they become familiar with what they need to do when they get there.
“It’s also shown the guys that although the handicaps of the players they’re playing against are lower, they don’t hit the ball any better, any further, it’s just all about course management.”
Golf at Merchiston has blossomed since the introduction of the school’s Golf Academy in 2011, led by Murdoch, with the team’s first appearance at the Home Internationals followed days later by former student Calum Hill winning his first US college title.
The former Merchiston star, a second year student at the University of Louisiana at Monroe (ULM), won the Wallace Jones Invitational with a career-low six-under 66 to close out the three-round event on 11-under.
The Lothians teen was one of the first players to benefit from Merchiston’s golf academy, joining in 2011 upon the academy’s introduction, and Murdoch was delighted to hear of his US success.
He said: “Calum was one of the first players who came into the academy and he graduated in 2013. He was the first boy from Merchiston to get a golf scholarship to America and he goes to the same university I went to, so it was through my contacts I managed to organiseCalum going to ULM.
“He was the first real success story of the golf academy and it was a great win for him.”