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New Scottish Training Squad Announced

by Colin Callander - November 25, 2013

Ewen Ferguson is one of five teenagers to be included in a new-look Scottish squad for this year’s warm-weather training camp in the United Arab Emirates.

The 17-year-old British Boys’ champion from Bearsden is joined by Ben Kinsley (17) from St. Andrews, Glencruitten’s Robert MacIntyre (17), Blairgowrie’s Bradley Neil (17) and Cawder’s Jamie Savage (19) for what is the fourth Scottish training camp to be held in the UAE.

The oldest player taking part in the three-week trip to the Middle East is 26-year-old Scott Borrowman, from Dollar, with the rest of the 10-strong group comprising 25-year-old Graeme Robertson from Glenbervie, 23-year-old Adam Dunton from McDonald, 22-year-old Daniel Young from Craigie Hill and 20-year-old Scott Gibson from Southerness.

Ferguson owes his promotion to the men’s squad to his fine form during the 2013 season when he became the first Scot to win the British Boys’ title in almost 10 years and also finished second at the Scottish Boys’ Stroke-Play Championship at the Roxburghe.

MacIntyre also has shone this season by becoming the first player to win both the Scottish Youths’ and Boys’ Stroke Play titles in the same calendar year, beating Ferguson in the latter event. He also claimed 5½ points out of 6 for Scotland at the subsequent Boys’ Home Internationals at Forest Pines.

Ferguson, Neil and MacIntyre all were part of the GB&I team that won the 2013 Jacques Leglise Trophy against the Continent of Europe.

Robertson is one of the most experienced players in the new-look Scottish squad and has been added to the 2013- 14 SGU Men’s International Squad after opting to retain his amateur status after failing to make it through this year’s European Tour Qualifying School.

Scotland’s warm-weather training camp is funded by Aberdeen Asset Management, Johann Rupert’s Alfred Dunhill Links Foundation and sportscotland, and involves more than three weeks’ work on strength and conditioning, psychology and practice at the Els Club in Dubai and Al Ain and Yas Links in Abu Dhabi.

“Our warm-weather training programme continues to evolve and provides an opportunity for the players to work on fitness and their golfing skills for an extended period,” said Scottish Golf Performance Manager Steve Paulding. “It’s an almost entirely different group of players we have this year with a focus on the younger players.

“The venues in Dubai and Abu Dhabi offer magnificent courses, superb practice facilities and everything we need off the golf course. It would be impossible to do the type of training planned in Scotland at this time of year.”

Max Orrin completed a superb double when he ended the season as the clear leader at the top of the England Golf Men’s Order of Merit for 2013.

The 19-year-old from North Foreland, Kent, topped the list just 12 months after also winning the race for the 2012 England Golf Boys’ Order of Merit. He accumulated a total of 122,056 points, or almost 15,000 more than his England and GB&I colleague, Callum Shinkwin, from Moor Park. Shinkwin, the 2013 English Amateur champion, edged out British champion, Garrick Porteous, from Bamburgh Castle, while Bowood Golf & Country Club’s Jordan Smith was fourth on the list.

Orrin enjoyed a consistent season during which he won both the Lagonda Trophy and the South East of England Links Championship, finished runner-up in the St. Andrews Links Trophy and reached the semifinals of both the Amateur and English Amateur Championships before representing GB&I in the Walker Cup. He subsequently elected to turn professional but then failed to earn a card at the final stage of the European Tour Qualifying School.

Shinkwin grabbed second place after winning the English Amateur and the Hampshire Salver, finishing second at the Scottish Open Stroke Play, fourth at the Welsh Open Stroke Play and reaching the last 16 of the British Amateur Championship.

“I’m pleased to have won the Men’s Order of Merit and I’m grateful to Titleist FootJoy for their sponsorship,” said Orrin. “It’s not an easy thing to win as there are a lot of good players out there. But it does indicate you have enjoyed a successful year.

“Getting selected for the Walker Cup was massive for me but I didn’t play as well as I would have liked,” he added. “However, it was the highlight of my career so far and was something I won’t forget. It underlined how good a year I’d had, but after that I felt it was the right time to turn professional.”

Orrin was succeeded at the top of England Golf Boys’ Order of Merit by Kedleston Park’s Bradley Moore, who finished ahead of Brokenhurst Manor’s Jack Singh Brar. Carris Trophy winner, Ben Amor, from Marlborough, was third with English Under-16 and Under-15 champion, Marco Penge, from Worthing, just behind them in fourth place.

Moore won four times during the 2013 season, at the European Young Masters, the Peter McEvoy Trophy, the Midland Schools Championship and the Midland Boys’ Qualifying. He was also joint runner-up in the English Boys’ Under- 16 Championship (McGregor Trophy) and reached the last four of the Boys’ Amateur Championship, where he lost to eventual winner Ferguson.

“I’ve had a good season,” conirmed 16-year-old Moore. “I made a good start by winning the Peter McEvoy Trophy then winning (the European Young Masters) in Germany was a great boost and gave me a lot more confidence.

“I was a bit disappointed not to reach the British Boys’ final but I had a tough match with Bobby Keeble in the quarterfinals which went to the 21st hole and didn’t give me much time before the semifinal, which I lost.

“It’s been a hectic season and now I’m having a bit of a rest,” he added. “It’s nice to be at home with the family then after Christmas I’m going to get going again.”

Woodhall Spa’s Richard Latham was the clear winner of the England Golf Seniors’ Order of Merit after winning both the English and Scottish Seniors’ titles in his rookie season in the senior ranks.

Latham played in just four seniors events but still was able to amass a record points total to finish above Denham’s Andrew Stracey and Richard Partridge, from the Wildernesse club in Kent.

“I’m delighted to have won the Order of Merit in my first year as a senior,” said Latham, the general manager at Woodhall Spa. “I didn’t expect to finish top as I can’t play in every event because of my work. But when you win twice and finish second in another it clocks up the points.”

Latham put his success down to the work he has done over the last two years with England Golf coach, David Ridley. “We didn’t just work on my swing but on everything including the mental side. I can’t thank David enough for all the help he gave me.”

Georgia Hall, the world No. 10 amateur, has announced that she will turn professional when she celebrates her 18th birthday next April.

The news broke in an exclusive interview with Neil Perrett in her local newspaper, Bournemouth’s Daily Echo. In the interview, it was also revealed that the 17-year-old from Remedy Oaks, Dorset, would not be competing in next month’s Ladies European Tour Qualifying School, despite her world ranking giving her an exemption into the final stage of that process. Instead, she will rely on sponsors’ invites for places on next season’s LET Tour.

Hall won the 2012 British Girls’ Championship and this season added the British Women’s title to her name as well as sharing the amateur prize with world No. 1, Lydia Ko, at the Women’s British Open on the Old Course, St Andrews.

She passed over an invitation to play in the U.S. Women’s Open in favour of representing GB&I in the Vagliano Trophy against the Continent of Europe and then ended the season on a high by being England’s leading points scorer in the Home Internationals in Scotland.

Hall’s decision to turn professional means she will surrender her exemption into next year’s Women’s British Open, earned by heading the inaugural LGU Order of Merit. It also means she will not be eligible for a place in the GB&I team to face the United States at next year’s Curtis Cup match, to be staged June 6-8 in St. Louis, Missouri, where Tegwen Matthews’ side will be attempting to defend the trophy they won at Nairn in 2012.

England’s Amber Ratcliffe is the highest-ranked amateur competing in this week’s Stage 1 Ladies European Tour Pre-Qualifying School event on the Red course at Royal Golf Dar Es Salam in Morocco.

The world’s 109th ranked player is joined by compatriot Charlotte Thompson, France’s Isabelle Boineau, Switzerland’s Fanny Vuignier and six other amateurs in a 48-strong field for the first of three Stage 1 events to be held at the venue over the next couple of weeks.

Karolin Lampert, world No. 27 and runner-up in this year’s German Girls’ Championship, joins South Africa’s Maggi du Toit, France’s Ariane Provot, Denmark’s Daisy Nielsen and an estimated 10 other amateurs in the second Stage 1 event played on the same course Dec. 5-8 while the field for the third Stage 1 event, staged at the same time on the Blue course at Royal Golf Dar Es Salam, includes Finland’s Krista Bakker, South Africa’s Nicole Garcia, Belgium’s Chloé Leurquin and Chloe Rogers from England.

About 35 amateurs are among the 168 players hoping to come through Stage 1 and qualify for LET’s Final Qualifying School, hosted by the Samanah Golf Club and the Al Maaden Golf Resort, Morocco, on Dec. 14-18, where the top 30 and ties will be offered category 8a membership on next year’s tour.

Amy Boulden

Other entrants include Amy Boulden, Kelsey MacDonald, Laura Murray, Lauren Taylor and several other recent converts from the amateur game. Boulden, MacDonald and Murray all compete in the second Stage 1 event at the Red Course on Dec. 5-8 while Taylor is among the competitors at the concurrent competition at the Blue course.

The two highest-ranked amateurs to be competing at this year’s LET Q-School are South Africa’s Kim Williams and Swaziland’s Nobuhle Dlamini, who both have exemptions straight through to the Final Q-School thanks to their positions within the top 10 of the official world ranking.

Dlamini, the current world No. 6 and a student at the University of Pretoria, first broke into the top 10 on the ranking after a stellar 2012 season in which she won six major titles. This year she has claimed victories at the South African Stroke Play Championship, the Eastern Cape Amateur Championship, the KwaZulu-Natal Championship, the North West Championship and the Gauteng Amateur Championship as well as the individual prize at the WGSA Team Championship.

Williams, the world No. 7, has won both the Western Province Championship and the South African Women’s Amateur this summer. She is an all-round sportswoman, captaining both the hockey and cricket teams when she was a student at Cornwall Hill College.

Stuart Grehan and Rory McNamara combined to claim fourth place for Ireland at the recent Juan Carlos Tailhade Cup at Los Lagartos Country Club, near Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Grehan, from Tullamore, carded rounds of 77, 72, 71 and 75 while McNamara, from Headfort, posted scores of 75, 77, 69 and 77 as Ireland finished 16 shots behind winners, Spain, represented by Mario Galiano Aguilar and David Morago Ayra. Defending champions, Australia, represented by Jarryd Felton and Anthony Murdaca, were second on 580, while the host nation, Argentina, were third seven shots further behind.

The individual prize was won by Denmark’s Nicolai Buchwardt Kristensen, who carded rounds of 70, 72, 69 and 73 to finish two shots ahead of Aguilar on 284. Felton was third on 287, three shots ahead of fourth-placed Gonçalo Costa from Portugal.

Reproduced with kind permission of Global Golf Post - Subscribe now for free

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