Thursday, May 27, 2010


Course winner McLean among

 favourites for Scottish stroke-play

Glasgow Golf Club’s Gailes Links hosts this weekend’s Scottish Open Stroke Play Championship (28 – 30 May) with the leading lights of the amateur game aiming to follow in the footsteps of an illustrious list of winners.
The Ayrshire course stages the championship for the first time since 1970, when South African Dale Hayes – until recently the youngest winner of a European Tour event – lifted the title. Stephen Gallacher, third in last week’s BMW Championship at Wentworth, was another winner back in 1995 while his uncle and former Ryder Cup captain Bernard was the championship’s first ever winner forty-three years ago.
Among the contenders this year will be Peterhead’s Philip McLean, who was victorious in this season’s Edward Trophy played on Glasgow Gailes last month. The 23-year-old Scotland international, pictured above by Cal Carson Golf Agency, who was a member of the victorious North-east side in the recent Moneygate Scottish Area Team Championship, is looking forward to competing on familiar territory:
“Obviously it will be nice to play one of our major events on a course that I enjoy and have good memories of. I attributed my Edward Trophy win to my driving and you need to be good off the tee to score well at Glasgow Gailes while to win any big event you need to putt well which I’ve been doing.” said McLean, who finished tied eighth in the event at Murcar Links last year.
“I’ve had a good season so far with an SGU Order of Merit event win followed by the North East’s team victory so I’ll go into this weekend full of confidence. There’s always a good field for the Scottish Stroke Play with some of the top amateurs from the rest of the UK and further afield so it will be tough, but that will spur me on. It would be great to get my name on the trophy alongside the likes of Monty and Richie Ramsay.” he added.
Defending champion Tommy Fleetwood doesn’t make the trip north but the man lying second behind him in this season’s EGU Order of Merit, Tom Lewis, leads a strong English challenge alongside Fleetwood’s GB&I Walker Cup team-mate Stiggy Hodgson.
Another man in form is Fraserburgh’s Kris Nicol, who played alongside McLean for the winning North East side and he will be looking to build on his successive runners-up finishes in the Lytham Trophy and Irish Stroke Play Championship.
Ross Kellett, third in the Championship in 2006, will be aiming to secure his first major title as he bids to reclaim his place as Scotland’s leading ranked amateur, with Banchory’s James Byrne – tied fourth last year – missing the event due to his participation on the US collegiate circuit.
The action gets underway at Glasgow Gailes on Friday morning with the first group out at 0700, while the top forty players and ties after the halfway cut on Saturday night taking part in the final two rounds on Sunday.
+Log on to the SGU website to see the tee times at Glasgow Gailes.



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