Tuesday, May 24, 2011


Scotland’s leading amateur golfers will be aiming to impress the Walker Cup selectors on home turf this weekend as the circuit moves to Blairgowrie for the Carrick Neill Scottish Stroke Play Championship from Friday to Sunday this coming weekend.
 A travelling army of Scots have been out on the road at the Lytham Trophy, Irish and Welsh Stroke Play Championships during the past month but will return to Scottish soil to compete over the next fortnight, with the St Andrews Links trophy following this week’s event over the Lansdowne course.
An illustrious list of past champions, which includes Colin Montgomerie, Bernard Gallacher, Alastair Forsyth and Richie Ramsay, have illuminated the event’s rich history and with many players’ eyes trained on Royal Aberdeen in September, this year’s championship has attracted a stellar field and a record low handicap ballot of plus 1.3.
Scottish Amateur Champion Michael Stewart remains out of action with a wrist injury and with James Byrne competing in the NCAA Championship Finals, Ross Kellett (pictured above) will be one of the leading Scots in the 144-strong line-up. The Colville Park golfer is hoping to draw on previous experience of a good finish in the event to inspire his chances of national success in Perthshire.
“My first taste of contending in a big event was the Scottish Stroke Play back in 2007 where I finished third at Craigielaw behind Scott Henry and Ross McGowan. I’ve also won an event at Blairgowrie - albeit on the Rosemount course - so it’s nice to be going to a venue and an event where I have good memories,” said Kellett, who finished tied 14th in last weekend’s Welsh Stroke Play.
“The last few weeks have been very tough as it’s been so windy everywhere we’ve played, although a few players have shown there are good scores to be had. My own game is in good shape and I took a lot of confidence from my showing in the Walker Cup training matches a couple of weeks ago.
“It’s good to know that the selectors are watching you as it shows you’re doing well, rather than putting extra pressure on. Hopefully I can put four good rounds together this week and put in some good performances over the next few weeks with some other big events coming up.” he added.
Kellett is joined at Blairgowrie by several members of the GB&I Walker Cup squad including Darren Wright, winner of the Welsh equivalent at St Pierre, Lytham Trophy champion Jack Senior, former British boys champion Tom Lewis and England’s highest world ranked amateur Andrew Sullivan.
Just ahead of Sullivan in the world amateur rankings at number 12 is Matthew Steiger and the Australian heads a strong international challenge making the journey to Blairgowrie, with New Zealander Ben Campbell and South African Brandon Stone also among the southern hemisphere contenders.
Leven’s Brian Soutar, who finished seventh at Glasgow Gailes in 2010, will be looking to continue his excellent start to the season having won the Champion of Champions as well as helping Fife to the Moneygate Scottish Area Team Championship title, while University of Stirling student Graeme Robertson (Glenbervie) has his sights set on emulating his top four finish in the event last year.
Carrick Neill, one of the leading specialist golf insurance providers in the UK, sponsor the championship for the first time and the company’s Golf Director David Miller is looking forward to the action this weekend:
“Carrick Neill is delighted to be sponsoring one of Scottish golf’s premier events as part of our long standing partnership with the Scottish Golf Union. We are proud to be associated with the amateur game through our relationships with the SGU, EGU and LGU and our insurance products continue to prove popular among golf clubs and their members.”
Golfers can visit http://www.golferspolicy.co.uk/ for further information on Carrick Neill’s specialist golfers insurance.




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