Friday, May 06, 2011


After an 18-year gap between title wins, the North-east will be aiming for back-to-back victories in the Moneygate Scottish Area Team Championship taking place in the historic golfing arena of Prestwick next weekend (14 – 15 May).
The defending champions retain four of the squad who catapulted them to success at Kinross last year, with Scottish Amateur Championship runner-up Jordan Findlay and McDonald’s Adam Dunton bolstering the Scotland international trio of David Law, Philip McLean and Kris Nicol in addition to last year’s Leven Gold Medal winner Scott Larkin.
North-east overcame Renfrewshire in the final twelve months ago to record their first win in the event since 1992 and Law goes into the event full of confidence having captured the Northern Open Amateur title in South Africa earlier this season.
“It was great to be part of a winning North-east team last year and with the nucleus of the side still the same along with Jordan and Adam, we’ll have a great chance again. We’re a close knit group of players with a good team spirit and looking forward to the event,” said Law.
“My own game is in great shape having enjoyed the fantastic warm weather training in Dubai and South Africa and the win over there has really boosted my confidence. It’s a big year for North East golf with the Walker Cup in Royal Aberdeen and that will spur us on further.”
A strong Fife side, aiming to etch their name on the trophy for the first time, also start among the favourites with four current Scotland internationalists in their line-up. The team boasts two of the country’s form men in the shape of Brian Soutar, winner of the season-opening Champion of Champions and Greg Paterson, who recorded the lowest ever winning total in last month’s Craigmillar Park Open, as well as James White and Peter Latimer, both winners on the SGU Order of Merit circuit last year.
Lothians, bronze medallists in 2010, have dominated the championship with 13 wins to date and their side features last season’s Scottish Boys Champion Grant Forrest and Allyn Dick, who partnered Scotland No 1 James Byrne to three foursomes victories in his Scotland Home Internationals debit last year.
Renfrewshire make just one change to their silver-medal winning side from last year, with the youthful Sam Binning joining veteran team-mates Craig Watson, Andrew Farmer and Ronnie Clark.
Paul Shields, runner up in the South African Amateur Championship, is included in Lanarkshire’s line-up alongside Scotland team-mate Ross Kellett. However 2008 champions and this year’s host Area Ayrshire have been dealt a blow with the late withdrawal of Scottish Amateur Champion Michael Stewart as a result of a wrist injury.
The SGU’s 16 Area Associations take part in the championship, with two rounds of stroke play qualifying on the first day, played over both Prestwick and Prestwick St Nicholas, with the leading four teams battling it out in the match play stages on the Sunday at Prestwick.
Moneygate, a multi-award winning financial services company who provide expert advice to golfers on mortgages, insurance, protection, savings, investments and pensions, sponsor the event for the second year.



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