Wednesday, May 23, 2012


Bradley Neil, a hero for Perth and Kinross in their Moneygate Scottish area team championship victory at Blairgowrie on Sunday, George Burns, Lauren Whyte and Clara Young have all been selected to represent Scotland in the European Young Masters Championship in Hungary this summer.
The Under-16 competition, open to two girls and two boys as nominated by governing bodies, will be held for the third successive year at the Royal Balatan Golf Club, located in western Hungary on the shores of Lake Balaton, the largest lake in Central Europe.
Blairgowrie’s Neil, Whyte (St Regulus) and Young of North Berwick have all retained their places from 2011, with Burns (Williamwood) replacing Euan Walker from Kilmarnock (Barassie) in this year’s line-up.
The European Young Masters championship, first staged in 1995, takes place from July 26 to 28, played over three rounds of stroke-play.
Neil and Burns are currently the leading Under-16 players on the Scottish Hydro Boys’ Order of Merit, reflecting their selection.
On home soil at the weekend, Neil further heightened his growing reputation when he beat Fifer Brian Soutar, the South African amateur champion, to help Perth and Kinross lift the Scottish area team championship for the first time in 10 years.
Neil has been in splendid form, also reaching the quarter-finals of the Paul Lawrie Foundation Scottish boys' championship and coming runner-up to Ewan Scott in the Golf Data Lab Scottish youths championship.
Burns, meanwhile, has also performed admirably in 2012. He helped Scotland claim victory in the Under-16 Boys Quads in Northern Ireland last month, before returning to compete in the PLF Scottish boys' championship, where he reached the fifth round.
Burns was also sixth in the opening Scottish Hydro Junior Tour event at Gullane.
Whyte and Young, members of the Scottish Ladies’ Golfing Association national training squad for 2011-12, are also two up-and-coming talents. The pair last year represented Scotland in the Girls' Home Internationals and Girls European Team Championship, with both recently picked for the Europeans in 2012.
Young also played for Great Britain and Ireland in the Junior Vagliano Trophy in 2011, while Whyte claimed glory in the girls’ Scottish Golf Academy Winter Series Final in March.
In the team event at the European Young Masters last year, Scotland finished ninth overall, with their best finish coming in 2007 when they were third.
Harang Lee (Spain) and Kenny Subregis (France) won the girl’s and boys’ categories in 2011. The Spanish were crowned the overall winners of the team contest, the Nation's Cup.  
National Under-16 coach Kevin Hale is hopeful of success in Hungary and said: “We have a good team who could do well this year. We have a good group of boys and girls at this age and three have the experience of playing last year.
“Bradley has made an especially good start to the season and we are luck still to have him in the Under-16 squad. He now has the chance to prove himself at European level, along with the others.”
Scotland’s Carly Booth – the recent Aberdeen Ladies’ Scottish Open champion – won the girls’ event at the Bondues Golf Club, France in 2007, while former Scottish amateur champion Barry Hume triumphed in the boys’ category back in 1998 at I Roveri Golf Club, Italy.
Other notable individual winners down the years include Sergio Garcia (1995), Suzann Pettersen (1997) and Pablo Martin (2002).

Ed Hodge
PR and Media Executive


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