Wednesday, June 06, 2012


The leading male amateurs from Scotland and South Africa will meet in a return Test Match over the historic links of Prestwick next week, with the home side seeking back-to-back victories in the international contest.
Following the conclusion of the St Andrews Links Trophy this weekend, the six-man sides will head for Ayrshire for the two-day Test next Wednesday and Thursday (13-14 June).
It is the first time the teams have met on Scottish soil, but the fourth occasion in all, as a result of the ever-growing links at amateur level between both countries.
Thanks to the fantastic support of sponsor Aberdeen Asset Management and South African businessman Johann Rupert, the Scottish Golf Union’s (SGU) National Men’s Squad have travelled to the Rainbow Nation for a winter performance programme in recent years.
As well as competing in events such as the South African Stroke Play Championship, the South African Amateur Championship and the Northern Amateur Open, where Scottish players have enjoyed notable
success, the countries have met in three annual Test matches since 2010.
With a number of South Africans currently in Scotland, competing in last weekend’s Carrick Neill Scottish Stroke Play Championship at Kilmarnock (Barassie) and the forthcoming St Andrews Links and The Amateur Championship, the teams will lock horns again at Prestwick.
After defeating the South Africans at Leopard Creek in February, four members of the SGU National Men’s Squad will renew rivalries and seek to emerge victorious against their counterparts.
The quartet, all selector’s picks, include South African Amateur champion Brian Soutar (Leven GS), two-time domestic winner in 2012, Balmore’s Fraser McKenna, reigning SGU Men’s Order of Merit champion James White (Lundin) and Kirkhill’s Paul Shields, joint-winner of the Northern Amateur Open in March.
The team is complemented by the automatic selection of the current leading two players on the SGU Men’s Order of Merit (following the Scottish Stroke Play), Glenbervie’s Graeme Robertson and Adam Dunton (McDonald Ellon). Matthew Clark (Kilmacolm) has been chosen as the first reserve.
Meanwhile, the South African side features two players in the top 100 of the World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR). They are teenage star Haydn Portesous, who surged to finish joint-runner-up at the Stroke Play on Sunday, and another talented player, Charles du Plessis. Drikus Bruyns, Gert Myburgh, Shaun Smith and Jean-Paul Strydom complete their line-up.
Interestingly, Porteous has a strong Scottish heritage with his father born in Falkirk and living in Dollar until 1974 before emigrating. Haydn’s grandfather was also born and raised in Leven and played his golf at Lundin Links.
The format for the Test Match will see three foursomes and six singles ties on each day. The team that reaches 9.5 points will be victorious.
National Coach Ian Rae said: “As the South African players are over for a month for the various individual events on the calendar, we thought it was a great opportunity for both sides to play in another match.
“Prestwick is a traditional links test and was the venue for the first-ever Open Championship in 1860. It will therefore provide a great experience for everyone, especially the South African players.
“We have picked a strong Scottish team and we approach the Test with confidence. We have good experience within the side and players who all know how to win on big occasions.”
The match tees off at 8am on both Wednesday and Thursday next week with free entrance for spectators, who are encouraged to come along and support the players. The Scotland team is sponsored by Aberdeen Asset Management and TaylorMade-adidas Golf.

Scotland team
· Adam Dunton (McDonald Ellon)
· Fraser McKenna (Balmore)
· Graeme Robertson (Glenbervie)
· Paul Shields (Kirkhill)
· Brian Soutar (Leven GS)
· James White (Lundin)
Reserve: Matthew Clark (Kilmacolm)

South Africa team
· Drikus Bruyns
· Gert Myburgh
· Charles du Plessis
· Haydn Porteous
· Shaun Smith
· Jean-Paul Strydom



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