Sunday, July 27, 2014



Alexander Culverwell has set his sights on becoming the first player in 31 years to defend the Fairstone Scottish Amateur Championship title at Downfield next week – so the coveted trophy can reclaim pride of place in his house. 
Twelve months ago, at Blairgowrie, the Dunbar member achieved his biggest success in the game after seeing off Lundin’s James White in a tight final tussle.
Culverwell was never behind as he claimed a narrow 2 and 1 victory in the 36-hole final over the Lansdowne Course, keeping the silverware in the Lothians’ hands after Grant Forrest’s 2012 win. 
The 26-year-old – who earlier this season brought the curtain down on his University of Stirling career by skippering his team to the British Universities crown – has enjoyed the experience of being Scottish Amateur champion and the opportunities it has afforded him.
Twice Culverwell has teed-up with the professionals on the European Tour, at last year’s Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles and the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open at Royal Aberdeen earlier this month, and feels his game has further improved since his triumph in the Scottish Golf Union’s flagship event. 
“It’s been an amazing year, winning the Scottish Amateur has opened up lots of doors and given me some great opportunities,” said Zander, seeking to emulate the last player to defend the crown, the late Cardross great Charlie Green in 1983.
“It’s been unbelievable to play alongside some of the best players on Tour, who you see on TV week in week out. I’ve learnt a lot and picked up great experience. 
“I’m really looking forward to defending my title at Downfield and didn’t want to give up the trophy. It’s got a special place in the house and would leave a big gap if it wasn’t there!
“I'm playing much more consistent golf this year so I'm coming into the tournament in good form.”
A field of 256 players, balloting at a handicap of 2.0, will chase one of the most coveted prizes in Scottish amateur golf at Downfield from 28 July – 2 August, with the event enjoying title sponsorship from Fairstone Financial Management for the second year of their three-year deal, having also sponsored the Scottish Area Team Championship for three years previously. A total of 142 clubs will be represented, with Glenbervie GC boasting the most players with 10.
At the challenging former Open Championship qualifying venue in Dundee, eighth seed Culverwell will face a stiff test from several players who have enjoyed fine seasons. 
Amateur champion Bradley Neil is the top seed, with the Blairgowrie player teeing up for the first time since making his debut in The Open Championship at Hoylake.
Neil and St Andrews Links Trophy winner Forrest of Craigielaw, the second seed, will both fancy their chances at Downfield, ahead of competing, as top-50 ranked players, in the US Amateur Championship at Atlanta Athletic Club from 11 August. Interestingly, Forrest faces his clubmate in round one, Greg Smail, who caddied for him in last year’s Open. 
Forrest’s fellow Palmer Cup-winning team-mates Jack McDonald (Kilmarnock Barassie) and James Ross (Royal Burgess) will also hope to shine, as will Irish Open Stroke Play champion Jamie Savage (Cawder), as they seek to join a roll of honour which includes the likes of Green, Colin Dalgleish, Colin Montgomerie, Stephen Gallacher, Dean Robertson and Steven O’Hara.
Downfield hosts the Scottish Amateur for the fourth time and the last victor at the venue, Barry Hume, in 2001, may also be one to watch, after the former professional returned to the amateur circuit at the start of last season. Bearsden’s Ewen Ferguson, now the holder of both Boys’ matchplay and strokeplay titles, will seek to better his run to the quarter-finals last year. 
A superb week’s golf is sure to lie ahead at Downfield, one of the finest inland courses in the UK set in beautiful Angus parkland.
Lee Hartley, Chief Executive of sponsors Fairstone, said: "We’re delighted to support the Scottish Amateur Championship on top of our sponsorship of golf's Home Internationals and Newcastle Falcons rugby team. 
“Fairstone has a strong association with golf throughout the UK and our investment is helping the game's governing bodies to stage these big events and give the top amateurs the platform to showcase their talents. It’s great to build our brand through this association and we look forward to a great week at Downfield."
The 2014 Fairstone Scottish Amateur Championship starts at 6.45am on Monday (28 July) and concludes with the 36-hole final teeing off on Saturday morning (2 August). Spectators are encouraged to come along and support their local favourites with FREE entry to the course. 
Live scoring and regular updates will be available throughout the week on, on Twitter @SGUGolf or on SGU Facebook while the full draw can be accessed by clicking here.
Fairstone Financial Management has teamed up with the Scottish Golf Union to offer golf club members a £25 voucher to spend at your club or pro shop on completion of a free no obligation pension and investment review. To find out more visit



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