Monday, June 22, 2015

Bradley Neil pro debut this week as SGU name 

squad of six for European team championship

A six-strong Scotland side will seek Swedish success in next month’s European team championship, while last year's British Amateur champion Bradley Neil from Blairgowrie prepares to make his professional debut this week. 
Boasting a mixture of youth and experience,  the Scots will try to build on back-to-back top-five finishes in the European amateur team event at Halmstad GC in Sweden from July 7 to 11. 
Three members of last year’s side return, namely British amateur championship finalist Grant Forrest (Craigielaw), Graeme Robertson (Glenbervie), runner-up in this year’s Carrick Neill Scottish open amateur stroke play championship, and Kilmarnock Barassie’s Jack McDonald, who helped Ayrshire to GolfKings Scottish area team championship glory and reached the British amateur semi-finals at Carnoustie.
SGU Men’s Order of Merit leader Connor Syme (Drumoig), Bearsden’s Ewen Ferguson, twice a winner on the men’s domestic circuit in 2015, and Thornhill’s consistent Greig Marchbank, a former Scottish boys' stroke play champion, will make their European men’s team debuts.
Scotland last won the European Team event in 2009 – memorably adding the European crown to the world title they won in 2008 – but came close as runner-up to England in 2013 and finished fourth 12 months ago.
Neil was part of those last two sides, but will not make a hat-trick of appearances as the ex-Scottish Golf Academy player makes his pro debut at Spey Valley this week in the SSE Scottish Hydro Challenge hosted by Macdonald Hotels and Resorts.
The 19-year-old, who won the British amateur championship at Royal Portrush last year, reached the top 10 on the World Amateur Golf Ranking and has since competed in three Major Championships, has decided to pursue the pro opportunities set to come his way, having agreed a management deal with Excel Sports, who represent the likes of Tiger Woods and Justin Rose.
Neil, who faced a difficult decision, given his strong claim for a place in Nigel Edwards’ GB and I Walker Cup side to face the USA at Royal Lytham in September, could line up in the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open at Gullane next month, among other invites.
We wish Bradley all the best going forward,” said National Coach, Ian Rae. 
 “We now look forward as a team to the challenge in Sweden next month and building on the success we have enjoyed at the European Team event in recent years. We have a strong side, boasting youth with the likes of Ewen Ferguson and the experience of Graeme Robertson, and we’re confident of again competing well.” 
The Scotland national teams are supported by Aberdeen Asset Management and TaylorMade-adidasGolf.
Scotland squad for European men's
 team championship

Ewen Ferguson (Bearsden) 18
Grant Forrest (Craigielaw) 22
Jack McDonald (Kilmarnock Barassie) 22
Greig Marchbank (Thornhill) 20
Graeme Robertson (Glenbervie) 27
Connor Syme (Drumoig) 19
(Selection based on top 2 on the World Amateur Golf Ranking, leading player on SGU Men’s Order of Merit and 3 selectors picks)
Meantime, a six-player Scotland side has also been selected for the European boys' team championship at Pickala GC in Finland, also from July 7 to 11.
Nairn’s Sandy Scott, recent winner of the Stephen Gallacher Foundation Trophy, has been rewarded with a place in the side, along with fellow 16-year-old Rory Franssen.
The quartet who represented Scotland in the Junior Golf World Cup in Japan, namely Calum Fyfe, Murray Naysmith, Christopher Curran and Will Porter, have also been chosen.
Scotland squad for European boys'
team championship
Christopher Curran (Harburn) 18
Rory Franssen (Inverness) 16
Calum Fyfe (Cawder) 18
Murray Naysmith (Marriott Dalmahoy) 18
Will Porter (Carnoustie) 17
Sandy Scott (Nairn) 16
Darren Howie and Jamie Stewart 
for European Young Masters
In a further team announcement, Peebles’ Darren Howie, 15, the Paul Lawrie Foundation Scottish Schools winner, has been selected with Old Ranfurly’s Jamie Stewart, 15, to represent Scotland at the European Young Masters at Golf Club Domaine Imperial in Switzerland from 23 – 25 July.



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