Culverwell holds on tight for career high

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Dunbar’s Alexander Culverwell held his nerve to achieve a career high after seeing off James White in a tight tussle to win the Fairstone Scottish Amateur Championship on Saturday.

The 25-year-old was never behind in claiming a 2&1 victory in the 36-hole final at Blairgowrie’s pristine Lansdowne Course. There were never more than three holes in it during a tense, closely-fought contest, but ­Culverwell’s overall steady play ultimately saw him home.

In following in the footsteps of Craigielaw’s Grant Forrest who won the event last year, Culverwell keeps the Scottish Golf Union’s flagship title in the Lothians, while joining an impressive winners’ list that includes Ronnie Shade, Charlie Green, Colin Montgomerie, Stephen Gallacher and Dean Robertson.

Culverwell’s previous biggest success to date was his 2011 victory at the Battle Trophy on the SGU Men’s Order of Merit.

“I’m ecstatic, it’s unbelievable. I didn’t expect to do this at the start of the week but I knew I could potentially do it,” said Culverwell, who is going into his final year at the University of Stirling, where he is coached by former European Tour winner Robertson. “I just tried to play some good, solid golf and thankfully today it was good enough. It’s an amazing feeling.

“I’ve beaten some good names this week and James is a great player too. He tried to keep the ball in play, much as I did. That’s the key element on the course.”

Lundin’s White, the SGU Men’s Performance Squad player who won the SGU Order of Merit in 2011, said: “My swing just wasn’t there today, I kind of struggled right from the off.” Having taken the scalps of former Boys’ Stroke Play champion Greig Machbank and Forrest, Culverwell birdied the first two holes and was three-under-par through eight holes to hold a three-hole lead at the turn.

But White reduced his arrears to one at lunch after a fine ­approach to the 16th which struck the flag and Culverwell’s failure to pitch up and down at the 18th. Culverwell was round in one-under-par 71.

Three holes were halved, the 16th with birdies, before ­Culverwell’s par 5 at the 35th was good enough for success.