The Fairstone Scottish Amateur Championship title stayed in the Lothians last night, after Dunbar’s Alexander Culverwell enjoyed a career high by lifting the famous crown, writes Ed Hodge.
The 25-year-old was never behind in claiming a 2&1 victory over James White (Lundin) in the 36-hole final over Blairgowrie’s pristine Lansdowne Course.
There were never more than three holes in it, but Culverwell’s overall steady play saw him home.
In following in the footsteps of Craigielaw’s Grant Forrest, who won the event last year, Culverwell joins 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.”
White, who won the SGU Order of Merit in 2011, added: “My swing just wasn’t there today, I kind of struggled right from the off.”
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.
Good crowds enjoyed the action, with two-time Ryder Cup player Tommy Horton, Honorary Captain for the Junior Ryder Cup at Blairgowrie next year, among them.
The Lothians man edged back to two ahead at the 21st after White sliced into the trees off the tee. The Fifer hit back at the next after Culverwell went long, but it was back to two when Culverwell fired close at the short 23rd and White struggled from the bunker.
Still, White refused to go away and chipped in at the 25th to win before scrambling well for pars at the next two to mean Culverwell was only one ahead at the turn.
However, White again went into the trees to the right of the 29th and his bogey cost him the hole.
Culverwell made a nice birdie at the 30th to ease a vital three ahead and was comfortable in seeing out the win.