STEWART Whiteford, brother of European Tour player Peter, returns to his roots this weekend in the East of Scotland Open Amateur Championship at Lundin after joining Barry Hume in being reinstated to the amateur ranks.
Whiteford was a member of the Fife club when he was crowned as Scottish Boys’ champion in 1996 before becoming a PGA professional based at the family’s Wellsgreen facility between Kirkcaldy and Leven.
He has now decided to return to the amateur ranks, where a stiff task awaits against a combination of emerging forces and seasoned campaigners in a 72-hole event that is once again being supported by Golf in Dubai.
Cawder’s Jamie Savage beat Fifer Scott Crichton in a play-off to claim the title 12 months ago. Since then, he has gone on to add the Irish Open Stroke-Play Championship and reach the last eight in the Amateur Championship.
Among those seeking a similar spark on the Fife coast this time around are Dollar’s Scott Borrowman, who has won the Scottish Champion of Champions for the last two years at Leven.
The field also includes Scottish Amateur champion Zander Culverwell (Dunbar) and Leven Golfing Society’s Brian Soutar, who won the South African Amateur Championship two years ago but has since returned to work and is making a rare appearance at this level.
Of all the events on the Scottish Order of Merit, this one arguably attracts the most cosmopolitan entry, with the home hopefuls being joined on this occasion by Maurice De L’isle from Aruba, Australian Ben Ferguson, Santiago Ruiz (Colombia), Hong Kong-based Oliver Roberts, American Kevin Rhoderick and South Africans Martin Rohwer and Tom Watson.