Forrest takes Scottish title, but fears persist for amateur game
GRANT Forrest’s name sits comfortably on the roll of honour – the East Lothian teenager now has three national titles under his belt – but the 2012 Scottish Amateur Championship won’t be remembered as being of vintage variety.
It confirmed fears that, despite widespread trumpeting of the clubgolf junior programme and a vast sum of money being spent on the SGU’s academy structure, the home of golf is lacking star quality in the amateur ranks right now.
Match-play, of course, can be unpredictable, but it didn’t stop the two previous stagings of the SGU’s flagship event at Royal Dornoch producing winners who subsequently progressed to the European Tour, namely Dean Robertson (1993) and Steven O’Hara (2000).
Forrest, in fairness, could progress to that level, too, the 19-year-old Craigielaw player having used wins in the 2009 Scottish Under-16 Championship and the Scottish Boys’ Championship the following year as the stepping stones to his biggest success so far.
He won the opening four holes in the 36-hole title showdown against Bearsden’s Richard Docherty and went on to triumph 9 and 7 – the biggest margin of victory in the final since a young Colin Montgomerie beat Alasdair Watt by 9 and 8 at Nairn in 1987.
The success has surely sealed Forrest’s place in the Scottish side for next week’s Home Internationals at Glasgow Gailes, though the new champion revealed he’d have to cut short a planned holiday with his mum Audrey and younger sister Alisa to be able to prepare properly for the event in Ayrshire.
Before the Scottish Championship, six players had already qualified automatically for that team – Ross Bell (Downfield), Scott Borrowman (Dollar), Matthew Clark (Kilmacolm), Paul Ferrier (Baberton), Jack McDonald (Barassie) and Graeme Robertson (Glenbervie). Providing Forrest is in as well now, that leaves four spots to be chosen by the selectors, and their task hasn’t been made any easier by the fact that seven of the eight seeds at Dornoch had bowed out before the field had been whittled down to the last 16.
In truth, they’re on a hiding to nothing on this occasion because the highlights have been few and far between this season for a clutch of Scottish national squad players vying for those remaining spots.
They include Brian Soutar, the South African Amateur champion from Leven Golfing Society, and Lundin’s James White, last year’s Scottish Order of Merit winner, both of whom are likely to be given the nod and rightly so, too.
White, after all, is a member of the Great Britain & Ireland squad, as is Kirkhill’s Paul Shields, who will be sweating over his spot at Glasgow Gailes after a first-round exit in the Highlands, but shouldn’t be punished for that blip.
If those three get in, it would leave the likes of Aberdour’s Scott Crichton, Adam Dunton from McDonald and Balmore’s Fraser McKenna fighting it out for the final spot, though Bryan Fotheringham could well pip them after the 34-year-old Highlander confirmed his match-play pedigree by reaching the last four in Dornoch.
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for Edinburgh
Wednesday 22 May 2013
Temperature: 3 C to 13 C
Wind Speed: 23 mph
Wind direction: West
Temperature: 5 C to 11 C
Wind Speed: 23 mph
Wind direction: North west