Golf: Monty gives thumbs-up to new Deer Park junior scholarship initiative

RYDER Cup captain Colin Montgomerie has given his seal of approval to an innovative junior project launched this year by a Lothians golf club.

The Deer Park Junior Masters was held on the eve of the Livingston club's popular Tartan Tour event in August.

It gave youngsters involved in Deer Park's clubgolf junior programme the chance to sharpen their competitive teeth.

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"I wish to congratulate Deer Park on this new scholarship initiative," said Montgomerie as he handed out scholarships to the winner, John Bayliss, and runner-up, Kieran Cooney.

"It is so important to encourage youth in the game - they are the very future of golf in Scotland - and to do this right at grass-roots level, with support from clubs like Deer Park."

The eight-time European No.?1 also handed out additional scholarships to four younger children - Megan Smith, Olivia Scott, Brodie Dickson and Cameron McQuad - who have excelled through the clubgolf initiative. Sandy Strachan, the Deer Park pro, and fellow pro John Murray have completed extra training to attain clubgolf Stage 3 coaching status and the club is committed to developing its thriving junior section.

"Our sincere thanks go to Colin Montgomerie for making time in his busy schedule to come here and officially launch our new Junior Scholarship initiative," said John Muir, the Muir Group chairman. "He has brought a great deal of delight to the youngsters here today and I am sure they will remember meeting him for a very long time.

"Our Junior section is very important to us. The Junior Deer Park Masters event was a great success in the summer and we have decided to make it an annual event."