Andrew Ni travels nearly 5,000 miles to make Scottish debut in Home Internationals

It’s been a case of Ni not saying “No”. Andrew Ni, after all, has travelled nearly 5,000 miles to make his Scotland debut in this week’s R&A Men’s Home Internationals at Hankley Common in Surrey.

Murrayfield member Andrew Ni, pictured after a Faldo Series win at Bruntsfield Links, has returned from his college in Colorado to play in this week's R&A Men's Home Internationals in Surrey. Picture: Faldo Series

The Murrayfield member was back over in the US to start his senior year at Colorado State University when he was selected for the side to take on England, Ireland and Wales in the four-cornered event.

However, it’s an opportunity he didn’t want to miss out on, so Ni has made a quick return to this side of the Atlantic to help Scotland’s bid to try and claim the Raymond Trophy for the first time since 2012.

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He’s among four players in the Caledonian contingent making their debuts in the event, the others being Scottish champion Angus Carrick (Craigielaw), Connor Wilson (Castle Park) and Ruben Lindsay (Turnberry).

Apart from them and Auchterarder’s Rory Franssen, the other players in the Scottish team played in 2019, the last time the event was held due to the Covid-19 pandemic, when the tartan troops finished second to England at Lahinch.

The team is captained by Kilmacolm’s Matt Clark, who is making his ninth consecutive appearance in the competition, with the other survivors from last time out being George Burns (Williamwood), Stuart Easton (Irvine), Darren Howie (Peebles), Lewis Irvine (Kirkhill) and James Wilson (Balmore).

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”It’s an honour for all the boys to be pulling on the national jersey,” said Clark. “As we saw at the Olympics, there is nothing quite like representing your country no matter your chosen sport.

“We have a talented team, we know we have strong opponents to face, but they won’t fancy playing us either.

“We have four debutants in the event and it’s fantastic to see Andrew Ni make the trip back across the Atlantic and Ruben Lindsay make his men’s bow.

“Connor Wilson caps a fine year while Angus Carrick, whose form has continued since his Scottish Amateur win, also joins the seven who have been here before. It’s a great mix of youth and experience and it’s time we took the Raymond Trophy back North of the border.”

This year marks the 80th time the Men’s Home Internationals has been played since the competition was first contested, with Scotland’s most recent success having come on home soil at Glasgow Gailes.

In 2019, the Scots beat Ireland and Wales on the opening two days but lost the title decider 9-6 to England. Top performer on that occasion was Clark, who won four and halved one of his five matches.

This is the first time the heathland course at Hankley Common has hosted this event, but it has staged numerous other top amateur events including the 2019 English Amateur Championship.

The course looks fantastic and we can’t wait to get started,” said Clark, with Scotland taking on Ireland in their opening match on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Ayrshire are the Scottish Boys’ Area Team champions for the first time since 2007 after beating Lothians by six shots over the Carrickstone course at Dullatur.

The title triumph was secured by Harvey Broadfoot (Troon Welbeck), Max Barclay (Ayr Belleisle), Jack Allan (Ballochmyle) and Connor Wills (Prestwick St Nicholas).

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