Culverwell and White reach amateur final

On A day that saw two-time Ryder Cup player Tommy Horton visit Blairgowrie, Alexander Culverwell and James White produced matchplay heroics of their own to book places in the Fairstone Scottish Amateur Championship final.

Culverwell, from Dunbar, and Lundin’s White will go head-to-head in today’s 36-hole Lansdowne Course showdown in a bid to join a roll of honour that features the likes of Colin Montgomerie, Stephen Gallacher, Dean Robertson and Steven O’Hara.

If White’s two victories yesterday over Scotland Boys’ cap Ewen Ferguson from Bearsden and Kirkhill’s Craig Ross were perhaps expected, Culverwell’s scalp of defending champion Grant Forrest was one of the biggest stories of the week.

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Three birdies in the opening four holes helped Culverwell race to a three-up lead, and his fellow Lothians player from Craigielaw simply couldn’t claw it back.

Forrest, who arrived at Blairgowrie fresh from playing in The Open at Muirfield, reduced arrears to one after eight, but Culverwell knocked it stiff at the par-3 ninth to regain momentum he never lost.

The 25-year-old, whose most notable win to date is the 2011 Battle Trophy on the SGU Men’s Order of Merit, saw out a 4&3 victory to set up the biggest match of his life today.

Englishman Horton, a Ryder Cup player in 1975 and 1977 who was in Perthshire in his role as Honorary Captain of the 2014 Junior Ryder Cup at Blairgowrie, was certainly left impressed. 
Culverwell, who also saw off Wigtownshire County’s Kyle McClung 3&2 in the quarters, said: “It’s the furthest I’ve been in the tournament, after my previous best was the last 16.

“It’s definitely my biggest achievement in the game so far.”

White has reached the final of the SGU’s flagship event after coming through a host of tricky ties and held his nerve again yesterday to edge out Ferguson on the 18th and then defeat Ross 2&1.

The 2011 SGU Men’s Order of Merit winner said: “I’ve had tight games all the way through, but it just makes it more satisfying.”