Golf: Barry Hume returns to amateur roots

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LESS than five years after making the second of two appearances in the Open Championship, Barry Hume is returning to the amateur ranks this weekend.

Reinstated after a spell as a professional, the 2001 Scottish Amateur champion is playing in the Battle Trophy, a 72-hole Scottish Order of Merit event over the Gil Hanse-designed Craighead course at Crail.

Hume, who will have Jack McDonald, the 2012 Scottish Golfer of the Year, for company in today’s opening two rounds on the Fife coast, joined the paid ranks in 2002 on the back of a glittering amateur career. In addition to winning the SGU’s flagship event at Downfield, beating Martin Laird in the semi-finals, he also claimed the Scottish Boys’ Stroke-Play title in 1999 and, three years later, the Scottish Stroke-Play.

He made a promising start as a professional, tying for 40th in the 2002 Dunhill Links Championship, but since qualifying for the Open Championship at Royal Birkdale five years ago, the Haggs Castle man has found it a growing struggle and has now returned to his roots. The first of two big events in quick succession at Crail – it also stages the British Universities Championship next week – the Battle Trophy is being defended by Balmore’s Fraser McKenna, while the field also includes Scott Borrowman and Craig Howie, winners of the Scottish Champion of Champions and Craigmillar Park Open respectively over the last two weekends.