Golf: Lothians go to Crail to build on unlucky No.13

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LOTHIANS set out at Crail tomorrow hoping to prove 13 has not become their unlucky number in the GolfKings Scottish Area Team Championship.

Since the event’s record winners reached that number at Powfoot in 2007, they have hit a drought, which has coincided with a change in format.

Lothians started as title favourites every year when it was played in on a round-robin basis then straight knock-out from the semi-finals over the course of a season.

However, they have almost always found themselves just one of the pack since it moved to a one weekend affair, with stroke-play qualifying determining the four semi-finalists.

On the back of that rich seam of previous success, Lothians will never accept second best on the national stage. It’s part of the reason that Paul Gibson, who has engineered three successive Scottish Boys’ Area Team title triumphs, has been appointed men’s selection convenor as well this year. He believes Lothians are heading to Fife this weekend with a team capable of winning.

“It’s a real mixture of youth and experience,” said Gibson of a line-up consisting of Anthony Blaney (Liberton), Calum Hill (Tantallon), Allyn Dick (Kingsknowe), Neil Henderson (The Renaissance Club), Benn McLeod (Musselburgh) and Graham Robertson (Silverknowes).

“Our winter get-togethers were very successful and the competitive practice sessions were enjoyed by all. There is a strong bond among all the players and mutual respect is evident too. The Lothians is a happy place to be at the moment and we are confident of a strong performance in the Area Team Championship. It certainly won’t be for the lack of preparation or effort.”