Whiteford squeezes into Far East events as gamble pays off

PETER Whiteford's gamble on a trip to the Far East paid off last night when the Fifer gained late starts in tomorrow's Volvo China Open and the Ballantine's championship in Korea next week.

The 29-year-old, who scored a career-best share of second place in the Andalucian Open last month, was eager to build on that result and had forked out 2,700 on flights even though he was still well down the reserve list for both events. But Whiteford, the winner of last season's Challenge Tour Grand Final, has squeezed into the fields and will now get the chance to compete for a combined prize fund of 3.6million over the next fortnight.

He will be joined in the China field this week by Ryder Cup skippers Colin Montgomerie and Corey Pavin as well as fellow Scots Paul Lawrie, David Drysdale, Alastair Forsyth and Marc Warren.

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• Grant Forrest, fresh from landing the Scottish Boys' championship, returns to action today in the McEvoy Trophy at Copt Heath near Birmingham.

The Craigielaw teenager is one of six Scots competing in the under-18 event, where past winners include Justin Rose and Masters runner-up Lee Westwood.

Ian Redford, beaten by Forrest in the boys' final at West Kilbride at the weekend, also competes alongside Calum Stewart, Conor O'Neil, Scott Gibson and Scottish Boys' Strokeplay champion Jack McDonald.

• Ronan Rafferty has signed an attachment with The Roxburghe ahead of the Kelso venue staging its first ever Tartan Tour event next week. The former European No1, who played in the 1989 Ryder Cup, will represent the Borders club on the domestic circuit and joins a strong field for the SPGA's Duke of Roxburghe Challenge. He said: "It will be a very exciting time to be involved in the future development of one of the very best inland courses in the UK."

• Kilmarnock's Robert McKnight just missed out on his second Minor League Golf Tour title when he lost a play-off in the Hammock Spring Classic in Florida.

McKnight fired a seven-under 65 in the one-day contest but was pipped at the first extra hole by Brett Bergeron.