A member of the Scotland side who won the Raymond Trophy a year ago on home soil at Glasgow Gailes, McDonald retains his place in the side to defend the title this year.
(Report from the SGU website)
Alexander Culverwell, the new Fairstone Scottish Amateur champion, has quickly been rewarded for his success at Blairgowrie after being handed a Scotland debut for next week’s Home Internationals at Ganton.
The 25-year-old from Dunbar, who defeated James White 2&1 in Saturday’s 36-hole final over the Lansdowne Course, has been handed a selector’s pick for the 11-man team aiming to defend Great Britain and Ireland’s premier amateur team title from next Wednesday (14 – 16 August).
Culverwell proved his matchplay credentials at last year’s Scottish Amateur in reaching the last-16 at Royal Dornoch, before the University of Stirling business studies student went all the way to glory in Perthshire.
Now he is relishing the chance of a first international cap as the Scots seek to defend the title they won for the first time in six years at Glasgow Golf Club’s Gailes Links 12 months ago.
“I knew my win was going to open up a lot of opportunities,” said a delighted Culverwell. “My win at Blairgowrie was the best golf I’ve ever played. It’s an amazing feeling putting it all together during a week and playing great golf. The victory was massive for me.”
Culverwell is one of six picks in total, with the other five qualifying automatically either from the World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR) or the SGU Men’s Order of Merit (OOM). Five automatic places were up for grabs on the WAGR and two via the OOM, but to fulfil the automatic selection criteria a player must be in both the OOM top-15 and in the top-15 Scots on the WAGR.
With 19 July the date for automatic selection after the Sutherland Chalice, Glenbervie’s Graeme Robertson, St Andrews’ Ewan Scott and James Ross of Royal Burgess booked their spots from the WAGR. Last year’s Scottish Amateur Golfer of the Year Jack McDonald (Kilmarnock Barassie) and Scott Crichton (Aberdour), who has posted four top-three’s in recent weeks, also met the automatic selection as the top two on the OOM.
With Culverwell securing the last of the six picks, the other five went to last year’s Scottish Amateur champion Grant Forrest (Craigielaw), the Scottish Boys winner Bradley Neil from Blairgowrie, the 2012 SGU Men’s Order of Merit winner Scott Borrowman (Dollar), Sutherland Chalice champion Matt Clark of Kilmacolm and Cameron Corbett Vase victor Daniel Young (Craigie Hill).
Of the 11, six helped Scotland finish as runners-up at last month’s European Men’s Team Championship in Denmark – namely Robertson, McDonald, Ross, Borrowman, Scott and Neil.
Four-time Home Internationals player White can count himself unlucky in just missing out on place, with the beaten Scottish Amateur finalist from Lundin named as first reserve for Ganton.
Only four players in last year’s victorious Scotland side had previous Home Internationals experience, with Borrowman, Clark, Forrest, McDonald and Robertson all retaining their places for the 2013 staging at the renowned venue near Scarborough .
Teenage duo Scott and Neil, who still qualify to play at Boys’ international level, join Culverwell, Ross, Crichton and Young in making their event debuts.
National Coach Ian Rae said: “It’s a good, strong side with a lot of winners. While we have six debutants, we actually have good experience as three of the new players played in the European Men’s Team Championship final.
“We have practiced at Ganton and players like Zander Culverwell have played the course a lot in University golf. We’re confident of putting up a strong defence.”
Each Home Internationals team is represented by the leading 11 amateur players in their respective countries, playing Ryder Cup-style match play in a round robin format.
Ganton is a classic links course in England’s north-east and boasts a proud history of staging leading events. Indeed, the North Yorkshire course staged the 1949 Ryder Cup matches. Spectators are welcome to attend at Ganton, where entry is free.
Scotland Home Internationals team (club and age):
Scott Borrowman (Dollar, 26)
Matthew Clark (Kilmacolm, 31)
Scott Crichton (Aberdour, 25)
Alexander Culverwell (Dunbar, 25)
Grant Forrest (Craigielaw, 20)
Jack McDonald (Kilmarnock (Barassie), 20)
Bradley Neil (Blairgowrie, 17)
Graeme Robertson (Glenbervie, 25)
James Ross (Royal Burgess, 23)
Ewan Scott (St Andrews, 18)
Daniel Young (Craigie Hill, 23)
1st reserve: James White (Lundin, 25)
Meanwhile, eight members of Scotland’s Home Internationals team are in Spain this week for the European Men’s Individual Championship.
At Real Club de Golf el Prat, the Scots’ hopefuls will seek to build on finishing runners-up at the European Men’s Team Championship.
Robertson, Forrest, McDonald, Neil, Ross, Scott, Borrowman and Young are all in action, many seeking to boost their Walker Cup selection claims.
The European Individual, played over 72 holes of strokeplay, starts tomorrow (7 August) and runs until Saturday.