Three Ayrshire players have been names in the three tiers of player support squads announced by the SGU recently. Jack McDonald (Kilmarnock Barassie), Euan Walker (Kilmarnock Barassie) and Stuart Easton (Irvine) have been included in the mens, Uder 21 and Boys groups respectively.
(SGU press release)
Scottish Golf Performance Manager Steve Paulding has expressed his excitement at the crop of young talent developing within the amateur ranks, as the players receiving support from the governing body for 2013-14 were announced.
The three main tiers of players support were outlined for the season ahead, with former European Tour professionals Andrew Coltart and Dean Robertson on hand to give their thoughts on the current progress of the amateur golf scene in Scotland.
After a year which produced highlights – Bearsden’s Ewen Ferguson became the first Scot in almost 10 years to win the British Boys Championship and Scotland reached the European Men’s Team Championship final – there were disappointments, notably the failure of a Scot to make the Walker Cup side for the first time since 1949.
However, the future appears to be bright, with teenagers Bradley Neil (Blairgowrie), fresh from finishing joint runner-up in the Alfred Dunhill Links Pro-Am on the European Tour, and US-based Ewan Scott (St Andrews) promoted to Men’s level on the back of their achievements.
Rising stars such as Ferguson, Robert MacIntyre (Glencruitten) and Murray Naysmith (Marriott Dalmahoy) head up a strong Boys’ group.
Indeed, of the 29 players supported by the Scottish Golf Union for 2013-14, only six are over the age of 20 – a reflection of the youthful talent within the national game. For many, there is the goal of representing Scotland at the World Amateur Team Championships in Japan in September 2014 and Mexico in 2016.
While each player has his own set of circumstances, the national players can be bracketed into three new levels – Men’s, Under-21s and Boys.
The set-up reflects a new individual approach to support for the nation’s leading amateur golfers, with continued backing from Official Scotland Team Partners Aberdeen Asset Management, TaylorMade-adidas Golf and sportscotland.
Paulding, joined at Aberdeen Asset Management’s Edinburgh offices by Coltart (SGU Performance Committee), Robertson (University of Stirling Head Coach) and Stephen Docherty (SGU Non-Executive Performance Director), explained: “We are moving away from the idea of squads where everyone expects the same support and opportunities.
“Many of our players have different circumstances and we’re now looking at a more individualised approach, as well as one reward-based for good results. It’s about supporting players based on their needs, development and ability.
“We have Boys’ players who are now full-time, like Ewen Ferguson, Men’s players who are based in the US and at home, but also players who are competitive and working, namely career amateurs, like Matthew Clark.
“’I’m excited for the future. A number of players in last year’s Men’s Squad didn’t reach the standards we had hoped in leading individual events at British and European level, but we have an exciting group of young players coming through.
“The likes of teenagers Bradley Neil and Ewan Scott, who were both capped at Men’s European level last season, and a number of others, including the British Boys champion Ewen Ferguson, offer us real promise for the future.
“While the Walker Cup was a disappointment, we had four players in the victorious Great Britain and Ireland side at the prestigious Jacques Leglise Trophy, which again reflected our strength at Boys’ level.”
Paulding was also keen to stress that his team, including Ian Rae (National Coach) and Kevin-Cademy Taylor (Scottish Golf Performance Development Manager), continue to work hard with coaches across the country to develop players.
He added: “The majority of all SGU National players have their own personal coach. We’re working alongside them all to develop and further improve Scotland’s leading amateur golfers.”
SGU Men’s Players 2013-14
SGU Boys’ Players 2013-14
(Club & Age in brackets; * denotes USA-based)
Scott Borrowman (Dollar, 26)
Matthew Clark (Kilmacolm, 31)
Alexander Culverwell (Dunbar, 26)
Adam Dunton (McDonald, 23)
Grant Forrest (Craigielaw, 20) *
Scott Gibson (Southerness, 20)
Jack McDonald (Kilmarnock Barassie, 20)
Bradley Neil (Blairgowrie, 17)
James Ross (Royal Burgess, 23) *
Ewan Scott (St Andrews, 18) *
Daniel Young (Craigie Hill, 22)
SGU Under-21 Players 2013-14
Lawrence Allan (Alva, 18) *
Calum Hill (Tantallon, 18) *
Craig Howie (Peebles, 19)
Connor Syme (Dumfries & County, 18)
Jamie Savage (Cawder, 19)
Euan Walker (Kilmarnock Barassie, 18) *
SGU Boys’ Players 2013-14
George Burns (Williamwood, 16)
Fraser Davren (Williamwood, 17)
Stuart Easton (Irvine, 17)
Ewen Ferguson (Bearsden, 17)
Adam Fisher (Newmachar, 16)
Calum Fyfe (Cawder, 16)
Ben Kinsley (St Andrews, 17)
Cameron Kirkwood (Bearsden, 17)
Robert MacIntyre (Glencruitten, 17)
Matthew McCulloch (Portpatrick, 15)
Niall McMullen (Lundin, 15)
Murray Naysmith (Marriott Dalmahoy, 16)