In the SLGA Strokeplay and Matchplay Championship held at Longniddry, Clara Young reached the 18 hole Matchplay final where she was beaten 3&2 by Alyson McKechin. Clara put up a good fight, as at one stage she was 5 down but she then won 3 holes in a row, and took the match to the 16th green. In the 36 hole qualifying, Clara had qualified in Tied 4th place after a superb 2nd round of 72. Lesley Atkins was T11 and Tara Mactaggart was T21 so all 3 girls reached the matchplay stage. Sadly, Joanne Free missed out this year. Lesley was beaten in round 1. Tara lost by 1 hole in round 2. Clara will obviously be in the Selectors’ minds for honours at both Girls and Ladies level, before she goes off to a Golf Scholarship at the University of Missouri in the Autumn of 2014. On behalf of the ELJGL, well done Clara!!
Aspiring young golfers might consider nominating themselves for this. Full details are on the SGU website or on the SLGA website. Several East Lothian Juniors were accepted into this program in 2012/13 and have made considerable strides forward. If you are under 15 years of age (on 1 January 2013) and have a handicap of 10 or under for boys or 20 or under for girls then you can nominate yourself for consideration in the selection process. Nominations for the Scottish Golf Academy close on 3 June 2013.
In League Matches (see table on this page) Kilspindie and Dunbar have set a strong pace with 3 wins each. The Glen lost to Dunbar 4-2, to Kilspindie 2.5 – 3.5 and Longniddry 2-4. Dunbar defeated RMGC 4-2. Tantallon defeated Longniddry 5-1 but their match with RMGC was postponed. In the West v East Girls match at Strathaven, the East lost 6-2, but Charlotte Munro had a great win by 6&4 over the hugely experienced Connie Jaffrey. The Lothians Mens Team, which included 4 EL Juniors or former Juniors in the 6 man Team, lost narrowly to Fife in the final of The Golfkings Scottish Area Team Championship at Crail. In the 72 hole Golf Data Lab Scottish Youths Open Stroke Play Championship played at Lanark, several present and former EL Juniors competed – see scores. Calum Hill finished with a 70 to T16. However, previously, in the prestigious Fairhaven Trophies, a 72 hole event for both Boys and Girls, Calum finished in a superb T4 after rounds of 72, 74, 79 and 71. Calum was 8 strokes behind the in form Bradley Neil of Blairgowrie, who lost in a 4 hole play off after finishing tied with 15 year old Marco Penge of Worthing. Lesley Atkins and Alexander Wilson also competed. Scotland Teams of 3 players in each team, finished 1st and 4th in the Nations Cup. See scores. In the East Lothian Ladies Spring Meeting at Luffness, Keren Ward set a new course record of 75! However, Keren was unable to play in the County Championship Matchplay section but Joanne Free, Charlotte Munro and Clara Young did qualify. Clara made quick progress to the final where she became Champion after defeating Jane Herd. In the Lothians Mens Championships, Anthony Blaney was T6 and Willem Kerr also qualified, but neither were available for the Matchplay. However, both Stuart Blair and Nathan Free qualified but both were defeated in round 1. Former Musselburgh Junior Benn McLeod reached the final where he lost to Alan Anderson of Bruntsfield. Clara Young has announced that she has committed to attend the University of Missouri on a scholarship from Autumn 2014. There is more information at Kirkwood Golf – The League wishes her luck and hopes that Clara will have a huge impact in US College Golf.
All Junior golfers are hopefully aware of the recent slow play penalties issued to some high profile players. John Paramor, a Senior European Tour Referee, was criticised recently for issuing such a penalty at The Masters. However, John had no option as the player had earlier been “put on the clock” and had been issued with warnings for “bad times,” and according to some reports, the player then took over 5 minutes before playing a teeshot at the 16th tee when it was that player’s turn to play. The guideline in that situation is 40 seconds. I am sure that such penalties will be issued more frequently in future and hopefully, these will have a signal effect on the overall speed of play of all competitors. The R&A have said that we can expect that such penalties will be issued at the Open Championship at Muirfield. Some rounds in Pro events are taking well over 5 hours and this snail-like pace of play is now evident in many Junior events. So, what should each golfer do about their own place of play? Firstly watch this video of John Paramor and Andy Gray, with comments by Lee Westwood and Luke Donald. Although it is on a French website, the commentary is in English. http://www.ffgolf.org/index.aspx?news=16986
Next, please read these pace of play guidelines and watch the videos from the R&A. http://www.randa.org/Rules-and-Amateur-Status/Pace-of-Play.aspx Then work hard on your efficiency of preparation and pre-shot routines, reduce the number of practice swings etc, to ensure you always play swiftly, within the guidelines.
The Secretary has known John Paramor for many years and he asked him what he thought is the single most important factor for Juniors (and all players) to remember. John said – “The catchphrase we use on Tour is – Be ready to play when it is your turn to play. Nothing new here – just good old common sense.” The Secretary and Convenors may be monitoring time taken by individuals and groups during the season and hopefully any constructive advice then given on how players can speed up – will be taken on board. Good habits learned as Juniors should stay with you for the rest of your golfing lives.
Global Golf Post is the best on line news site in Golf, in the Secretary’s opinion, and he recommends you sign up for the weekly newsletter. In this most recent issue, there is an extensive review of UK Amateur Golf including their tips for the Scottish Junior Girls to watch in 2013 – see here to find out who! At the Postscript Page there is a fun video of the recent World Championships for 7 year olds!