The ELJG League would like to thank Dan Van Horn, the Founder of US Kids Golf, who has made a generous donation to us, to recognise the hosting of the US Kids European Championships at several East Lothian courses every year since 2008. These monies will be used exclusively to provide financial assistance to Teams selected from our present and past East Lothian Junior League Players to visit and experience golf in the USA and to take part in friendly matches and Competitions. Planning is underway for the first such visit to South Carolina in 2019. A team of their Juniors are scheduled to visit East Lothian in 2018. Dave Warren, League Secretary.
East Lothian Junior Golf League News
Dear Players, if you look at our website you will see a Calendar and on that there are a host of around 40 weekday local Junior Opens during the School holidays, starting on the 4th July right through to the 15th of August. Some of the dates involve up to 3 JOs so you have to be choosy. The entry fees at some of the JOs are as little as £5! These Clubs reallly want to give Juniors the chance to play their courses, so this a great opportunity to play courses you might never get another chance to play, or if you do it might be very costly! Fourteen of these Junior Opens are counting events for the Lothians/Stephen Gallagher Orders of Merit. We would ask that you support our East Lothian Junior Opens in the first instance, but there are some great courses you might wish to try. Gaining experience of many different courses, in competition mode, is vital to the development of young Players. And there are chances to reduce your handicaps and win great prizes. So there are some world ranked courses in East Lothian that give you a chance to compete over there. My favourites outside our County are Royal Burgess, and Mortonhall. I have been asked to encourage you to enter the Royal Burgess JO, and the link to do this online is here. There are 81 spaces and they will fill up fast so get booking! Dave.
I am republishing this article as we look forward to the next Watson Cup Match on the 5th, 6th and 7th July 2022 over three great courses – Royal Burgess, Muirfield and Gullane No. 2. Progress of the 2022 Matches will be seen on our Home Page. Dave Warren June 21 2022.
There was a reunion of the 2018 Team at North Berwick on the 4th January 2021 when most of the 2018 Team turned up to play. It was good to see that the friendships formed on the USA trip are maintained.
Update – the video of the presentation ceremony is now here on youtube. Thanks to Martin Dempster, an article has appeared in the Edinburgh Evening News here. Erik Lang has posted a youtube article here.
New Photos. Courtesy of Royal Burgess member Derek MacGillivray, more photos are now available – see after the narrative below.
On Sunday 14th and Monday 15th October 2018, the inaugural Watson Cup Matches were played between the East Lothian Junior Golf League and the South Carolina Junior Golf Association.
The weather, just days after Hurricane “Michael,” was fantastic, in the 90s and humid. The Atlantic Ocean breezes helped to keep Players cool. Gallons of sunscreen were available for our fair-skinned and ginger-haired Players!
Tom Watson had agreed that his name could be used for a beautiful trophy sourced specifically for the Match. Tom attended the second day at Cassique, a course he designed, which has some features from Open Championship venues! Tom met and watched all 16 players during the 8 x singles matches.
The format was – 4 x four-ball better-ball matches at the Ocean Course at Kiawah, using scoring of 1 point for the front 9, one for the back 9 and 1 point for the match. So there were 12 points available in the 4 matches.
Andrew Scott was 3 under par on the front 9 with his own ball as he partnered Cameron Spencer in their match. Cameron then holed some crucial putts on the back 9 to enable their side to gain a halved match. Jack Rogan, with the consistent David Rudd as his partner, had 4 successive birdies on the back 9, to gain our only four-ball win.
Results – East Lothian names first.
Jack Rogan and David Rudd beat Pake June and Gene Zeigler – 2.5/0.5
Andrew Scott and Cameron Spencer halved with Rye Tifft and Nick Velasquez – 1.5/1.5
Cammy Gallagher and Aaron Hall lost to Daniel Brasington and Jonathan Brennan – 0.5/2.5
Connor Wilson and Jamie Duguid lost to Zander Briggs/Logan Hawkins – 0.5/2.5
Four-ball Result ELJGL 5 – SCJGA 7
On Monday, the 8 x singles matches were played at Cassique Golf Club. The scoring system was the same as the four-balls. Our star performer was David Rudd in the top match as he was 6 under par after 15 holes. He was watched by Tom Watson as he holed a 140 yard pitch shot, and watched again by Tom a few holes later as he chipped in for the match. Connor Wilson played brilliantly to be 7 up at the turn, but although he lost the back 9, he held on to win, but only by 3&2. Cammy Gallagher and Aaron Hall also played well for good wins. Cameron Spencer suffered a prolonged nosebleed on the 6th hole and in keeping with the true spirit of the game of golf, a sporting gesture by the SCJGA officials and his opponent Nicholas Velasquez was made, to let following matches through before Cameron bravely played on, but he lost in the end. Jamie Duguid and Andrew Scott were up against some great scoring by their opponents and were defeated, but the ELJGL Captain, Jack Rogan, was only narrowly beaten by an incredible “up and down” on the last hole by his opponent.
ELJGL names first.
David Rudd beat Daniel Brasington 3-0,
Jamie Duguid lost to Pake June 0-3,
Andrew Scott lost to Gene Zeigler 0-3,
Cameron Spencer lost to Nicholas Velasquez 0-3,
Aaron Hall beat Logan Hawkins 2.5-0.5,
Cameron Gallagher beat Rye Tifft 3-0,
Jack Rogan lost to Zander Briggs 1-2,
Connor Wilson beat Jonathan Brennan 2-1
Singles Results Total ELJGL 11.5 – SCJGA 12.5
Four-ball Results Total – ELJGL 5 -SCJGA 7
Overall Result – ELJGL 16.5 – SCJGA 19.5.
Well done to the South Carolina Team!
Our Team should not be too despondent after their narrow defeat away from home. The overall result turned on just a few shots. The real winners at these matches were the “Spirit of the Game,” the bonding of our Players and Coaches, and the friendships formed between both Teams and Officials. Scotland and South Carolina have long been associated throughout history, and long may it continue. The Scottish flag flew at both venues, alongside the Stars and Stripes, and the South Carolina State flag.
In July 2022, we look forward to welcoming the SCJGA Team and Officials to Scotland. Our League will combine with the Edinburgh Junior Golf League to try to win the trophy over two superb venues at Royal Burgess and Muirfield.
The website at watsoncup.com has some beautiful photographs of the venues and of our handsome young Players! I exclude the coaches here! After the matches, there was a presentation ceremony at which Tom presented the trophy to the winning South Carolina Team, and then Cassique laid on a superb lunch for all.
Pat McKinney, one of the sponsors of the event, made a nice gesture when he presented Cameron Spencer with a Cassique shirt, coloured red so the blood would not show up next time he had a nosebleed.
Over lunch, I chatted to our two supporters, Derek MacGillivray and Colin Hogg, both members of Royal Burgess, who happened to be on holiday in the area with their families. They both assisted where possible during the days of the Matches. They did so well they have been co-opted (kidnapped) to be on our Watson Cup Committee for the next Matches.
So the Team have all returned home safely after a trip of a lifetime, taking in both South then North Carolina. They made friends and long term associations with many Players and other influential parties who I am sure, will readily assist them in their future golfing careers. East Lothian and Edinburgh will do our best to reciprocate, and facilitate visits from South Carolina Players and Officials to “Auld Reekie” and “Scotland’s Golf Coast.”
The Watson Cup arrangements are being finalised now, and we hope that many of the Players in our League will attend to lend their support to our team! The event takesplace over Royal Burgess, Muirfield and Gullane No. 2, on the 5th, 6th and 7th July respectively. The times of Matches can be seen on our Calendar on this website.
If you ever had any doubt about the value of Team Golf to individuals, please watch this “No Laying Up” Youtube video of the Girls Team at Stanford University, which I think is absolutely astonishing, and demonstrates the power of great Team Spirit! So our Watson Cup Team all have to be working for each other. You can be sure the Americans will be!
More news from the US Kids – Ryan Killorn finished 4th in the 11 year old section by scoring an impressive 72 round Craigielaw in the final round. Ryan had previously won Gullane’s U14s Club Championship Championship with a gross 66 round No.3! Photos below. Well done Ryan!
Five of East Lothian’s Clubs, The Glen, Longniddry, Craigielaw, Musselburgh and Royal Musselburgh played host to around 600 Juniors from all around the world, who were competing in the US Kids Golf European Championships. The week climaxed in a Match between all the winners and runners-up in the older age categories, for the Van Horn Cup. All the scores can be seen on the US Kids website here.
The draw for the Cup match, and photos can be seen below. Aidan Lawson was playing in the top match in the four ball format, and with partner Jack Conroy, finished 5 under par to score a point for their Team. Aidan’s Dad John was an excellent caddie, especially in the chilly conditions! The League Secretary later met up with the US Kids Golf founder, Dan Van Horn, and Director Chris Vonderkall, who have again kindly promised to make a donation to the League which will be used to subsidise the costs of our League’s next trip to Pinehurst. Thanks Dan and Chris!
Ryan with his trophy from the US Kids and his scorecard from the Gullane Championships showing his 66!