White and Marchbank Clinch SGU Order of Merit Titles
Lundin’s James White has capped a fine season by clinching the 2011 Scottish Golf Union Order of Merit title with Dumfries & County’s Greig Marchbank capturing the Boys’ Order of Merit crown.
Scotland international White topped the standings on 879.93 points, more than 100 points clear of his nearest challenger, Glenbervie’s Graeme Robertson, with Aberdour golfer Scott Crichton finishing the season strongly in third place.
The 23-year-old Fifer won twice on the domestic circuit in 2011, capturing the Tennant Cup in June at Glasgow Golf Club followed by the North of Scotland Stroke Play Championship at Nairn Dunbar last month. The former Scottish Boys Champion was a model of consistency throughout the season, racking up three runners-up finishes as well as reaching the quarter-finals of the Scottish Amateur Championship, losing by one hole to Walker Cup player James Byrne.
White, who succeeds Michael Stewart, represented Scotland in the Home Internationals at County Sligo where he collected three points from a possible six and also played a key role in the Fife side who won the Moneygate Scottish Area Team Championship for the first time at Prestwick in May.
Runner-up Robertson, a former team-mate of White in the successful University of Stirling golf team, clinched his maiden SGU Order of Merit success in the recent South East District Championship, while recording six other top-four finishes on the circuit.
The race to the SGU Boys Order of Merit crown was a tighter affair, with Marchbank edging out Dumfries & County club-mate Liam Johnston by a margin of just over 60 points in a notable one-two for the South club.
Marchbank produced some excellent golf in the early part of the season, finishing fourth in the opening Junior Tour event and reaching the quarter-finals of the Scottish Boys Championship. He was runner-up in the Golf Data Lab Scottish Youths Championship at Paisley, before a wire-to-wire victory in the 72-hole Junior Tour event at Cardrona in June.
The 17-year-old represented Scotland at the European Boys Team Championship and Boys’ Home Internationals, as well as reaching the match play stages of the Boys’ Amateur Championship.
Last year’s Scottish Boys Champion Grant Forrest (Craigielaw) finished third while Mount Ellen’s Eamon Bradley was fourth with Kirkhill’s Craig Ross in fifth.
Scottish Golf Performance Manager Steve Paulding praised the players’ achievements:
“James worked very hard on his game during our winter training in the UAE and South Africa and really hit the ground running when the domestic season got underway. He has progressed well since winning the Boys Order of Merit five years ago and is developing into a very talented golfer.
“Greig has been a mainstay of the Scotland boys team this season and is one of several excellent youngsters emerging from the South area, where our Academy coach Brian Gemmell has been successful in nurturing several young players. He has performed well in the big events and hopefully he’ll continue his progress onto the men’s stage over the next few years.”
Both players will be presented with their awards at the annual Scottish Golf Awards, taking place in Glasgow early in 2012.