Strong Field for the Moneygate Scottish Area Team Championship
In form Fraserburgh golfer Kris Nicol will lead a strong North East team looking to capture their first title in 18 years as the new look Moneygate Scottish Area Team Championship takes place this weekend (15 – 16 May) at Kinross.
The Scotland Men’s Elite Squad member continued his excellent start to the season with a runner-up finish in the Irish Amateur Stroke Play Championship at Royal Dublin behind Alan Dunbar on Sunday, a week after securing second place at the prestigious Lytham Trophy. Nicol is joined in the North East line-up by Philip McLean, who captured the Edward Trophy at Glasgow Gailes last month, as well as reigning Allied Surveyors Scottish Amateur Champion David Law.
Murcar Links’ former Scotland international Bryan Innes, whom Law defeated in the semi-finals at Royal Troon on route to his historic win last year, also takes his place in the side, alongside Scott Larkin and Anthony Bews.
Defending champions Renfrewshire have named an unchanged side from the six-man team who clinched last year’s title at Crail and will be strongly fancied to make it two-in-a-row. Their side includes former Amateur Champion Craig Watson, alongside Kilmalcom’s Matthew Clark, who stormed to victory in the Craigmillar Park Open earlier this season, while reigning Scottish Mid-Amateur champion Andrew Farmer also retains his place in the line-up.
Newly crowned Scottish Boys Champion Grant Forrest will make his senior debut for a Lothians side looking to add to their record-breaking haul of 13 Area Team titles, while another in-form youngster Simon Fairbairn, fresh from his runners-up spot in the Golf Data Lab Scottish Youths Championship, is part of a Borders side looking to win the event for the first time.
Ross Kellett, the second highest ranked Scottish amateur in the world, will be looking to lead Lanarkshire to their first victory since 1998, while Kellett’s Scotland team-mates Steven McEwan and Glenn Campbell are aiming to win third Area Team titles for Ayrshire and Perth & Kinross respectively.
Kinross’s Montgomery and Bruce courses will stage the event this weekend, with two rounds of stroke-play qualifying on Saturday and the leading four Areas competing in the semi-finals the following morning for a place in the Sunday afternoon final.
Lee Hartley, Chief Executive of sponsors Moneygate who provide independent financial advice for golfers across Scotland, is looking forward to his company’s first involvement with the Championship:
“The sixteen different Area Associations have assembled a strong field for this weekend’s event and I’m sure there will be some fantastic golf on show. As first time sponsors, we’re looking forward to some exciting competition and meeting the cream of amateur golf in Scotland.”
“Moneygate is still a relatively young company but we have strong ambitions to grow the brand in Scotland and provide benefits for member golfers across the country. This event will further raise our profile and strengthen our support of golf in Scotland.” he added.