Soutar Seeks Title Defence at Leven
Brian Soutar, the newly-crowned South African Amateur winner, will tomorrow seek to defend his Scottish Champion of Champions title in the first competitive action of the Men's season.
On home turf at Leven Links, Soutar was the local hero last year after he produced two superb closing rounds to emerge victorious.
Six shots off the pace at halfway, he fired rounds of 68 and 67 to finish four shots clear of the field and win again in the Fife town, having also triumphed in the Standard Life Gold Medal over the same course in 2007.
Soutar will now hope for back-to-back titles as he seeks to continue the form which saw him follow in Walker Cup hero Michael Stewart’s footsteps and lift South Africa’s biggest amateur prize last month.
The 27-year-old lifted the prestigious title with a 2&1 win over home favourite and rising star Brandon Stone in the 36-hole final at Mowbray Golf Club in Capetown.
Soutar, who was part of a seven-man SGU National Men’s Squad in South Africa for the winter performance programme, also earned a dream ticket to the European Tour, with a place in the South African Open in November.
The Champion of Champions event will be played tomorrow and Sunday over 72 holes of stroke play.
Soutar faces stiff competition from a quality field, which includes another South African victor, joint Northern Amateur Open winner Paul Shields (Kirkhill).
James White (Lundin), the 2011 Men’s Order of Merit champion, and Aberdour’s Scott Crichton, himself a consistent performer in South Africa, also tee-up.
The likes of Fraser McKenna (Balmore), Graeme Robertson (Glenbervie), Conor O’Neil (Pollok) and Daniel Kay (Dunbar) are also in the field.