• Competing with many other champions for the Battle Trophy
• David Roy: "It's the very best field that we could’ve assembled"
BATTLE TROPHY | BRADLEY NEIL
Bradley Neil will be swapping Augusta National for Crail Golfing Society’s Craighead Links this weekend as he aims to add the Battle Trophy to the British Amateur title he won last year.
Fresh from his unforgettable Masters experience, which included playing a practice round and the par-3 competition alongside world No.1 Rory McIlroy, the 19-year-old is one of many golfing champions in what Battle Trophy organisers are calling the best field ever assembled for the event.
The Blairgowrie teen, who plays off plus 4.0, will be up against current Irish Amateur Strokeplay champion Jamie Savage (Cawdor), South African Amateur champion Daniel Young (Craigiehill), winner of the Scottish Champion of Champions and last week’s Craigmillar Park Open Ewen Ferguson (Bearsden) and 2013 British Universities champion and Craighead course record holder Jack McDonald (Kilmarnock Barassie), plus a whole host of other top names on the amateur circuit.
"All these guys here and their achievements within the past year just make it the very best field" - David Roy
David Roy, manager of Crail Golfing Society, said: “All these guys here and their achievements within the past year just make it the very best field that we could’ve assembled. It’s so unusual that we have so many champions in the field, as well as the course record holder, and I can’t see us ever getting that ever again!
“There are also a couple of boys from Lytham and one from Switzerland taking part, who I think all go to Stirling University, so you could at a stretch call it an international field, although that’s probably not strictly accurate!”
Defending his title at the four-round, two-day strokeplay competition is Nick McAndrew (Royal Aberdeen), while two other former winners, Alexander Culverwell and Graeme Robertson, will also both be hoping to be in contention.
And while Bradley Neil maybe considered the big name at the event following his Augusta trip just last week, Roy refused to focus solely on him and instead spoke collectively about the group of players participating in the tournament, who he says are a terrific advert for the game.
“We’re very lucky here in the east of Scotland to have lots of talented golfers. Guys like Bradley have played at our Junior Open over the years so I’ve seen these lads as 12-13-year-olds growing up and I have to say I get a kick out of seeing them develop into hugely talented golfers.
“It’s really nice when they come back and support the Battle Trophy and the vast majority are splendid people too. Golf gets a bad rap for being stuffy but why shouldn’t that be something to be proud of when you’ve got a group of guys who act superbly on and off the course.”
The first group tees off at 7.10am on Saturday with British and South African Amateur champions Bradley Neil and Young teeing off together at 8.50am along with Darren Watson.