- Sandy Scott's fine season continued with Jacques Leglise call-up
- Hopes to finish top of Scottish Hydro Boys Order of Merit
- Harbours aspirations of gaining a scholarship to the USA
With three wins, a Boys Home Internationals triumph and a call-up to the GB&I squad for next week’s Jacques Leglise Trophy, it’s fair to say 2015 has already been a year to remember for Sandy Scott.
The Nairn youngster burst onto the scene with his maiden Boys win at the Stephen Gallacher in June and, 40 days later, he was a three-time winner after a victory at the Men’s East of Scotland Amateur Stroke Play Championship on his 17th birthday was followed up by an impressive wire-to-wire success at the Scottish Open Stroke Play Championship.
And it hasn’t stopped there. Scott played a pivotal role in Scotland’s first Boys Home Internationals win since 2006 earlier this month – picking up four-and-a-half points out of a possible six – and such form meant it was almost impossible for him to be left out of Peter McEvoy’s GB&I squad for the Jacques Leglise Trophy, which is taking place fairly near to his home at Royal Dornoch.
"To be one of the nine guys representing Great Britain & Ireland is just fantastic" - Sandy Scott
“It’s super,” beamed Sandy Scott. “I’ve had a good season and this just tops it off. To be one of the nine guys representing Great Britain & Ireland is just fantastic and being within driving distance of the venue is always great.
“I’ve played Dornoch a fair bit so I can count on quite a bit of local knowledge and while I don’t know as much as obviously a member there would, I should be able to give my team-mates some pointers. It’s a wonderful venue and I’m sure we’ll get some great support.”
Such has been Scott’s form on the Scottish Boys circuit this year, he has opened up a 235-point gap at the top of the Scottish Hydro Boys Order of Merit standings, with last year’s winner Calum Fyfe – who was the only other Scot selected in the Jacques Leglise squad – currently in second place, while third-placed Kieran Cantley is more than 600 points further back.
And the teen believes that entering more tournaments and dipping his toes into the Men’s circuit has worked wonders and played a big part in his increased confidence and subsequent success.
“I’ve been playing a lot more tournaments this season and that’s helped a lot,” said Scott, who finished 24th in the Order of Merit standings last year. “I’ve gained so much experience, played with some great players on the Men’s circuit and, as a result, my confidence has shot up. I’ve also got to know how to score well and handle different situations.
“The Stephen Gallacher was my first Boys win and a couple of weeks after I won on the Men’s circuit at Lundin Links which was just great. As for the Scottish Open Stroke Play, that was crazy, winning from start to finish. I played well all week, really solid golf and it was just an unbelievable tournament for me.”
Now fully focused on his golf, that wasn’t always the case for Scott up until a few years ago. The 17-year-old was keen on tennis, football, swimming, athletics and even curling, before golf eventually took control.
“There was never a definitive point where I chose golf over the others but I just became more focused throughout the last few years and the others have kind of vanished almost,” Sandy Scott explained.
“I’ve always played locally on the North of Scotland circuit and at Nairn in medals and junior competitions. My handicap kept coming down until it was low enough to enter these big events and the results have started coming which has been great.”
And despite never having won on the Boys circuit before this season, Scott isn’t surprised by the form he’s shown and says it’s just rewards for the effort he’s been putting into his game.
“I wouldn’t say my results this season have been a surprise to me,” he said. “It’s certainly a nice thing that’s come about but it’s what I’ve been working towards with all the hours I’ve been putting in practicing. Playing all these tournaments is what I want to do at the end of the day and to get the wins under my belt is just adding more experience.”
While Scott’s aims in the near future are to help GB&I to the Jacques Leglise Trophy and to finish the season at the top of the Scottish Hydro Boys Order of Merit, the student, who is entering his final year at school, has his sights firmly set on a university scholarship in the USA as he looks to develop his game even further.
“I’ve been thinking about going over to America recently and I’ve spoken to a few coaches over there at different universities in the likes of Texas and Florida,” said Scott, who has another full season on the Scottish Boys circuit next year. “I’m looking at going on an official visit to a couple of places, just to see what’s what, so it’s all very exciting. Hopefully I’ll be going in 2016 but because I’m staying on at school I could have the option of going in 2017.
"A couple of boys from Nairn have gone across and they’ve just loved it to bits" - Sandy Scott
“It’s just great to hear from coaches who are showing their interest and it would be a great opportunity for me. I’ve heard a lot of good things about the experience of going over to play in the States. A couple of boys from Nairn have gone across and they’ve just loved it to bits and everything I hear from them, such as the facilities as well as obviously the weather, is just music to my ears.”
The Jacques Leglise Trophy gets underway next Friday (August 28) with four foursomes each morning and eight singles matches in the afternoon, before Saturday’s action sees another four foursomes before concluding with nine singles matches.
Sandy Scott :: A season to remember
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