Scottish Golf refuse to rule out Scottish Boys schedule change

2016 03 Getty Images 482327472
• Scottish Golf refuse to rule out Scottish Boys schedule change
• This year's event at Murcar Links has failed to attract a full field
• Championship recognised as the curtain-raiser for the season

SCOTTISH GOLF

Scottish Golf has refused to rule out a schedule change for the Scottish Boys Championship after being ‘disappointed’ with failing to attract a full field for this year’s tournament.


Recognised as the traditional curtain-raiser of the Scottish Golf season, 22 players have been handed byes into round two of the championship – which will be held over six days at Murcar Links starting on April 4 – after only 234 of the 256 spots could be filled.

That was despite handicap limit being raised by one shot to 8.4 for this year’s event, with Scottish Golf events manager Daniel Sommerville saying the body would be willing to embrace change – but reiterated the importance of keeping with tradition.

“The Scottish Boys Championship remains one of our flagship events and we are looking forward to staging a fantastic competition at Murcar Links in just under a fortnight's time,” he said. “We are disappointed not to attract a full field this year, but we have a really strong field of Scotland's best young junior male golfers taking part which we are confident will produce some top class golf throughout the week.

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Picture: Kenny Smith Picture: Kenny Smith

“We are working hard to ensure our portfolio of national championships meets the needs of golfers of all ages and abilities and all of our events are subject to ongoing review. We appreciate the need to maintain tradition but also embrace change to ensure our future events are in line with what our participants want and that they get a great experience by taking part.

“Scottish Golf is very grateful to Murcar Links and all of our host venues in 2016 for providing their courses for use in our championships, allowing us to provide fantastic golf courses on which the players can test their skills and showcase our best talent.”

Carnoustie’s Will Porter won last year’s Scottish Boys Championship at Dunbar, triumphing over Bathgate’s Ross Callan in the 36-hole final.

OPINION: "There is no doubt that the Scottish Boys’ Championship deserves a better position on the domestic schedule and it’s encouraging to hear that Scottish Golf is open to that idea. I recall raising the subject a few years ago at a media gathering in Edinburgh and was told that moving it would be ‘messing with tradition’. There was also a more far more valid point raised, in that the school calendar limits the opportunities for finding appropriate date. However, if we are going to talk in terms of it being one of our flagship national amateur competitions, then we need to treat it as such. In my view, playing in at the start of the season, in often-unfavourable conditions, undermines the tournament and is unfair on the players. Surely it’s not asking too much to find one week in the summer holidays where it could, instead, take place?" - Michael McEwan, bunkered Assistant Editor


Scottish Golf :: Should its scheduling be changed?


What do you think should be done to ensure a full field plays in one of Scottish Golf’s flagship events every year? Leave your thoughts in the ‘Comments’ section below.

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