Wednesday, 10 February 2010
Scotland’s Men’s Elite Squad will embark on the second phase of its warm weather training programme this winter with a competitive excursion to Portugal and Spain in the coming weeks.
The Scottish Golf Union will send a squad of twelve players to compete in both the Portuguese Amateur Championship (18 – 21 February) and the Spanish Amateur Championship (3 – 7 March), using the time in between tournaments to prepare players for the season ahead at the squad’s base in Quinta da Cima.
Ross Kellett, James White, Philip McLean, Steven McEwan, Gordon Yates, Greg Paterson, Kris Nicol and David Law will compete in both Iberian events, although Law’s participation will be governed by ongoing medical advice.
The 18-year-old, who last season became the first player to win both Scottish boys’ and men’s titles in the same year, played his first practice round of the year at Sea Island last week since recovering from a wrist injury and will continue his rehabilitation programme overseas, working alongside Scottish Institute of Sport physiotherapist Karen Young.
Former Scottish champion Glenn Campbell and 2008 Scottish Boys Stroke Play champion Mark Bookless will play in Portugal before returning home, whilst Paul Shields – who lost to the Law in the final of the Scottish Boys last April – will join Dollar’s Scottish Borrowman and the rest of the squad for the trip to Spain. Seven other Scots will compete in the two Championships from outwith the SGU squad.
SGU National Coach Ian Rae said:
“The support we received from IMG Academies for the five players to train in Florida recently has given us the opportunity to extend our programme in Portugal and Spain, two events we have used effectively in the past.”
“Again, we will have access to first class facilities at our training base meaning the full men’s elite squad can work on their games ahead of the new season. We will rotate the squad slightly to give all players some practice time in a warmer climate, whilst playing these highly competitive events.”
The Portuguese Amateur Championship takes place at the Aroeira resort on the outskirts of Lisbon, which played host to the Portuguese Open in both 1996 and 1997. Last year’s event was won by England’s Dale Whitnell who went onto represent GB&I in the Walker Cup, with Carnoustie’s Keir McNicoll finishing as leading Scot in 12th place.
The list of former winners of the Spanish Amateur Championship reads like a who’s who of European golf, with Sergio Garcia, Darren Clarke and Jose Maria Olazabal all getting their hands on the famous Copa del Ray trophy. The ten Scots on show will be hoping to gone one better than former team-mate Gavin Dear, who reached the semi-finals last year before losing out to eventual winner Rainer Sexton.
This year’s event takes place at La Reserva Club de Golf in Sotogrande.
SGU Media Release