Ross driven by peer pressure
Success of fellow amateurs inspires Cambuslang golfer
Cambuslang golfer Craig Ross admits seeing the success of fellow British and Irish amateurs in 2015 has made him even more determined to follow his golfing dream next season.
The 22-year-old Kirkhill member has enjoyed a mixed year, with his form improving as the season progressed.
It has been an incredible year for amateur golf this side of the Atlantic.
In May, Irishman Paul Dunne led The Open at St Andrew’s after 54 holes and, earlier this month, the GB&I Walker Cup side scored a 16½-9½ victory over their American counterparts at Royal Lytham and St Anne’s.
Craig had set his sights on making the Walker Cup team after winning on the EuroPro Tour last year, but was disappointed to miss out.
“I was aiming for it — but it’s hard to tell how close you are to making the team because there are a lot of guys who could have been picked,” he said.
“I had a wee chance. Maybe if I’d finished better in some tournaments early in the season, like the British Amateur or the Irish.
“April-May time, I might have had a wee chance, but it was always going to be hard to get in the team because there are a lot of guys playing well.
“It was disappointing not even to give myself a right good chance, but I wasn’t playing well enough at the start of the year.
“What’s happened just shows you amateur golf is getting better, it’s like its own wee mini-tour now.
“There’s that many good players, the scoring at every event is very good — so if you want to win, you need to play really well.
“You see them doing well and you do feel inspired. These are guys you play against and that’s when you want to go and play these events.
“It inspires you to do better and try to play in these events.”
Craig shot to prominence last year when he won the Glenfarclas title on the EuroPro Tour, which is one step below the Challenge Tour.
He also made his debut for Scotland in the Home Internationals, winning five- and- a- half points from six at Southerndown in South Wales.
While 2014 has been quieter, he did pick up a trophy earlier this month when he won the University of Stirling International Golf Tournament over The Duke’s Course at St Andrew’s.
He was unable to defend his Glenfarclas title due to a fixture clash, but he finished his season off with a credible seventh at the Paul Lawrie Invitational in Aberdeen last week.
Craig said: “It’s been going OK. The
start of the season wasn’t great but it’s been better as the summer has progressed. I’ve been playing a lot better.
“I won one (tournament) in France which a couple of the boys went over to too. I wasn’t able to defend the Glenfarclas because they changed the date. Usually it’s the last one but they moved it and it clashed with the competition in France.
“If I’d played in it, there wouldn’t have been a lot I could have gained from it, so I wasn’t too bothered.”
Craig, who has spent much of the year travelling, had hoped to turn pro this year and go to tour school, but he has postponed that for a year.
But he still harbours hopes of playing on the European Tour in the next 18 months.
“I was thinking about tour school this year but I didn’t feel I was playing well enough, so I’ll stay as an amateur for another year,” he told the Reformer. “I’ve not been able to get up to Kirkhill much, but I’ve been going when I can.
“I’ve pretty much been home for a couple of days and then away again.
“The Paul Lawrie was my last event for the season, although I’ve still got Dubai with the SGU development squad.”
Inspired Craig Ross has success on his mind
found MacKey with a fine pass and the Lang midfielder rounded the keeper and slotted home from a narrow angle.
But minutes later the Lang hero headed for an early shower as he was shown a straight red card after a poor challenge.
With 10 men, Cambuslang were still the side on top until a lapse of concentration allowed Caldwell a free header, which he bulleted past goalkeeper Daryll Jones.
Lanark finally edged ahead in 75 minutes when Cameron Lawson powered home his header from close range.
Within a couple of minutes Lang had to clear two efforts off the line but Lanark weren’t to be denied as Ryan Hutchinson fired home a Stuart Mitchell cutback before grabbing his second in the last minute with a powerful finish.
Back in the swing of it Ross has hit form