Ross driven by peer pres­sure

Suc­cess of fel­low am­a­teurs inspires Cam­bus­lang golfer

Rutherglen Reformer - - The Back Page - Dou­glas Dickie

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

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