CRAIG CAN’T SAVE SCOTS

Ross is on los­ing side

Rutherglen Reformer - - The Back Page - Mur­ray Spooner

Cam­bus­lang golfer Craig Ross reck­ons he can take con­fi­dence from his last tour­na­ment, de­spite de­feat to the Ir­ish and English in the Men’s Home In­ter­na­tion­als.

The 23-year-old was part of the 11man Scot­land team who played at Nairn last week and fin­ished third in the tour­na­ment of four.

Craig, a Kirkhill Golf Club mem­ber, and his fel­low Scots were beaten 8½6½ by Eng­land as their bid to win the Ray­mond Tro­phy for the first time since 2012 came to an end.

In what was a wet and windy day on Thurs­day Craig and his team looked to be in a commanding po­si­tion be­fore even­tual win­ners Ire­land con­jured up an in­cred­i­ble fight­back to win 8½-6½.

A victory over Wales on the fi­nal day was not enough to push them up the group ta­ble but Craig was pleased to have gained more ex­pe­ri­ence to end his golf­ing sea­son.

The reign­ing South African Ama­teur champ, who was play­ing in his third con­sec­u­tive Home In­ter­na­tion­als, said: “It went okay. It was quite tight over the games against Eng­land and Ire­land.

“It’s al­ways tough against Eng­land and we were un­lucky to get beaten on the day.”

Craig faced The Auld En­emy know­ing it would take a good round to claim a victory.

Hav­ing shared the morn­ing four­somes, the match was hang­ing in the bal­ance dur­ing the 10 sin­gles matches and Craig mounted a spir­ited re­cov­ery in his match with Dan Brown to haul him­self back from three down.

But Craig’s push for a crucial point was downed at the 17th when he three­p­utted from the front of the green,

giv­ing his ri­val a crucial one-shot lead which he held on to on the fi­nal hole.

A commanding 4-1 lunchtime ad­van­tage over the Ir­ish looked to have boosted the Scots’ chances of victory on Thurs­day in a game that was nearly called off due to bad weather.

But they were blown away in the af­ter­noon as Ire­land pro­duced a dazzling sin­gles per­for­mance.

Craig achieved a bat­tling half but home hopes were short-lived as John Ross Gal­braith sank his putt at the last to edge out Sandy Scott.

“We played great against Ire­land,” Craig told the Reformer. “They were prob­a­bly the best team out the lot and fully de­served to win it all, I think.

“We started well and were 4-1 up af­ter the four­somes. We only needed some­thing like four points to win but we didn’t quite man­age it. Ire­land turned it around and won.

“The weather was pretty bad, with quite a lot of rain. It was very windy and you could see the ball move about a lit­tle bit on the green.

“The ninth was pretty much flooded and you could see wa­ter in the hole.

“We waited about 15 or 20 min­utes on the 11th while the guys tried to get rid of some of the wa­ter.

“Our team coach Ian Rae was talk­ing to the Ir­ish about call­ing off the four­somes and just play­ing the sin­gles but it dried up.”

Com­ment­ing on the match against Wales, Craig said: “It was just as tough.

“It was all square on the last day. I got a good half match in my game and it helped us get the win.

“It was good to fin­ish with the victory but it’s disappointing not to have won the tour­na­ment on home soil.

“But it was a good week. The course was in the best con­di­tion I’d seen it in and it was good ex­pe­ri­ence for me.

“Ev­ery­one was friendly with each other but it was just those putts that didn’t drop for us.”

Home In­ter­na­tion­als Craig Ross (right) and part­ner Craig Howie in ac­tion in Nairn

Dis­ap­pointed Craig Ross

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