The Courier & Advertiser (Perth and Perthshire Edition)

Chance for club members to shine on national stage

- By Phil Casey

GONZA LO FERNA NDEZ-Castano predicted the EurA sia Cup would be the “next big thing” as the inaugural contest ended in a thrilling 10-10 draw after A sia threatened to produce a win to rival Europe’s ‘Miracle at Medinah’in the 2012 Ryder Cup.

Thongchai Jaidee’s side were whitewashe­d 5-0 in Thursday’s fourballs and trailed 7-3 going into Saturday’s 10 singles matches, leaving Europe needing just 3½ points for victory.

A miserable day for Scot Stephen Gallacher in the final match was summed up when he lost his ball with a wild tee shot on the 15th to seal a heavy defeat to Siddikur Rahman, putting A sia ahead for the first time all week.

Jaidee then kick-started a stunning fightback by beating Ryder Cup hero Graeme McDowell 3&2 and after five further wins for A sia, the entire contest came down to the match between Fernandez-Castano and Japan’s Hideto Tanihara.

Fernandez-Castano eagled the par-five 16th to get back on level terms before Tanihara saved par from a greenside bunker on the 17th to set up a nerve-wracking finish on the last.

Neither player was able to find a decisive birdie. A fter Fernandez-Castano held his nerve to hole out for par, he conceded Tanihara’s shorter putt to ensure a tie.

The Spaniard said: “I knew the A sian team would come out fighting and that’s exactly what they did. I think a tie is a very fair result considerin­g what a great comeback they had.

“I’m happy with the way I performed under pressure. This is the most nervous I have ever been. This is going to be the next big thing and I am really proud to be a part of the first edition of the EurA sia Cup.” TOUR PRO Andrew McArthur is backing two exciting events as part of SSE Scottish Hydro’s sponsorshi­p of the SGU.

The Scottish Hydro Scramble is a new national event open to all SGU and SLGA affiliated club members, giving golfers the opportunit­y to play as a team with friends or family members of all ages and abilities.

And the Scottish Hydro Senior Champion of Champions rewards older golfers for winning their Club Senior Open, with the chance to progress to a high-profile national final.

Players with the top 50 leading scores from club senior opens this season will earn a spot in the Scottish Hydro Senior Champion of Champions final at Blairgowri­e on July 28.The leading two players will go on to rub shoulders with the likes of Sam Torrance, Ian Woosnam and Barry Lane.

Clubs taking part in the Scottish Hydro Scramble will host a qualifying event locally. The winning team of three move on to one of four regional finals held across the country in May.

Eyemouth has the first event on May 3, followed by Pitlochry on May 4, while Balbirnie Park on May 11 and Eastwood stage the other two qualifying events.

The victorious teams at each regional final earn a place in the Scottish Hydro Challenge Pro-Am at Macdonald Spey Valley on June 25 — an event which has seen the likes of Edoardo Molinari and Richie Ramsay compete in recent years.

Andrew McArthur, the former Scottish Amateur champion and a member of Team Scottish Hydro, said: “The more events like this the better for golf in this country, especially for attracting youngsters into the game.

 ?? Getty Images. ?? Stephen Gallacher in his singles clash against Siddikur Rahman.
Getty Images. Stephen Gallacher in his singles clash against Siddikur Rahman.

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