Sep 2 2011 by Gordon Bannerman, Perthshire Advertiser Friday
BLAIRGOWRIE Golf Club is celebrating its first ever success in the prestigious Mail on Sunday Classic.
Team captain David Kerr and his Scottish champions are now counting down to the UK finals at the Marriott Worsley Park Golf Course near Manchester on September 26.
David said: “When the club asked me to take on the task of captain and organiser of the Mail on Sunday Classic team, I was more than delighted.
“The team has been successful with a small pool of players drawn from all handicap levels.
“Players are of all ages and we have an ex-club champion in Rodger Lamond and Jonathon Pol, whose handicap currently is one, will I’m sure, one day be our club champion. Philip McKenna is an ex-Scottish karate champion and Black Dan. He captained the Scottish karate team in the UK Championships and also the Scotland v England match, so is no stranger to playing against England.
“Andrew Retson, a 30-year-old haulage contractor, is the youngest player in the squad. He played the game of his life during the match at Forfar.
“Russell Martin, Frank Benzies, ex-army duo Billy Whytock and Mike Mooney and myself make up the nucleus of the full squad.
“All the matches have been close affairs, with many games going to the last green. Perhaps the closest match of all was against local rivals, Alyth, in our very first match all those months ago when it was a struggle to get a course in playing condition after a long winter.
“The Blairgowrie team won that one thanks to Russell, a teacher at Perth Grammar School, whose never-say-die attitude won the tie for us on the 19th hole.
“From there, we went from strength to strength, taking each game as it came along and now we are looking forward to the challenge of playing the next stage of the Classic at the Marriott Worsley Park Golf Course.
Douglas Cleeton, Blair managing secretary, said: “David has led his team very well and the club are proud of their achievements in becoming Scottish champions.
“I’m certain that if they win the national finals and qualify for a week’s competition in Spain, they will have the welcome problem of the team choice becoming a little more tricky!”