First held in 1977, the Scottish Boys Area Team Championship travelled to Tulliallan, Clackmannanshire on Sunday 7 June for their annual competition. The sixteen Areas in Scotland compete for the coveted trophy with a four man team playing two foursomes in the morning with both scores to count and singles in the afternoon with three scores to count. The winner is the team returning the lowest aggregate of the two foursomes round and the best three singles rounds.
The South of Scotland team of Matthew McCulloch (Portpatrick), Alex Chalk (Castle Douglas), Angus Bendall (Castle Douglas) and Fraser Hughes (Newton Stewart) set off confidently in the morning foursomes on a blusterly, cool day to conquer the lovely par 69 course with tight tree lined fairways and small greens. With straight driving from the tees and accurate iron play this could be a dawdle, but if not, a recipe for disaster. The first pairing of Matthew and Fraser unfortunately did not gel too well and returned an 82. However, Alex and Angus, under the stewardship and wise old head of Alex fought hard to finish with a 75, the second best score of all the teams. A total of 157 placed the South in sixth position, nine shots behind the leaders Lothians.
Nine shots to make up was a daunting task but the boys started the afternoon singles full of hope that they could do it. It was noticeable early on that the strong swirling wind was playing havoc with the iron shots to the greens and the boys would have to rely on their chipping and putting. Matthew led the team out and despite not playing to his best managed a fine 4 over par round of 73. Fifteen year old Angus bogeyed the first three holes and once he had mastered the conditions played the next fifteen with fifteen straight pars due to some fearless putting and scored 72. Fraser had some flashes of brilliance with four birdies but was undone with too many unlucky bogeys. He scored 77 but could have been much better. The anchorman, Alex, played very steadily, as expected, and despite losing a ball off the tee at the third hole recovered well to equal Angus on 72. The South finished on 374 to lose by 10 shots to the eventual winners, Lothians. Lanarkshire were second. A magnificent effort by all the boys who were so proud to finish third and claim the bronze medals, which they will treasure for the rest of their days. It had been a very long and tiring day but a happy journey home.
The attachéd photograph shows the South team with their medals. From the left:-
Matthew McCulloch, Alex Chalk, Fraser Hughes and Angus Bendall