The South officials took a Development team of six boys, all under 16 years-of-age, to Glenbervie on Sunday 24 September to compete in the inaugural Scottish Junior Team Competition.
The format of the competition was 18 holes stableford between the winners of Junior Area leagues in Scotland and as South Area does not have a Junior League between all the Clubs we were permitted to enter a development team for experience. Five stableford scores from the six man team were to count as the team score.
The South team of Taylor Kerr (Sanquhar), Jamie Marchbank (D&G), Sam Mitchell (Portpatrick), Callum McMillan (Kirkcudbright), Kaleb Johnston (Portpatrick) and Ollie Hogg (D&G) arrived at Glenbervie to find that heavy rain had been falling all morning and would eventually make the course almost unplayable.
After an early lunch, Ollie Hogg, making his debut for the South Junior team led the team off. Showing no visible sign of nerves he cracked a super drive down the middle of the fairway and received a round of applause from his teammates. This gave him tremendous encouragement and he proceeded to cover his first nine holes in a very respectable 16 points. However, the longer back nine and worsening conditions, took their toll and although he never gave up he could only amass a further 9 points and a total of 25 points.
Kaleb Johnston was not used to playing golf in these conditions and did not find them to his liking but battled away with a smile on his face to produce an outward nine of 13 points and inward nine of 8 points for a total of 21 points. The highlight of his round was a birdie at the third hole. The ever focussed and determined Callum McMillan produced a very steady round of 78 blows. A cool head on young shoulders, he had a birdie on the second hole, to get his round off to the perfect start and finished with an inward half of 17 points and an outward half of 17 points and a very good total of 34 points in the conditions.
Another boy on a mission, Sam Mitchell, got off to a good start with 9 points in the first five holes but could only amass another 5 points on the way out as puddles began to form on the greens. He mastered the conditions on the way home with a birdie on the par 3 thirteenth hole and 17 points and a good total of 31 points. Jamie Marchbank struggled in the conditions but kept fighting to the end. His play from tee to green was very steady and if he had mastered the conditions on the greens would have posted a much better score. Out in 14 points and home in 15 he totalled 29 points.
Taylor Kerr defied the horrendous conditions to card a superb level par 71. An outward nine of 37, two over par, with a birdie at the 4th hole and an uncharacteristic three putt on 9 he had 17 points. As he started the back nine the downpours kept coming from the ever present, heavily laden clouds but this did not deter Taylor from his mission. He birdied 10, 12 and 15 before a wayward drive and lost ball at 17 looked like ruining his score. But he responded in style with a birdie putt of fifteen feet to complete his last nine holes with 21 points and a marvellous total of 38 points.
The team total was 157, which under the adverse conditions was very acceptable, and finished 6th out of the thirteen competing teams. The day was considered a success and the boys enjoyed the course and would like to go back when the sun was shining! Craigmillar Park won the team competition with a remarkable total of 178 points and Taylor Kerr finished in a three-way tie for best individual round with 38 points. The CSS was 73 or 34 points.
38 points Taylor Kerr (Sanquhar)
34 Callum McMillan (Kirkcudbright)
31 Sam Mitchell (Portpatrick)
29 Jamie Marchbank (D&G)
25 Ollie Hogg (D&G)
21 Kaleb Johnston (Portpatrick)
The photograph shows the South team before play; Callum McMillan, Kaleb Johnston, Sam Mitchell, Taylor Kerr, Jamie Marchbank and Ollie Hogg