Andrew Coltart leads Europe to victory in Palmer Cup

Former Ryder Cup player Andrew Coltart orchestrated the triumph

Former Ryder Cup player Andrew Coltart orchestrated the triumph

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Capital star James Ross has heaped praise on Andrew Coltart for leading Europe to glory in college golf’s Ryder Cup.

Both Royal Burgess man Ross and Craigielaw’s Grant Forrest were in the winning home team in the Palmer Cup at Walton Heath at the weekend.

A stunning 18.5-11.5 victory over the Americans was masterminded by head coach Coltart and Ross reckons the role of the East Lothian-based former Ryder Cup player was crucial.

“Andrew was a great asset this week and really offered valuable experience to all of us,” said last year’s Scottish Amateur Golfer of the Year.

“I love talking to people who have been there and done it themselves to try to see what I can learn from them and Andrew was very helpful with course management etc.”

Sent out first by Coltart in the concluding singles – the teams were tied at 10-10 heading into that – Ross delivered the goods with a superb 3&2 triumph over highly-rated Californian Brandon Hagy.

Forrest won by the same margin against Trey Mullinax in the match behind before South East District Open champion Jack McDonald (Barassie) completed a hat-trick of Scottish successes.

“To be put out first in the final day of singles when we were tied at 10-10 was a great honour and I said to Andrew I would give it my all,” added Ross. “Fortunately, I played very steadily and only had one bogey against Brandon. To get the first point on the board for us felt great and gave the guys behind a little lift as well. However, I think we surprised everyone in the manner in which we won. To win 18.5-11.5 was fantastic.”

It was a second team triumph this year for Ross, who also helped Europe beat Asia-Pacific in the Bonallack Trophy in India. “We all really came together as a team this week and the camaraderie amongst all the guys was a lot of fun to be part of,” he said of this latest victory.

“At the start of the week we briefly spoke about the fact that, on paper, the Americans were the stronger side if you look at rankings and achievements etc.

“However, we all know paper counts for nothing on the first tee and so we stuck to our own game plans and committed to playing the course in the way that we saw best.

“Some of the Americans seemed to hit a lot more drivers and were generally more aggressive as a team than we were.

“Around Walton Heath the premium really is on accuracy and finesse and that seemed to play to our strengths this week.