Two former Scottish Amateur champions will be on opposing sides in tomorrow’s final at Musselburgh as Bruntsfield Links and West Linton battle it out to become Edinburgh Summer League champions for the first time.
Nineteen years after he lifted the national title at Southerness, Simon Mackenzie lines up for West Linton as they bid to claim the crown after beating Royal Burgess in the semi- finals to end their six-year reign. It’s been almost a decade now since Mackenzie played on the Scottish Order of Merit circuit, but he’s certainly been a cornerstone of the West Linton team this season.
They suffered just one defeat in eight matches in the group stage of the Pollock (Scotrans) Ltd-sponsored event before beating Silverknowes then Royal Burgess to reach the final. “The West Linton squad is a very tight-knit group and we all play together on a regular basis,” said Scott Walker.
“We are all excited and really looking forward to the final against a strong and talented Bruntsfield side.
“It has the makings of a very tight and competitive match and we can’t wait to tee up. Monktonhall is a very fair golf course and a good test.
“It is an excellent venue for a final, which will help add to the occasion and hopefully bring out the best in all the players.
“We all played a practice round last weekend and the course was in good condition and laid out well, as always.”
Zander Culverwell, last year’s Scottish Amateur champion, spearheads a Bruntsfield Links side that looks equally strong on paper. It also includes two-times Lothians champion Alan Anderson. “We have made it to the final after coming through an extremely tight section where any two from four could have won it,” said team manager Douglas Livingstone.
“We have a great team spirit and togetherness this year that has played its part in getting us through to the final and now the team are keen to atone for last year’s disappointing performance in the semi-final against Duddingston.
“Other than Royal Burgess, West Linton are probably the most consistent side in the league over the past four years, having qualified for the semis for the past three years and the final this year. They have some outstanding players in Simon Mackenzie, Nick Barr, Stephen Smith and Scott Walker, but our team will be similar to the one that beat Broomieknowe in the semi-final and Monktonhall is a course that is familiar to us as Musselburgh have been in our section for the past two years.”
With the exception of Fraser Thain, who is now back at college in America, West Linton are pretty much at full strength.
“Selecting the team for the final was a very difficult decision for Nick (Barr) and myself and, unfortunately, it meant leaving a few of our friends disappointed on this particular occasion,” added Walker.
Bruntsfield Links: Alan Anderson, Kevin Cattanach, Zander Culverwell, Mark Kernaghan, John Liddel, Keith MacKenzie, Stuart McLaren, Ally Ritchie, David Wallace.
West Linton: Nick Barr, Scott Mackay, Simon Mackenzie, Kenny Mail, Paul Neill, Sean O’Brien, Stevie Smith, Scott Walker and Sean Walter.