HARRISON member Justin White is hoping a dream day in Stephen Gallacher’s company can help him become a Dispatch Trophy winner this weekend.
White said he’d been shown “how to play proper golf” by the European Tour star in a game at Gullane earlier in the year that also involved Scott Knowles and Stuart Johnston.
“Stevie was outstanding that day,” admitted White, who is in the Harrison B side that takes on RICS as the Edinburgh Leisure-supported team tournament reaches the last-16 stage tonight at The Braids. “He hit it great all day and was 60 yards past me off the tee all the time. You can definitely learn a lot from being in the company of a player like him.”
Gallacher and Knowles came out on top but White insisted: “If Stuart and I had putted better, we could have beaten them as Knowlesy was hopeless!”
Three Harrison sides are still standing and Stuart More, who is in the A team that faces Temple Golfing Society tonight, is hoping one of them can go all the way.
It’s 15 years since Harrison lifted the iconic trophy and More admitted: “That’s a long time so hopefully one of the teams can go on and do the business this week.”
RICS, semi-finalists last year, stand between Harrison B and a place in the last eight while Harrison Golfing Society are up against Braids United in the third round.
“We were disappointed to go out in the last four 12 months ago,” said RICS stalwart Brian Tait, who has a new partner in James Godfrey on this occasion in a team that also includes a “very traditional partnership” involving Mike Corrie and Mike Armstrong.
Braids United look favourites for their tie, coming into this event by reaching the final of the Edinburgh Municipal Winter League.
Tonight’s top tie in the bottom half of the draw could be defending champions Silverknowes taking on a useful-looking Munro Heating quartet.
Lewis Bain, back at the Braids for the first time since winning the Lothians Boys’ title there, has a fellow young gun in Kieran Cantley up front for Munro Heating. They’ll be against the experienced Tam Caldwell and Kenny Alexander, who was relieved to have made a winning debut on Sunday as Graham Robertson’s replacement from the 2014 trophy-winning quartet.
“Graham is a hard act to follow,” admitted Alexander. “I saw him out at Kiawah Island recently and offered to pay his flights home but he said ‘no chance’. I thought I’d be a bag of jaggies on Sunday, but I wasn’t. I’ve played in this event for the last 15 years for Cramond, but it was nice to get the first match out of the way.”
The back game will also be intriguing as Keith Reilly and Craig Scott face two former winners in Munro Heating men Paul Middleton and David Ewen with Crags and Carrickvale respectively. Stewart’s/Melville resume their quest feeling confident, having defeated Caermount’s 2012 title-winning quartet at the weekend.
“That was big scalp for us,” admitted Stuart McLaren, who can’t play beyond Thursday’s quarter-finals as he’s heading up to Lossiemouth for the Scottish Stroke-Play Championship this weekend.
The Colinton Mains side Stew/Mel face tonight includes Graeme Millar and the former Herioter is relishing that task after already knocking out Watsonians on Sunday.