ALLYN DICK is hoping his homework can help Lothians become Scottish Area Team champions for the first time under its current format.
The title fell to the biggest of the SGU’s 16 Areas a record 13 times when it was straight match-play and spread over the season. But the last of those successes came in 2007 and a change in fortune has coincided with the format being altered.
Now held over three days, it involves stroke-play qualifying followed by a match-play format that involves one foursome and four singles in the quarter-finals and semi-finals.
This year’s event takes place at Blairgowrie starting on Friday, when Dick will join forces in the Lothians line-up with Kingsfield clubmate Jordyn Rhind, Greg Smail (Craigielaw), Calum Hill (Tantallon), Zander Culverwell (Dunbar) and Anthony Blaney (Liberton).
And it was certainly no coincidence that Dick and Rhind were paired together, beating Alex Muir and Ally Hain by two holes, as Lothians completed their warm up with a 3.5-3.5 draw with Fife at Ratho Park.
“Since 2010, there has been a 75 per cent win rate for the team that came out on top in the foursomes,” noted the former Scottish cap, “so I think getting the right foursomes pairing is crucial.”
While happy with the Lothians line-up, selector Paul Gibson picked out Perth & Kinross as “favourites” to repeat a 2012 win at the same venue. He also reckons Renfrewshire, last year’s winners, will be “fairly strong”.