Golf: Patrick gets helping hand from Scots at Wentworth

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WENTWORTH debutant David Patrick had Stephen Gallacher for company today as he got his first look at the Surrey course ahead of this week’s BMW PGA Championship.

Fifer Peter Whiteford was also set to join the pair for a practice round as Patrick started his preparation for his bow in the European Tour’s flagship event.

“I’ve got a good game set up for 9am on Monday, when I’m playing with Stephen Gallacher and Peter Whiteford,” the former Mortonhall man told the Edinburgh Evening News.

“I’m based at Kingsfield Golf Centre near Linlithgow now and see Stephen there. I also caught up with Peter there recently when he phoned me up looking for some good short-game facilities.

“The Scots always look out for each other and it’s great for me to play my first practice round at Wentworth with these two.”

Patrick secured a place in the £4.5million event after receiving an 11th hour call as a replacement for Englishman Paul Wesselingh, who has earned an invitation to the US PGA Senior Championship.

It means Patrick, who was due to tee up in the Lochwinnoch Pro-Am on Friday, will instead be facing some of the world’s best players with at least 14 major winners in the field, including world No. 1 Rory Mcllroy.

“I have been trying to explain to my four-year-old son that daddy is playing in the same tournament as the likes of Rory and Luke Donald,” he added.

“He’s into his sport and Rory is his favourite golfer so he’s told me he wants Rory to win and not daddy!

“To be fair, I think I would bet on Rory over me as well but it is a fantastic opportunity for me.”

When McIlroy was still in short trousers, Patrick won on the Challenge Tour early on in his pro career but combines the Tartan Tour these days with coaching. Regardless of how I do, I can learn so much this week on the playing side and secondly I can also pick up things from a coaching point of view and relate that back to my own players,” he added.

While Patrick has only seen the Wentworth course on TV, Gallacher has played there since he used to go down for summer visits to stay with his uncle Bernard, the club’s long-time pro. “I’ll only have two practice rounds to learn as much as I can about the course so hopefully Stephen will be able to give me some good advice,” admitted Patrick.

Meanwhile, Craigielaw’s Jane Turner was philosophical about losing in her first Scottish Women’s final at Tain on Saturday. The leading qualifier gave a tremendous account of herself in the SLGA’s flagship event as she went down on the last green to Alford’s Laura Murray.

“If you had told me last weekend that I would come to Tain, being the leading qualifier, reach the final and go all the way to the 18th green, I would have said: Yes, I’ll take it,” said Turner.

“So, yes, maybe I am a little bit disappointed that I didn’t win but I felt I played well in the final. I just didn’t get enough birdies to beat Laura, who was on top of her game.

“There’s always next year, when this championship will be at Longniddry. My turn will maybe come then.”

On the men’s amateur front, 13-times winners Lothians failed to qualify for the medal stage in the Moneygate Scottish Area Team Championship at Blairgowrie.

Keith Reilly’s could only finish tenth in the stroke-play qualifying on 741, 29 shots behind leading qualifiers and eventual winners Perth & Kinross.