DUNBAR’S Danny Kay is the only notable absentee in this weekend’s Craigmillar Park Open, the opening event on the 2012 Scottish Order of Merit.
Even then, it is only because Kay, who reached the final of last season’s Scottish Amateur Championship, has a long-standing prior engagement.
All the other members of the SGU squad that spent eight weeks in South Africa recently will be in action in the 51st staging of the Capital event.
Heading that group is Leven’s Brian Soutar, who won the South African Amateur Championship during the trip to the Rainbow Nation.
It also includes Leven’s James White, who held a four-shot lead heading into the final round at Craigmillar Park 12 months ago before he was overtaken by fellow Fifer Greg Paterson.
He closed with rounds of 64 and 62 for a record-winning aggregate of 257, beating the score set 12 months earlier by Kilmacolm’s Matthew Clark.
Since that triumph, Paterson has taken a step back from the Scottish squad set up but the St Andrews New player is defending his title this weekend.
The field also includes Kirkhill’s Paul Shields, who shared the Northern Amateur Open title in South Africa, and Fraser McKenna, the newly-crowned Scottish Champion of Champions.
Glenbervie’s Graeme Robertson, who was overtaken by McKenna in the final round at Leven last Sunday, could be another leading contender, having won the South District Open towards the end of last season.