ANNA MASSEY couldn’t wait to get back to George Heriot’s today to tell her classmates about playing for golfing great Tom Watson in a Ryder Cup event.
The biggest thrill of her young career came at Gleneagles yesterday in the Captains’ Challenge, one of the events to mark a ‘Year to Go’ to the Ryder Cup in Perthshire.
Massey joined forces with North Berwick High School’s Cameron McIver to represent the East of Scotland amongst the eight ClubGolf regions in Scotland against Watson and European counterpart Paul McGinley.
“It was great fun and such an inspiration,” said Massey, whose home club is Elie in Fife but she has developed her skills as a member of the Development Centre at the Braid Hills Golf Centre. “I have definitely learned from the captains, seeing them play. It was quite scary knowing they are watching you play and there was quite a lot of pressure on all of out there with so many people but it was good feeling afterwards.”
The East pair played the second hole on the PGA Centenary Course in a fun-filled event that concluded with a closest-to-the-hole contest at the par-3 tenth.
“I think I played good, so that was fine,” added Massey. “The best part of the day was meeting the captains and getting their signatures and just watching them play, as I have only seen them on TV. My friends aren’t golfers but some of them were really jealous that I was getting to play here, so I’ll be telling them about it back at school.”
Tantallon member McIver admitted he’d been nervous teeing off in the company of a five-times Open champion.
“It was quite scary but it was good,” he said. “I didn’t think I would ever get the chance to play with the captains and I’m going to remember this day for the rest of my life.”
All 16 participants, aged between 13-17, were selected after applications were invited from Scottish Golf’s Development Centre Programme, operating across Scotland.
“Events like this are at the heart of the Ryder Cup,” said European director Richard Hills.
“It shows that golf is a fun, accessible sport for boys and girls of all ages, with the focus on camaraderie and team spirit beyond anything else.
“Congratulations to all of our participants. We hope that seeing peers competing alongside the 2014 Ryder Cup captains Paul McGinley and Tom Watson will have helped inspire a whole generation of future Scottish golf stars.”