Ross Callan, last year’s beaten finalist, will be aiming to go one better this time around in the Scottish Boys’ Championship, which gets underway at Murcar Links on Monday.
Callan, the son of Bathgate pro Stuart, vowed he’d be “back fighting” after losing to Carnoustie’s Will Porter by 4&3 in the 36-hole title showdown at Dunbar last April.
“It was a new experience for me and hopefully it helps my game going forward,” he said at the time, and he has one more bite at the cherry after this one in Scottish Golf’s flagship under-18 boys’ event.
As luck would have it, Callan is travelling all the way up to Aberdeen to take on a fellow Lothians player in the first round, where he’s up against Conor Wilson from Dunbar.
Other Lothians hopefuls in the field include Nathan McCulloch (Kingsknowe), Stuart Thurlow (Murrayfield), David Rudd (Longniddry) and Lewis Reid (Craigielaw).
Nairn’s Sandy Scott, who won the Scottish Boys’ Stroke-Play Championship so impressively last season, is a strong title favourite.
But, with match-play being unpredictable, others to look out for as potential winners include Rory Franssen from Inverness and Deeside’s Michael Lawrie, the youngest son of 1999 Open champion Paul Lawrie.
In his opening match, Lawrie Jnr is up against Thomas Boyd, the son of former Celtic and Scotland defender Tom.
The field also includes Peebles player Darren Howie, whose older brother, Craig, lifted the title when the event was last held at Murcar Links four years ago.
Grant Forrest – in 2010 – is the last Lothians winner.