Defending champions George Heriot’s FP have been forced into a late change for the 119th Dispatch Trophy after being left Rudd-erless for the event at the Braids.
David Rudd had been due to replace Willem Kerr, who is in Australia, from the team that bridged a 39-year gap when triumphing in the Golfclubs4cash-sponsored event 12 months ago.
But the Longniddry member has pulled out with an an injured hand, which also prevented him from trying to qualify for the Brabazon Trophy earlier this week.
“It is disappointing for David as he has been in great form,” said John Archibald ahead of Heriot’s launching their defence against three-time winners Harrison on Saturday.
“Steven Sinclair has been promoted to the “big team” and Finlay Hutchison will take his place in the Quad team.”
Sinclair will join forces with David Campbell while Archibald will once again have the big-hitting Rory Smith as his partner in the double foursomes event.
“We are looking forward to playing at the Braids again and the Dispatch Trophy is always one of the major events in my golfing calendar,” said Archibald. “I have played against Harrison many times in my last 43 years of playing in the tournament, so I know they will have a good team and they will be up for it. So we will have to be at our best to progress.”
If they do and that Quad of Hutchison, Ian Smith, Innes Christie and John Liddel can beat the LGA Juniors, it will be an all-Heriot’s affair in Sunday’s second round.
“It’s a shame that both Heriot’s teams could clash so early but we both have to get there first,” added Archibald.
Watching Heriot’s pick up the trophy last year in the Edinburgh Leisure-run event will give both Stewart’s Melville and George Watson’s added incentive this time around.
Stew Mel will start out against Dunbar with Stuart McLaren, Drew McIntosh, Ally Ritchie and two-time Lothians champion Alan Anderson.
“We have a tough draw with many former winners in our half of it, but it (Heriot’s win) makes us want to go and do the same this year and we feel we can go all the way,” said McLaren.
Watsonians have three survivors from the team that made it to the semi-finals last year, with Mortonhall man Rob Paterson coming in to join Andrew Helm, Richard Craig and Greg Nicolson .
“Rob is the Mortonhall and Kilspindie champion and will hopefully make the difference between the semi-finals and winning,” said Andrew Hogg.