Golf: Nicol expects large impact from Little

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EDINBURGH golf coach Gary Nicol is confident Stuart Little will be anything but timid when he makes his debut in the PGA Cup, starting today in California.

Nicol worked with Little, known as “The Mouse”, for three years and believes Russell Weir, the Scot captaining the GB&I team at CordeValle, won’t be let down by the 44-year-old.

“In addition to being one of the nicest people you could ever hope to meet, Stuart has also always been known as one of the purest ball-strikers on Tour,” said Nicol.

“During the time I coached him, he had numerous top 10 finishes and in 2005 he made 18 cuts in 24 tournaments, which at 75 per cent is a pretty impressive ratio. His best finish was in Gran Canaria, where he finished second in 2005.”

Little played alongside the likes of Lee Westwood, Darren Clarke, Padraig Harrington and Graeme McDowell and Nicol expects that experience to stand him in good stead in the club pros’ equivalent of the Ryder Cup over the next three days.

“I am certain Stuart will be a great asset to the GB&I team, not only as a player but he is a good guy to have around the team room,” he added. “He is a smart guy, good fun and most importantly of all, will be 100 per cent committed to the team.

“Stuart has played with the best in the world at the highest level, so although playing in the PGA Cup will be a new environment to him, I’m sure he will draw on all his experience to help himself and the team produce a winning result.”

Gordon Law, the long-serving Uphall pro, played in three PGA Cups – in 1996, 2003 and 2005. The last of those was on a winning side at Gleneagles but, two years earlier, he was part of a team that suffered a 19-7 hammering in Florida.

“Unfortunately, we went over at the wrong time of the year after things had to be changed in the wake of 9/11,” said Law.

“They were particularly good and we were routed by the end of the second day. That was undoubtedly the best team I came up against.

“The highlight for me was being on the winning team at The K Club. I had a win, a defeat and a draw – the full Monty.”