Golf: Sun shines on Finlay as he earns Junior Open slot in Spain

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LIBERTON will be represented in the final of a prestigious junior event held in Spain for the second year running this winter.

Emulating clubmate Anthony Blaney’s feat 12 months ago, Scott Finlay has qualified for the Andalucia Junior European Open. The 17-year-old won a qualifying event at Westerwood, carding a four-over par 75 in tough conditions to finish three shots clear of the field.

The sixth staging of the event takes place in January over four rounds in southern Spain.

It starts at the two Alcaidesa courses, with the final round over Finca Cortesin, venue for the Volvo World Matchplay.

“It’s a nice trip to look forward to early in the new year,” said Finlay, one of many promising young players at the Capital club.

Blaney, who had just been picked for Scotland’s warm weather winter training squad heading to Abu Dhabi later this month, finished fifth in this year’s event behind English winner Max Orrin.

“I was delighted that Liberton picked me to represent the club at Westerwood and it’s great that I have managed to emulate Anthony by qualifying for the final,” added Finlay, who plays off four and is coached by Lothianburn pro Kurt Mungall.

“We are good friends and play a lot of golf together, he’s someone I definitely look up to.”

Both Blaney and Finlay were in the Liberton team that played in the Junior Team Golf Home Nations Inter-Club Championship in Spain at the start of this year. The Capital club ended up with the wooden spoon but Finlay is hoping that experience will stand him in good stead for his next Spanish test.

“I now know what it is like playing courses there,” he said.