'Trash talking' starts ahead of Heriot's teams locking horns in Dispatch Trophy
“We’ll need to teach these young whippersnappers how to play at the Braids,” joked John Archibald, who is playing for holders Heriot’s Quad along with fellow retirees Innes Christie, Dave Campbell and Scott Johnston.
But the banter wasn’t just coming from one team after the tasty tie was set up following wins on Thursday night by Heriot’s Quad against Bank of Scotland and Heriot’s over Bass Rock.
“Our four combined ages are still younger than Archie,” quipped Steven Sinclair, who is representing Heriot’s in the latest edition along with Sam Hall, Steven Sinclair and Scott Dickson.
Heriot’s first won the historic event in 1948 before repeating the feat in 1979 then again in 2017, when both Archibald and Campbell were in the team along with two young guns in Rory Smith and Willem Kerr.
Archibald and Campbell then joined forces with Christie and Johnston - John Liddel also played in the earlier rounds - to add a Heriot’s Quad title triumph 12 months ago and now the same four players are just two wins from a successful defence.
“I think it’s only ten years or so that we’ve had two teams in the event and this will be the first time they’ve met,” said Archibald, a four-time winner in total after also getting his hands on the trophy playing for Merchants team Westermont in 1989 and 2002.
Will there be rivalry even though they are both representing George Heriot’s School as former pupils? “Oh yes, there will be rivalry alright,” added Archibald with a twinkle in his eyes.
As was the case when Sinclair, a 23-year-old plus-one player at Ratho Park, declared: “There will definitely be some trash talking!”
Hall, a newly-turned 20-year-old who plays off plus two at Gullane, was out on the course watching last year’s final between Heriot’s Quad and Mortonhall, the winners in both 2018 and 2019.
“You could tell how experienced they all are playing round here and know exactly what to do,” he said of the Herriot’s ‘old’ boys.
Archibald, who plays his golf these days at Luffness and Archibald Links, couldn’t resist commenting on Harry Carruthers, who was playing for Watsonians, hitting a 425-yard drive at the par-5 fifth hole on Tuesday night.
“Just goes to show, 425-yard drives don’t win golf matches at the Braids or anywhere else for that matter,” he posted on social media of Watsonians having bowed out to Bass Rock in that tie.
After the win over Bank of Scotland, though, he also conceded that shorter-hitters only benefitted on a course where gorse is a threatening sight from lots of tees if “you can hit it straight!”
Like Carruthers, Hall is a long-hitter and one-handicapper Langlands, too. “At the 11th,” said fellow Dunbar member Dickson of the 514-yard par 5, in that quarter-final win over Bass Rock, “I only had 139 yards for our second shot.”
Duddingston and Murrayfield meet in the other semi-final, with both clubs bidding to become first-time winners.
8am Duddingston v Murrayfield
8.10am Heriot’s Quad v Heriot’s