Monday, July 10, 2006




As the world’s best golfers prepare to tee off in the Scottish Open this week, a field of talented young golfers will battle for the coveted Douglas Gillespie Scottish Under-16 boys' open stroke-play championship at Deeside Golf Club on the western suburbs of Aberdeen.

The youngsters will be hoping to follow in the footsteps of European Tour player Raymond Russell, and lift the title. Two of Scotland’s rising Challenge Tour stars David Patrick (1991) and Peter Whiteford (1996) are also previous winners.

With 2005 champion Darren Renwick (Worthing) ineligible to play, there is guaranteed to be a new name on the trophy this year.

Top contenders are likely to include 2005 Scottish Boys U14 Stroke Play Champion Billy Downing. The 14-year-old from Truro secured the crown just days after finishing in the top ten at the U16 event last year.

A challenge may also come from Mark Bookless (Sandyhills), who at 0.2 is the lowest handicap player in the field. Bookless has secured top ten finishes in the Junior Tour events at Kingsbarns and Newmachar this year, to push him into the top 20 of the Scottish Junior Golf Ranking.

Fifteen year old Alasdair Forsythe (Caldwell) will also be looking to emulate the golfing achievements of his famous namesake, starting with a win at Deeside this week.

With over 150 entries and the ballot set at 6.2, it is one of the strongest ever fields to assemble for the event, which was changed to a three-day, 54 hole format in 2005 and is being sponsored by Glasgow-based Douglas Gillespie Plant, whose support of the Scottish Golf Union stretches back nearly thirty years.

Douglas Gillespie, Managing Director of the sponsors, is delighted to be supporting the event:

“We are very proud of our association with the SGU and junior golf in this country. Some of Scotland’s finest players have graced this event over the years and hopefully our sponsorship will help the array of new talent coming through.”

“Douglas Gillespie Plant has been involved in golf sponsorship for three decades in both amateur and professional golf and we have benefited strongly for our partnerships, whilst putting much needed investment back into the game at grass roots level.”

All 120 competitors will play one round on Tuesday and one round on Wednesday, with the top 40 and those tied for 40th place completing the final 18 holes for the title on Thursday.