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Balfron pupil wins Alfred Dunhill Schools golf

Fergus Brown, an S4 pupil at Balfron High School in Stirlingshire has won the overall scratch prize at the Alfred Dunhill Schools’ Challenge, played on the Duke’s Course at St Andrews yesterday. Fergus, 15, shot an impressive one-over-par gross score of 72, to take the top prize.

The annual event, open to school-aged boys and girls across Scotland, precedes this week’s 20th Anniversary of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, which takes place from September 30 –October 3 at Carnoustie, Kingsbarns and the Old Course St Andrews.

Sam McConnachie, a pupil from Perth Academy, won the Senior Boys category shooting a net score of 63, while Emilia Heuer, an S4 student at Dollar Academy won the Senior Girls competition with a net 61, playing off a handicap of 23.

James Ross, 14, a S3 pupil at St Leonards School in St Andrews took honours in the Junior Boys category recording a net score of 64 off a handicap of 20. Meanwhile Louise Martin, an S3 pupil at North Berwick High School in East Lothian won the Junior Girls competition with a net 72 off a handicap of 11.

Scratch prize winner Fergus Brown began playing golf at the age of six. A member of Gullane in East Lothian, he also plays at his local course Buchanan Castle in Drymen. Currently playing off scratch, Fergus won the Lothian Boys title last summer and also took honours at the Stephen Gallacher U15s Championship at Ratho Park in July.

He said: “It was really great to take part in the Dunhill Schools Challenge – especially good playing alongside Andrew Hendry, one of my good friends, whom I golf with at Gullane - and I’m delighted to have won.

“It would be great if golf could play a part in my future, but for now I’m just enjoying playing and competing in lots of different events.”

The winners of this year’s Alfred Dunhill Schools Golf Challenge will be invited to receive their prizes at the Old Course St Andrews on the final day of this year’s Alfred Dunhill Links Championship on Sunday. All participants will also be invited, together with their parents and a school representative, to attend an exclusive golf clinic on the Championship practice ground with the internationally renowned golf coach Robert Baker.

Baker said: “After the disappointment of not being able to hold this event last year, it’s great to see so many young people back competing in the Alfred Dunhill Schools Challenge. Over the past 20 years we’ve been committed to encouraging young people from across Scotland to participate in competitive golf, which is a huge positive for the future of the sport.

“Getting the right direction and coaching early enough in their career can really help young golfers develop their game and maximise their full potential. I congratulate all of today’s competitors and look forward to meeting these talented youngsters.”