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Schools Golf Challenge inspires pupils at Carnoustie

Ross Alexander, a 17-year-old pupil from Broughty Ferry’s Grove Academy, shot an impressive 76 to win the overall scratch prize at the Alfred Dunhill Schools’ Challenge, played for the first time over the Buddon Course at Carnoustie.

The event, open to boys and girls, attracted competitors from eight schools in the Dundee and Angus area, and marked the 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.

It will be followed on Sunday by the second part of the Schools’ Challenge, for boys and girls in Fife, staged at the Duke’s Course in St Andrews.

In a big day for Grove Academy, Arran Leiper was also a winner, taking the Senior Boys title with a gross 78, off a handicap of 11, for a net score of 67.

Joshua Marshall, a student at Dundee’s Braeview Academy, playing off 14, shot 81 for a net 67, winning the Junior Boys category on countback from Forthill Primary School golfer Cole Stewart.

Scratch prize winner Ross Alexander is an S6 pupil at Grove Academy who began playing golf at the age of eight. A member of Dundee’s Ballumbie Castle Golf Club, Ross currently plays off a handicap of five and has represented his school at Scotland’s East District Golf Championship. He is also due to take part in the Lothians Junior Pairs Championship at Longniddry in October.

He said: “It was great to be part of this competition at Carnoustie which I thoroughly enjoyed, and I’m delighted to have won the scratch prize. I’m really enjoying my golf and hope I can continue to progress and possibly land a university scholarship, ideally in the US.

“Playing in events like the Alfred Dunhill Schools Challenge has been great in helping me improve my game while getting more experience in competitive tournaments.”

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, October 3. 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.

Robert said: “I’m delighted to see the Alfred Dunhill Schools Challenge extended to Carnoustie this year. Over the past 20 years we have 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 at this year’s Alfred Dunhill Links Championship where they will participate in our annual coaching clinic.”