County youth golfers rise to the challenge at regional team championship
A young team from Perth and Kinross County took pride in the Scottish Men’s Zone Tag Team Championship.
The six-man team came out impressively to the semi-final at Kings Golf Club in Inverness last weekend.
And they came woefully close to securing a place in the final, but were beaten 3-2 on Sunday morning by future winners Lothians.
Connor Graham, Daniel Bullen and Cormac Sharpe – all under the age of 18 – were joined by Rory Franssen, Ewan Farquharson and Gavin Dear.
County Secretary Alan Cargill believes the youth bodes well for the future.
“We were able to integrate some of the younger ones into the team,” he said.
“But the reason they were on the team was because of the performances at the top level. Not just in boys’ competitions.
“It was good to have a mix of youth and experience. Our goal has always been to integrate young people into our team.
“These guys are fearless when they get up off the tee. And the way they performed was absolute credit to Perth and Kinross.
“There was teamwork, team spirit and a fair amount of jokes. We had a good experience as a team and we enjoyed it very much.
“We are now in a good position to move forward. It shows what can be done with dedication, effort and the right structure. “
All players from Perth and Kinross had performed well in the strokeplay section to secure the county a final four spots.
In the semifinals against Lothians, P&K got off to a perfect start when Graham and Bullen won their foursome tie.
There were singles losses for Sharpe and Dear, but Farquharson continued his regular week of golf with a win. This left the game at 2-2.
Franssen remained on the course in the last game and his battle with Angus Carrick continued to an additional second hole.
It wasn’t supposed to be on this occasion, but Perth and Kinross took a lot out of the performance.
“Only four teams qualified and that put extra pressure,” Cargill said.
“Of the 16 teams, realistically, eight were with a scream.
“The Lothians had the top qualifiers and, on paper, were the favorites.
“Rory was obviously gutted but we win as a team, lose as a team. They all had the right attitude.
“We came so close and with a setback we would have been in the final.
“I don’t think a lot of people expected us to make it to the bottom four when we had so many young boys.
“It was over Fife, Lanarkshire, Renfrewshire and Ayrshire.”
Special thanks went to Stephen Gardiner Construction for his long term sponsorship of the county.