Bothwell Castle Golf Club wins first John Deere qualifier in Scotland
By Steve Mitchell
A four man team from Bothwell Castle Golf Club near Glasgow is heading for the famous Brabazon course at The De Vere Belfry, having won the first ever Scottish regional qualifier in the 2003 John Deere Team Championship golf tournament, played at the Vale of Leven Golf Club, Alexandria.
The team (left to right) - consisting of club professional Alan McLoskey, Greenkeeper Alistair Read, club captain Ian Crawford and greens convener Robert Henry- beat off the challenge of 17 other teams in the competition, which was organised by Gordon Gilmour and Norman Bartlett of John Deere dealer Nairn Brown in Glasgow. He was assisted on the day by John Deere territory manager Richard Charleton and Willie McKinlay of the Scottish Golf Union, and who is a past captain of the Vale of Leven Golf Club.
The winners finished on a net score of 55, just one shot clear of the field. The competition is based on a modified scramble, with the professional playing his own ball throughout the 18 holes, and the other three players forming the scramble. The team then takes the lowest score at each hole of either the professional or the net scramble team.
There's a long history of golf at Bothwell Castle - the parkland club was established in 1922. The Bothwell Castle team, joined by a fifth member from Nairn Brown, now goes through to the Great Britain national final at The Belfry on July 25, to play for a place in the world final at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Arizona, USA in November.
"We are all delighted to be on our way to The Belfry," said club captain Ian Crawford. "I was a spectator at last year's Ryder Cup and I have been longing to go back ever since. I never imagined I'd be playing on the Brabazon course myself."
Now in its 17th year, the John Deere Team Championship has traditionally been open only to teams from the USA and Canada. Last year saw teams from Great Britain and Ireland participating for the first time, with 27 John Deere dealers organising their own qualifying tournaments, involving 450 teams and 1800 players. After the national final at The Belfry in July, the winning team will travel to the USA in November with the chance to be crowned John Deere World Champions 2003.
John Deere Limited makes a donation of £25 for every British and Irish team entered, to support the educational activities of BIGGA (British & International Golf Greenkeepers Association) and GCSAI (Golf Course Superintendents Association of Ireland).
For further details please contact: Gordon Gilmour, Nairn Brown (Glasgow) Ltd on 0141 644 3563