LEVEN strengthened sporting bonds across the Atlantic as the town’s Golfing Society hosted a special tournament for the first time.
Teams of 14 young players – 12 boys and two girls – from Canada and USA joined up with a similarly-numbered Fife squad, pictured right, for a triangular tournament celebrating the best in youth golf from two continents.
The contest was instigated in 1998 and has undergone numerous name changes and format alterations, with local support helping Fife to lead the way in Scotland’s representation.
Since 2006, the set-up has been three-ball matchplay, after a Ryder Cup format was adopted the previous year.
The Leven visit was sandwiched between matches at Scotscraig and Drumoig, with the Canadian squad declared the eventual winners after three days of action, with 55½ points to Scotland’s 36½ and the USA on 34.
Before teeing off across Leven’s famous links, the Canadian and American visitors, aged around 14-19, were welcomed by Leven GS captain, Peter Millar, and Provost of Fife, Jim Leishman MBE.
Canadian team manager John Lawrence said a lot of work had gone into preparations at a training camp beforehand and travelling abroad to play was an excellent experience for the young enthusiasts.
“One of the bigger things is it’s played in a team format,” he added. “Golf is usually an individual sport but playing in a team helps them.”
Mr Lawrence added the experience would be useful for playing against US colleges.
Fife team boss, Alex Moir, said it was equally good for the Kingdom to host enthusiasts from across the ocean.
“It gives our players another outlook on golf and the possibilities there are,” he added.
“Some Fife players are looking at going out to American and Canadian universities, so this may give them a feeling of the lifestyle and culture.”
USA manager Zach Eberly told the Mail: “The biggest thing is it’s such a unique competition and a chance to play at the home of golf.
“Getting out to play on a bunch of different courses here, with the friendship and camaraderie – it’s a great experience.
“Three-way matchplay is very unique – it’s more stroke play in the States.”
Jim Leishman said the organisers were very proud to be hosting the eventand he told the young players Leven had one of the oldest and best links courses in the world of golf.
It would be a good test of their ability, talent and motivational attitude, added the Provost, and he hoped some of the youngsters might meet up in the future to play together again.