Bell sounds out local opposition in bid to retain Gold

NINE leading local players contribute to a formidable field this weekend for one of the golfing calendar’s top Scottish amateur events.

Saturday sees the return to Leven of the 72-hole Standard Life Amateur Champion Gold Medal – the oldest amateur stroke play tournament in the world.

Once again, the contest has attracted a great line-up of players from around the country and also counts towards the 2012 Fife Golfing Association Order of Merit.

With so many entrants from Levenmouth and the East Neuk, home enthusiasts may be hoping with more fervour than usual that a local name will be added to the tournament record books after Sunday’s final rounds.

Ewan MacGregor, 2012 club champion of host outfit Leven Golfing Society, is among those leading the local challenge.

Clubmates Gavin Dunn and David Paterson also feature, along with Stuart Hill and Mark Anderson (both Leven Thistle), Grant McNab and Cameron Mitchell (Lundin), Keith Shanks (Elie Golf House Club) and Andrew Davidson (Charleton).

Back to defend his title is Ross Bell, who last year celebrated his 23rd birthday by completing a wire-to-wire finish during a rain-lashed weekend.

The Downfield player shot a brilliant opening 64 and followed with a 69 to lead by six shots at halfway, eventually finishing on a six-under par 278, two strokes clear of runner-up Fraser McKenna.

With over 60 top players competing, the standard looks set to be very high, with spectators treated to some top class golf.

See ‘Sports Classified on page 33 for August 11’s opening tee-off times.

(Pictures by Colin Farquharson and Leven GS)