Connor prepares for Battle in high class field at Craighead

Connor Syme.
Connor Syme.

Drumoig’s Connor Syme will be looking to taste success on home ground this weekend when he lines up in a top class field competing for the Battle Trophy.

Crail Golfing Society’s Craighead Links will host the competition which has this year attracted amateur entrants from across the globe.

Syme will head into the competition as one of the favourites to win the famous prize, having recently picked up the Australian Amateur Championship.

His win there stands him in good stead, and proves he has the quality to win and nothing to fear at Crail.

But the competition is sure to be tough, with organisers announcing a host of confirmed entrants earlier this week.

The entry list reads like a who’s who of the amateur game.

Syme will join the field along with the current South African champion, Craig Ross of Kirkhill GC.

Other major contenders are the 2014 Irish stroke play champion, Jamie Savage of Cawdor GC and two Walker Cup players, Grant Forrest of Craigielaw and Ewen Ferguson of Bearsden – the latter being a past British Boys champion.

Both the 2013 and 2014 Battle Trophy winners – Graeme Robertson of Glenbervie and Nick McAndrew of Royal Aberdeen - are looking for repeat success.

Last year’s winner, Jack McDonald of Kilmarnock Barassie, who set a new course record of 63 for Craighead Links, will not be defending his title, having recently turned professional.

Strong local competition is expected from Crail Golfing Society’s own Fraser Carr and Murray Herd, as well as from Greg Wishart and Niall McMullen from Lundin Links, Andrew Collier from the Dukes, Alan Sutherland from Cupar, Andrew Davidson from Charleton and John Savage from Leven Thistle.

Adding an international flavour, Euan McIntosh of the Els Club in Dubai is competing.

And there’s a strong incentive for the best amateur golfers to take part.

Top prize, as well as picking up the Battle Trophy itself, is a piece of commerative crystal and a voucher to the value of £500.

Further vouchers of differing values are available for top finishing golfers down the leaderboard.

Craighead Links was designed by Gil Hanse - the architect for this summer’s Olympics course in Brazil - and opened in 1998.

It is Crail Golfing Society’s second course, the other being the Tom Morris designed Balcomie Links, which opened in 1895.

The famous Crail Golfing Society is the seventh oldest golf club in the world and is a traditional club run by its 1400 members.

It also welcomes over 10,000 visitors each year.