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Everything stops for tee: Craig Watson, golf‘s British Amateur Champion

Out of the rough

After winning the British Amateur Championship a few weeks ago, CRAIG WATSON will tee off with the world's top golfers at Loch Lomond and Royal Troon. Is the young Scot ready to take on Tiger Woods? Words: Lorin McDougall

Dear Jim.

Please can you fix it for me to play in the greatest golf tournaments in the world?

Yours hopefully.

Craig Watson (Lighting Specialist)

As it transpired. no assistance was needed from Sir James Saville or anybody else. Through his own efforts. 3|- year-old Watson who helps run the family business in Falkirk has seen all his dreams come true. As a result of his recent victory in the British Amateur Championship. he is now preparing to compete in the Loch Lomond World Invitational. followed by the Open at Royal Troon. Next April’s US Masters at Augusta and possibly the Walker Cup in New York also figure in his plans.

Ironically. the East Renfewshire club member admits he very nearly missed the amateur event due to lack of money. ‘I looked at the map and thought. “Is it really worth going down to Kent?".’ he says. ‘But Sandwich was the only course on the Open rota that I hadn’t played before. so I decided to go after all.’

In the final at Royal St George’s. Watson waged a titanic duel with seventeen-year-old South African prodigy Trevor ImmeIman. whose brashness and privileged Johannesburg upbringing set him apart

88 THE LIST 27 Jun—10 Jul 1997

'I wouldn't like to be paired with an unknown, but equally I'd rather not have to deal with a big crowd following one of the big names.’ Craig Watson

from the modest Scot. ‘When I was three up with three holes to go. I began to feel a wee bit more confident.’ he recalls. ‘I wasn’t exactly able to start cruising. though. because the match was always too close.‘

Happily. the Glaswegian triumphed at the 16th to strike a blow for the true amateur and give Scotland its third title in six years. Sensibly. Watson is not setting his sights too high over the next few weeks.

Indeed. he positively refuses to entertain thoughts of

the silver medal presented to the leading amateur at the Open.

‘I’ve no expectations of making the cut. although that would be my dream.’ he concedes. ‘In the past. many good amateurs have shot high scores. so I’m just going there to enjoy it without putting pressure on myself.‘

As for his chances of being partnered by superstars such as Norman. Nicklaus or the new sensation Tiger Woods. Watson has his own ideas: ‘I wouldn’t like to be paired with an unknown. but equally I'd rather not have to deal with a big crowd following one of the big names.‘

Because he already has a career as co-manager of the family business. Watson is keeping his options open about joining the pro tour. ‘I work Monday to Friday and take time off to play golf at weekends] he explains. The football-daft Falkirk public has also played its part in keeping Watson‘s feet firmly on the ground. ‘Not everybody in the town knows what I‘ve done.‘ he says. ‘Most people have been treating me normally. which is great. Since I won the title. I‘ve had lots of phone calls. but things have calmed down a bit now.’

With two of the year‘s most prestigious tournaments just around the corner. one suspects things won’t stay calm for long.

The World Invitational at Loch Lomond, Wed 9—Sat 12 Jul (tickets 0990 661661). The Open Championship at Royal Troon. Thu 17-Sun 20 Jul. Both events will be broadcast on BBC1 and 2.



Events are listed alphabetically by sport, then by da . Fixtures are correct at time o publication, but may be affected by weather. Sports listings compiled by Brian Donaldson.


Isle of Arran Half Marathon Sun 29. Kinloch Hotel. Blackwaterfoot. Brodick. Noon. £5. A thirteen-mile road race on Arran‘s west coast along scenery you wouldn‘t believe. More details on 01770 860-127.

Scotland v England Sun 0. St Vincent Bowling Club. St Vincent Crescent. Glasgow. For full details on this latest challenge between the Auld Iinemies call 014] 2R7 3773.


Saturday 28 SCOTTISH crucxer LEAGUE DIVISION one

Freuchie V Carlton The Cricket Ground. I‘reuchie. Ilam.

Grange v Strathmore Raeburn Place. Iidinburgli. IIam.

RHSM v Aberdeenshire Inverleith. Edinburgh. IIam.

Stirling County v Arbroath United Williamfield. Stirling. llam.

West Lothian v Heriot's FP Boghall. l.inIithgow. Ilam.

Saturday 5 scornsa CRICKET LEAGUE orvrsron one

Freuchie v Stirling County The Cricket Ground. Freucbie. I lam.

Grange v Aberdeenshire Raeburn Place. Edinburgh. I lam.

RHSM v Heriot's FP Inverleith. Iidinburgh. IIam.

Strathmore v Arbroath United Lochside Road. I‘orfar. l lam.

West Lothian v Carlton Boghall. I.inIithgow. Ilam.

Sunday 6


Central V North McKane Park. Dunfermline. IIam.

South v Edinburgh Shedden Park. Kelso. Ilam.

Strathclyde East v Strathclyde West

'I‘itwood. Glasgow. I lam.

East of Scotland Open Amateur Championship Sat 28 & Sun 2‘). l.undin GolfClub. Golf Road. l.undin Links.

7. I5am. Strokeplay for the 72 lowest handicap entrants. Full details on 01333 320202.

Gulfstream World Invitational Wed 0—Sat I2. Loch I.omond Golf Club. 8am.

i Comprising touring professionals. top seniors and amateurs. the winner will

scoop L‘ I 25.000 in this inaugural Volvo I’GA I-{uropean Tour sanctioned event. Included in the line-up are last year's Britiin ()pen winner Tom Lehman. the current ITS master Nick I‘aldo. Iirnie Iils. Payne Stewart and Aussie veteran Greg Norman. with Colin Montgomerie leading the home challenge. The ticket hotline ntnnber is 0090 bomb I.


Race Meeting Tue I. Ilamilton Park Racecourse. HothweIl Road. Hamilton. 2. ISpni. For full details of today‘s runners and riders give the course a bell on 01093 283806.

Race Meeting Hi 4. Hamilton Park Racecourse. Bothwell Road. Hamilton. 6.40pm. ("elebrate Independence Day with a flutter on the gee-gees. Not that The List advocates gambling. or anything. Details on the above number.