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High-rising Nairn golfer Calum Scott taking Texas Tech experience in his stride

Nairn golfer Calum Scott, back row, third from right, settling in at Texas Tech University.
Nairn golfer Calum Scott, back row, third from right, settling in at Texas Tech University.

After a rousing display in the Amateur Championship on his home course of Nairn, Calum Scott is settling into life in the USA.

He’s joined his brother Sandy at the Texas Tech University as he seeks to plot his way in the sport, learning the right habits in an ultra-competitive environment.

The 17-year-old was thrust into the limelight with the best amateurs this summer, with the glare even stronger with his brother Sandy withdrawing on the eve of the competition due to an ongoing wrist injury. 

Sandy was, at the time, the seventh best amateur in the world rankings, but young Calum kept a cool head throughout the week, finishing fifth overall after losing his quarter-final by Welshman James Ashfield. 

Nairn ace eyes progression in USA

Now a couple of months into his new way of life in America, that calmness which served him well back home is a key weapon as he maintains an impressive focus on short and long-term goals.

Calum Scott was a major player on his home course of Nairn in the Amateur Championship this summer.

He said: “I don’t know how long I will be here. I just need to play my game and stick to the process and we will see where it takes me.

“We have qualifiers over here to get into competitions and they select a certain amount of players. There are tournament every couple of weeks and there are strong fields and different conferences and schools. It’s a lot harder, which is good – exactly what I want.

“I just need to get used to my new environment, coming away from home and playing in different places and travelling, like pro life will be like. It builds you up for that so that there are no surprises, which is good.

“You just have to be patient and stick to the process. It takes time when you have come over from Europe, but once you do it’s free sailing from there. It’s about getting the hang of it, get into a wee groove.

“I just want to keep progressing now. I just want to get better and having Sandy here is great because he has a lot of knowledge in the game and is familiar around here. He’s been a great help.”

Sandy Scott, Calum’s brother, is already at Texas Tech University.

Superb form continued over summer

Scott’s strong form continued before he jetted across at Atlantic, including a second-place finish in the Scottish Boys Amateur Championship at Bruntsfield Links in Edinburgh, and a third-place spot in the English Under-18 Championships at Bristol and Clifton.

The relaxed teenager was satisfied to show what happened in Nairn was not a one-off.

He added: “It was good for me to maintain my form after the Amateur Championship and show that I didn’t just have one good week. I had really good form for the whole season, so it was a nice feeling to reflect on how much I achieved.”

Enjoyment on way to fifth place

Scott explained that he looks back with a lot of pride at his Amateur Championship display, where putting enjoyment at the heart of his performances was the key.

He said: “Just after I was put out, I was gutted for a few days, but having had time to reflect on it I was really happy with the way I performed.

“I didn’t realise how big an achievement it was until I looked back at it. It is one of the biggest amateur events and I did get a lot out of the experience.

Calum Scott was eventually stopped in the quarter-finals by James Ashfield from Wales.

In my quarter-final, I had a couple of unlucky breaks on the front nine before I settled in. He pulled away too early and left me too much work to recover.

“The biggest thing for me to try and enjoy the week, because the worst thing I could have done was to get uptight and nervous about it. I embraced it as a challenge and aimed to enjoy it as much as I could.

“It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I told myself not to worry and that helped things go my way.”

Drama like no other on final day

The Amateur concluded with the most amazing comeback when Laird Shepherd came back from eight down after 17 holes and even four behind with four to play to defeat Monty Scowsill after two additional holes were needed.

Scott admits the drama was fascinating from start to finish.

Amateur Championship winner Laird Shepherd.

He added: “It was a crazy final. It all went Monty Scowsill’s way for so long and he also done alright in the first nine of the second round, but he seemed to crumble under the pressure as Laird Shepherd came back at him.

“In that situation, it is so tough because it is such a big event. It will have been a tough one for him, but Laird was patient and stuck it out. He never gave up, which was amazing. It’s crazy what momentum does.”

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