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Golf: Kemnay’s Fraser Laird makes ‘tough decision’ to withdraw from Scotland squad for Home Internationals

The 18-year-old is heading to the United States on a golf scholarship.

Kemnay golfer Fraser Laird.
Kemnay golfer Fraser Laird.

Fraser Laird had to make one of the hardest decisions of his young golfing career ahead of withdrawing from the Scotland squad to play in the Home Internationals at Lindrick in England.

Kemnay member Fraser made the tough call as he prepares to embark on a dream golf scholarship in the United States.

After narrowly missing out on retaining his Scottish Boys Championship title, Fraser admits he took the decision to make the transition to start a four-year golf and business degree scholarship as smooth as possible.

The 18-year-old who was beaten in the Scottish Boys Championship final at Lanark by one hole by Elgin’s Billy Devine, said: “The success of the week in South Lanarkshire helped me to be  selected for Scotland in the Home Internationals but I have had to decline the opportunity to focus on my move to the USA.

“I will start a business degree scholarship on Monday, August 14  at the Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate, Tennessee.

“I was delighted to accept an offer from Coach Robinson in December and look forward to studying while having the opportunity to improve my golf game.

“I look forward to competing in a team environment and representing LMU where I can hopefully contribute to the success of the university.

“It will be a big change but I look forward to living, studying and travelling in the United States and it will provide me with an opportunity to build new friendships.

“After the disappointment of missing out on selection for the European Championships in July, I made the decision to change priority and plans for the remainder of the golf season.

“This included moving flight dates a couple of days to get out to the university earlier and potentially missing out on the opportunity of representing Scotland at the Home Internationals.

“A successful week at the Scottish Boys resulted in my selection which I have therefore had to decline to get another Scotland cap.

“It was a tough decision but by arriving on day one for the university, it gives me the best opportunity to adapt and settle into life in the US.

“Therefore giving up on a Scotland cap is a short term sacrifice which will help achieve longer term goals as the next four years will be important from both an academic and golf perspective.

“It will hopefully make the transition smoother and provide me with the best opportunity to be a part of a successful golf team under the leadership of coach Brad Robinson.

“I had reached the Evening Express Champions of Champions semi-finals but due to travel dates  and the scheduling of the final I have had to pull out of the competition and won’t get the opportunity to play Deeside’s Callum Bruce in the last four.

“It was great to represent Kemnay in the tournament and I had some excellent games on the way to the semi-final.

“Being a member of the North-east Boys team that won the Scottish Boys Area Championship last year, I will also miss out on the opportunity to help the defend the title.

”However, with the good strength in depth within the North-east hopefully they will make a successful defence of the title.”

Cruden Bay’s Koby Buchan and Scott Spark (Newmachar) will be in action for Scotland  at the Home Internationals from August 8-10.


Graeme Hogg (-3) Oldmeldrum lost to Fraser Laird (-1) Kemnay 2 holes.
Calum Morrison (-1) Inverurie beat Laurie Phillips (-3) Cruden Bay at the 20th.
Bradley Fraser (-2) McDonald Ellon v Koby Buchan (-1) North-East Boys Strokeplay champion from Cruden Bay.
Paul Reid (-3) Craibstone lost to Callum Bruce (-1) North-East Men’s Matchplay champion from Deeside 5&4.

Fraser Laird (-1) Kemnay scr, Callum Bruce (-1) North-East Men’s Matchplay champion from Deeside wo.
Calum Morrison (-1) Inverurie v Bradley Fraser (-2) McDonald Ellon or Koby Buchan (-1) North-East Boys Strokeplay champion from Cruden Bay.

Craigie crowned champion

Jack Craigie won the Hector Dey Trophy at Banchory.

Deeside member Jack became only the second junior from the Bieldside club to lift the trophy, which was first played for in 1984, following Murray Bowman’s success in 1999.

Jack, 16, carded 39 stableford points off a handicap of 18 to pip Owen Boylan (Peterculter) by two points with Nathan Begg (Murcar Links) third on countback.

Peterhead’s Matthew Zanre won the Under-14 Murray Cup after recording 39 points to beat Amy Blackadder (Deeside) on countback.

Peterculter’s Daniel Davison was third a point further adrift.

Jack admits he has been bitten by the golf bug and has spends almost every day on the golf course during the summer.

He said: “There is a strong junior section at Deeside which is well supported by professionals Graeme Nethercott, Sam Kiloh and Kevin Duncan while junior convenor Craig McCaul is very generous with his time.”

Scott wins Buchan Firkin by three

Hazlehead’s Scott Robertson won the Buchan Firkin at Fraserburgh with a five-under-par aggregate of 135 following rounds of 70 and 65.

Scott finished three shots ahead of Murcar Links’ Chris Somers (70, 68) with Bon Accord’s Barrie Edmond (68, 70) third on countback.

Meanwhile Molly Skidmore (Stonehaven) won the Jean Law Salver for the best net score at the North of Scotland Girls’ Championship at Arbroath after a net 66 off a handicap of 21.