East Lothian

The visiting junior golfers and escorts from East Lothian, Scotland, are (front, from left) Freya Constable, Natalie Fowler, Annie Wilson, Grace Crawford, Shona Paton; (middle, from left) Niall Holman, Ryan Yuill, Gregor Thomson, Neil Canavan; (back, from left) David Canavan, Jamie Grainger, Angus Mather, Carl Schmidt, Calum Robinson and Dave Warren.

Pinecrest High School is getting ready to take on Scotland in a golf match.

No, it’s not Scotland County, but Scotland the country.

The Patriots will take on junior male golfers from East Lothian, Scotland, on Pinehurst No. 2 this Wednesday. The match begins with the first foursome teeing off at 12:10 p.m.

“We have played in this match since its inception three years ago,” said Patriot coach Lynne Beechler. “We have won the Duncan McLean Cup in the previous two years. It has been a truly great experience bringing together two seasoned junior golf teams from different continents.”

Beechler is also excited about the experience the players will get from playing in a the match play format.

“Currently, the most commonly used format for competition golf in the United States is stroke play,” Beechler said. “We are now seeing some movement towards integrating more match play events at the college and pro levels. Those experiences will better prepare our future Olympic and U.S. Ryder Cup Team players. One player on our team, Jackson Van Paris, recently represented the U.S. at the 2019 President’s Cup in Melbourne, Australia — a match play event.

“Having our junior golfers experience the match play format at the high school level will be a valuable learning experience as they transition to their college golf teams.”

The junior golfers from East Lothian are here for more than just the Wednesday match. The 12 golfers (eight boys, four girls) arrived here Thursday and will remain in the area until Feb. 16.

During their time here they have a full schedule, including up to 10 rounds of golf in 10 days, a Carolina Hurricanes game and a visit to Duke University.

The golf includes two Winternational Junior Series events at Pinehurst Resort and Country Club. The first two-day tournament is being held on Pinehurst Nos. 8 and 9. The second Winternational Series tournament will be held on Pinehurst Nos. 4 and 2.

Other rounds have been arranged at Forest Creek, at Mid Pines and Pine Needles golf clubs. They will also play The Cradle at Pinehurst.

In the Wednesday’s match with Pinecrest, the teams will be playing for a trophy donated by the East Lothian Junior League in memory of one of its former players Duncan McLean, who tragically died at the age of 20 in 2016. McLean had once played in the U.S. Kids World Finals in Pinehurst.

Although the four girls in the group will not participate in Wednesday’s match, they will visit and play at Longleaf Golf and Family Club, which is owned by the U.S. Kids Golf Foundation. It also is the home to the first U.S. Kids Golf Academy.

Accommodations for the visitors partly includes rooms at the Carolina Hotel, and partly in the homes of three families who live in Pinehurst that are also members of North Berwick Golf Club in Scotland.

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