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Canada beckons for gifted Stirling golfers

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Men's golf team 2012
The University of Stirling men's golf team during pre-season training in Abu Dhabi.

Leading amateur golfers from the University of Stirling will head to competitions in Canada this week buoyed by a series of stunning results.

Five scholarship golfers will represent Scotland’s University for Sporting Excellence as they play in tournaments across Ontario kindly hosted by Toronto-based Humber College.

The team representing Stirling in the eight-day tour includes Business Studies student Zander Culverwell, from Edinburgh, who is currently sitting fourth in the Scottish Golf Union’s Men’s Order of Merit.

Also travelling is Swiss international Mathias Eggenberger, the Sports Studies and Marketing student in fine form having claimed the Belgian International Amateur Championship on Sunday after a third play-off hole.

British Universities’ internationalists Kit Holmes and Michael Howard and Belgian Youth internationalist Dewi Merckx complete the squad to play at eight of Canada’s best courses, including Glen Abbey – home to the 2013 Canadian Open PGA Tour event.

All five students are part of the University’s International Sports Scholarship Programme, whose golfing alumni includes Richie Ramsay and Catriona Matthew.

They will be led by Assistant Performance Golf Coach Bobby Rushford, a Stirling Sport Management graduate and former University team captain. He said: “The standard of golf courses is fantastic and it’s another great opportunity for our players to compete on the international stage.

“The players from Humber will provide a stern test of our credentials as Scottish, British and European Universities’ champions. Whenever we travel abroad we want to win and fly the flag for Stirling and Scotland.”

Rushford’s charges will line up against their Humber hosts and pit their wits against scholars from the University of Waterloo and from Roberts Wesleyan College in New York.

It is the fourth year of the exchange with Humber College, established between University Sports Performance Manager Raleigh Gowrie and Humber’s Ray Chateau, both former golf captains at World University level for their respective countries

Stirling first hosted Humber College students in 2008, the visitors experiencing the University’s home venue Gleneagles. In the reciprocal trip to Canada in 2009, recent World Universities silver medallist David Booth won three collegiate competitions.

Gowrie said: “I’m delighted these two like-minded institutions can continue to develop this partnership. The opportunity to play golf in North America is very attractive to our golfers and particularly so for our international players who have chosen to base themselves at Stirling as opposed to accepting scholarships in the USA.”

Two players rested from the trip to Canada are Jack McDonald and Graeme Robertson, who earlier this month helped Scotland win the Home Internationals for the first time since 2006.

McDonald, a Mathematics student, was rewarded with an invitation to the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles, a second taste of the European Tour for the 19-year-old following his stunning display at the Scottish Open where he finished above weekend winner Paul Lawrie.

Robertson claimed six points from six for Scotland at the Home Internationals and will look to replicate this unblemished record when representing Great Britain and Ireland against Europe this Saturday in the St Andrews Trophy at Portmarnock Golf Club, Ireland.

Meanwhile, the Stirling women’s squad is celebrating after Kelsey MacDonald and Eilidh Briggs earned call-ups by the Scottish Ladies Golf Association for the Women’s Home Internationals next week.

Briggs, studying to be a Physical Education teacher, will also represent Scotland in the Women's World Amateur Team Championship at Antalya, Turkey at the end of September.

Follow the men's golf team's progress in Canada via twitter @StirUni and on facebook 

Background 

The main photos shows (Back row l-r): Raleigh Gowrie (Sports Performance Manager), Bobby Rushford, Zander Culverwell, Angus Carrick, Oliver Roberts, David Booth, Kit Holmes, Graeme Robertson, Mathias Eggenberger, John Mathers (Sport Psychologist), Dean Robertson (High Performance Golf Coach); (Front row l-r) Darren Timms, Patrick Spraggs, Michael Howard, Dewi Merckx and Jack McDonald.

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