Junior Golf

The Watson Cup comes back to South Carolina

The lads kept the Watson Cup. Team members included Rowan Sullivan, Jerry Bruns, Luke Walmet, Hugh Faulkner, Adam Hunt, Burch Harrison, Andrew Gregory, Major Lenning, Tip Price and chaperones Stephen Behr Jr. and Mark Elam. (SCJGA Photo)

With the competition for the Watson Cup tied going into the final round, South Carolina golfers pulled away in the singles matches to make sure they didn’t leave the Cup in Scotland.

The second edition of the Ryder Cup style matches between junior golfers from South Carolina and juniors from the East Lothian Golf League of Edinburgh ended with the Carolinian’s still owning the Watson Cup.

The SCJGA Juniors won the first Watson Cup in 2018, named in honor of the 5-time Open champion Tom Watson, who was in attendance.

The matches were played on the Ocean Course and at Watson’s Cassique Golf Club on Kiawah Island.

What would golf be in Scotland without a bagpipe-led parade to officially open the Watson Cup matches? (SCJGA Photo)

The idea for the matches came from the legendary story of the Royal Burgess Golf Society in Scotland shipping the first golf clubs and balls to Charleston.

The Society’s account of history goes on to claim when the clubs and balls arrived in 1739, it was the beginning of golf in the colonies.

Originally the Watson Cup was to be contested every two years, but COVID and the lingering effects of the world wide pandemic slowed the return of the matches until this year.

The SCJGA Juniors played Muirfield, Royal Burgess, North Berwick and the final singles matches at Guillane No2. (SCJGA Photo)

While the Ocean Course has a place in golf history, (The War on the Shore) the courses the SCJGA juniors played around Edinburgh are golf’s history.

Competition took place at Muirfield, Guillane No2 and the Royal Burgess Golf Society with practice rounds and side trips to North Berwick and a tour of Edinburgh.

Any golfer with a sense of history, would treasure as little as a scorecard from these places and the kids got to play them for at least six days.

While golf was the primary focus of the trip the SCJGA Juniors got to soak up some of the sites and history in and around Edinburgh. (SCJGA Photo)

The numbers on the internet scoring service tell part of the story.

The first set of matches, four-ball at Royal Burgess, was won decisively by the South Carolina juniors.

The sides earned points for wins on the front and back nines and the overall final score

The first day tally gave the SCJGA golfers an 8.5 to 3.5 lead, but the second day four-some matches at Muirfield was won by the home team in equally convincing fashion and an identical score.

The final day singles on Thursday were played at Guillane No2.

The course was laid out in 1898 by two-time Open champion WIllie Park, Jr. It runs along the East Lothian coastline and while not long at 6,400 yards, the 107 bunkers and prevailing breeze make it a unique challenge.

Playing from the bunkers on the links courses wasn’t the best place to be, but it did provide a unique experience for the SCJGA Juniors. (SCJGA Photo)

Since singles matches can finish without playing a full 18 holes, looking at the leader board, (and this is a best guess) it appeared the final two SCJGA golfers secured the win.

Major Lenning from Mauldin won 2 1/2 points while Greenville’s Tip Price swept all three points in his match with a 5 up overall victory.

The first side to 26 was the winner and the SCJGA juniors finished with 27 points to their hosts 25.

The numbers tell one story about the Watson Cup and certainly every golfer will have more stories than can be gleaned from the scores to share when they return home.

If you have been following the Watson Cup on the SCJGA twitter feed you will have seen some of the golf and fun the juniors have enjoyed in what many considered to be a once in a lifetime experience.

We have collected a few of the SCJGA photos and included them in a gallery below.

The official scoring of the Watson Cup is available at https://eljgl-watsoncupfourballsatroyalburgess.golfgenius.com/pages/7852884272254837656

We expect to have much more when the winners return from the 57 degree chill and blustery winds of Scotland to the comfortable 95 degree plus weather in South Carolina.

Categories: Junior Golf, SCGA

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