Defending Evening Express Champion of Champions scratch title holder Mark Thomson has set himself a goal of breaking into the North-east District team.
Kintore member Thomson, 33, who defeated Clark Brechin, of Portlethen, in the Champion of Champions final by one hole at Deeside last year, said: “It’s an ambition of mine to play for the North-east one day.
“I had a successful season last year and hope to build on it this time around.”
Thomson’s hopes of representing the area were boosted after he defeated three of the North-east District side, which won the Scottish Area Team Championships last year – Brechin, Stephen Roger (Cruden Bay) and Barrie Edmond (Bon Accord) – on his way to victory at the Haughton Course last season.
Mechanical engineer Thomson said: “I’m going to playing more Scottish amateur events including the Scottish Champion of Champions at Leven, as well as the Scottish Amateur at Blairgowrie.
“I’ve played in the last three Scottish Amateur tournaments at The Dukes, Downfield and Prestwick.
“I was happy how I played at Prestwick last year. I carded a 76 over the Old Course on the first day, but struggled on the greens on the second day over the easier New Course and failed to make it through to the latter stages.
“I was pleased how I played, but it is all still a learning curve for me.
“I’m also going to enter the North-east District strokeplay events, although I admit that I really enjoy the matchplay format of the Champion of Champions.
“I’m relishing the chance to defend my title and hope the draw is kind next month and I maybe can land a few home draws.
“I’ve hardly touched a club over the winter and only played for the first time since last November last week, but hopefully the weather will improve soon and I’ll really start playing in earnest.
“I’m in my twilight year playing football for Rothie Rovers in the Amateur Premier League.
“I’m still enjoying it and we’re lying fourth, just eight points off the leaders with three games in hand, so we’re heading for an exciting finale to the season.”
There have been a flurry of early entries for both this year’s scratch and handicap tournaments ahead of next month’s scratch and handicap draws.
SCRATCH: Neil Mitchell (Bon Accord); Jamie Hall (Deeside); Lewis West (Duff House Royal); Marc Coull (Kemnay); Brian Marshall (Lumphanan); Billy Main (Meldrum House); Tony Robertson (Peterculter); Clark Brechin (Portlethen); Craig Irvine (Stonehaven); Mark Thomson (defending champion);
Cameron Black (NE boys strokeplay); Brad Murray (NE boys matchplay); Chris Lamb (NE men’s strokeplay); Ian Angus (NE seniors). HANDICAP: Richard Farquharson (Ballater); Matthew Smith (Bon Accord); CI Kelman (Deeside); Duncan Clark (Duff House Royal); Robbie Stronach (Dufftown); Neil Bremner (Kintore); Olin Crooke (Lumphanan); David Tranmer (Pecten); George Robb (Peterculter); Charles Watson (Portlethen); Gordon Hay (Tarland); Calum May (defending champion).
The competitions are open to all clubs affiliated to the North-east District Association and entry forms, which were originally sent out to all clubs earlier this year, are still available from secretary George Young, 24 Shore Street, Cairnbulg, Fraserburgh AB43 8YL or telephone 07590 983153.
The Champion of Champions scratch and handicap tournaments are sponsored by Aberdein Considine.
The property, legal and financial law firm are supporting for the tournaments by providing a total of £800 of vouchers for the final four competitors.
Both the scratch and handicap winners will earn £200 vouchers, while the two runners-up will win £100, with all four semi-finalists receiving £50 each.