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Elgin champ learned from a Master in golf pal Danny

By Craig Christie

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TEAMING up with a US Masters champion inspired a Moray exile to finallyclaim golfing glory on his home town course.

Elgin Open winners Carinne Taylor and Michael Watson
Elgin Open winners Carinne Taylor and Michael Watson

Michael Watson (29) lifted the Kynoch Shand Trophy on Friday after being crowned 5-dayopen winner at Elgin Golf Club, the course where he achieved his firsthole-in-one at the age of ten.

The men’s scratch competition prize at the Hardhillock course had alwayseluded Watson, who hadfallen at the semi-final hurdle on several occasions.

A former Elgin Academy pupil, he landed a dream sports scholarship atJacksonville State college in Alabama as a teenager where he played inthe same team as future Masters winner Danny Willett.

The Englishman became a worldwide star last year when he wore the famousgolfing green jacket after his stunning triumph in the Masters atAugusta, one of the sport’s four major tournaments.

Willett and Watson playedtogether in NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) Division 1tournaments in a team which also included this year’s Portugal OpenEuropean Tour event winner Matt Wallace.

“I had a really good team there,” Watson recalled. “Ten years ago I was telling people about Danny, saying he wasgoing to be in a Ryder Cup team one day.

“He did that last year but I would never have guessed the Masters."

Full story in Friday's Northern Scot print edition

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