Mon 13 Jan 20
Two disabled golfers from Fife are set to swing into action after becoming the only Scottish golfers to represent Europe when they face the USA in a prestigious Ryder Cup style tournament.
Trevor Crombie, landlord of the St Clair Tavern in Kirkcaldy, and Derek Milne a business owner from Upper Largo, are now putting themselves through a rigorous programme of training ahead of the inaugural Cairns Cup, a three-day tournament for golfers with disabilities to be held in September.
Their selection will see them go head-to-head with the American counterparts at the famous Celtic Manor course in Wales, scene of Europe’s 2010 Ryder Cup triumph.
The Cairns Cup is also known affectionately as ‘The Billy following the untimely death of Billy Cairns, one of the travelling European team members, who passed away on the eve of a major disabled golf tournament between the two sides being held Florida in 2018.
Trevor was born with cerebral palsy while Derek had a hand amputated following an accident while serving in the Forces.
It’s a dream come true for the pair, who not only compete on the national circuit together, but are also firm friends.
Both Trevor, 42, a member of Dunnikier Park Golf Club, and 52-year-old Derek, who plays at Charleston Golf Club, were quick say they consider it an honour to have been selected for the squad and are hoping for sponsorship to help them compete at the tournament in Wales in September.
The forthcoming tournament is a particularly poignant one for Derek who was part of the squad that suffered the tragic loss of a team mate.
“It will be a hugely poignant and emotional event to play the Cairns Cup but we hope we can do Billy proud and see Europe win,” said Derek.
And as far as Trevor is concerned, they will have to be on top of their game if they are to compete with the Americans.
“The Americans come with the best of everything from kit sponsors to equipment and that mentality to win. It’ll be very tough but we’ll be right at them and hope to match them when it comes to the greens and fairways come September.”
And the pair think the tournament will prove a perfect shop window to project disabled golf to a global market.
British Inclusive Golf Charity, and their American counterparts, have selected the squads to showcase the opportunities for golfers with disabilities in a format that is proving attractive to TV companies, with FoxSports being lined up to cover the tournament in the States and discussions underway with SkySports for the European TV rights.
Until them they will be working on the game and looking for suitable sponsors ahead of what is expected to be a keenly contested golfing affair.