Cowper serves up a trip to Gleneagles.



Tain Golf Club amateur Iain Cowper (pictured left) celebrated with partying Andy Murray fans before sealing a place in The Lombard Trophy final at Gleneagles.

Cowper partnered PGA Professional Stuart Morrison (right) for the qualifying event which was held at Crieff Golf Club.

But the Ross Shire pair had to endure a nervous wait before their victory was confirmed.

They carded a seven-under-par round of 64 to tie at the top of the leaderboard with Inverness Golf Club’s Kevin Munro and Mel Douglas.

But Douglas, who qualified last year, was denied a return to the final as the Tain duo won on countback.

Morrison and Cowper, aged 30, will now play in the £43,600 grand final which will be held at Gleneagles - the venue for next year’s Ryder Cup - on September 3-4.

Cowper, who plays off a handicap of five, admitted the feel-good factor of Murray’s Wimbledon victory accompanied them to the event.

They stayed overnight at Morrison’s parents in Dunblane - Murray’s home town - to save them the long drive to Crieff.

Cowper, who works with articulated vehicles as an assistant transport manager said: “There were parties on the street, everybody seemed to be out celebrating Murray’s win, so it was a good place for us to be on Sunday night.”

Morrison added: “Dunblane was bouncing. We were hoping Murray would drop a set because he won it while we were on the way down and had to listen on the car radio.”

But Cowper admitted their win at Crieff was close.

He added: “We started slowly but finished well and when Stuart birdied the 18th it turned out to be the shot that won it for us.

“We were only two under par at halfway point, we didn’t think we’d done enough to win.

“But getting to Gleneagles is just incredible.”

Morrison admitted that some local knowledge helped - as he was once the PGA Assistant Professional at Crieff.

He explained: “I know the course well as I was here from 1993 to 1998.

“And there was one occasion when I was able to get Iain to change his shot completely as I knew the hole.

“But it was close, we bogeyed the second and after that I told Iain we just wanted to finish with a smile on our face. Then someone told us we were joint leaders, but we’d come back in 29 for the back nine so that won it.

“This is the first time I’ve taken part in the event but I wanted to get some interest going at our club and make things more competitive.”

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