Main photo caption: Royal Dornoch Captain, Prof. David Bell and Lady Captain, Wilma Murray with 2023 Carnegie Shield winner Ewan Cuthbert. Photo credits: Matthew Harris
INVERNESS golfer Ewan Cuthbert has become one of the youngest players to lift Royal Dornoch’s famous Carnegie Shield.
Nairn and Royal Dornoch member Ewan (19) took a grip of the final against Nicholas Smits of Cambridgeshire’s Gog Magog Golf Club from the start and closed out an impressive 7&5 victory on the Championship Course.
Former Inverness Royal Academy pupil Ewan is entering the third year of the four-year Professional Golf Course at the University of the Highlands and Islands and has set his sights on turning pro after graduating.
After a roller-coaster Shield week ended on a high, Ewan was back on the fairways at The Nairn Golf Club on Monday, where he caddies during the summer holidays.
“It is pretty nice winning such a prestigious and historic tournament, especially as it was the first time I have entered,” said Ewan.
“It is the biggest win of my golfing career. And people have been saying I will be one of the younger players to have won a tournament going back more than 100 years.
“While I am a member at Royal Dornoch my home club is Nairn. I mostly play The Struie while I am at the UHI.
“I played in the recent Scottish Amateur – going out at the match-play stage after making the cut – but that was a rare summer game on the Championship Course. It was in amazing condition.
“My dad had suggested I enter the Shield last year but I was away on holiday. This year I thought it would be a nice competition to finish off the season before going back to uni.
“I have certainly finished on a high!”
Ewan, who has a work placement in the golf shop at Fortrose and Rosemarkie Golf Club, admitted a flying start in Sunday’s final on the windswept links teed-up his victory.
“I had survived a few scares on the way to the final,” admitted Ewan, who got his grounding at Inverness Golf Club and now plays off a plus four handicap.
“In the first round I was three down through 11 and finished with three birdies to win 2 up. I was three down through five in the second round before winning one up.
“It was close in the quarter-finals with Jonathon Keith in the quarters, when I also won on the 18th and in the semi-final with long-time member Bryan Urquhart a birdie on the 19th took me into the final.
“I definitely saved my best golf of the week in tough conditions for the final with Nicholas, who had beaten Oliver Daws 3&2 in their semi-final.”
The 109th Carnegie Shield – a priceless engraved trophy gifted by Scots-born US steel magnate and philanthropist Sir Andrew in 1901 – attracted a 285-strong field.
The youngest ever winner was 17-year-old Royal Dornoch junior David Aitchison in 2001.
Ewan has joined a handful of Royal Dornoch members to follow up his Silver Medal in the qualifiers by lifting the Shield.
“I was told that normally the club Silver Medal winner gets knocked out in the first round of the actual Shield competition,” said Ewan.
“There have been just a handful of players to win them both. It seems to be quite a rare achievement.”
The Davidson Trophy was also claimed by a Royal Dornoch golfer, with Graeme Bethune seeing off Stockport’s Mark Johnson 5&4.
Graeme (24), the son of club vice-captain Gary, has been a member since he was 14.
The EC Fraser Trophy was won by Lee Finn (Royal Dornoch), who defeated Cameron Adamson (Lundin Links) at the 19th.