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Utah’s beauty, culture exposed to golfers from Scotland in Friendship Cup final at Sand Hollow

“This trip has been fantastic, just like our trip here before,” said Rod Sturrock, captain of the Scottish contingent, currently the official starter at St. Andrews Golf Club, the birthplace of golf.

HURRICANE, Washington County — While the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II was lying-in-state in Edinburgh, Scotland, before being taken to London, a dozen amateur golfers from Scotland, many of whom live near Edinburgh’s Palace of Holy Roodhouse, were at Sand Hollow Resort in Utah to compete in the Friendship Cup, a Ryder Cup-type competition with players from Utah.

The Scots spoke in hallowed tones of the legendary monarch, but they also had golf to play in Utah and had planned on this trip for months, some for years. These players were actually in the air flying to America when word came that she died and her casket was viewed at St. Giles Cathedral in The Royal Mile in Edinburgh.

Team Sand Hollow captain Rob Despain, a former Weber State golfer who has played in two British Amateurs, said he was impressed with the great respect the Scots have for the game their forefathers brought the world.

Team Sand Hollow defeated Team St. Andrews 25.5 to 15.5 after singles finished on Tuesday. Most of the participants were involved in a Charity Cup match on Wednesday. The first part of this match was played in Scotland in June.

ABC 4 Sports Anchor Wesley Ruff, a UGA Gold Club award winner, was inducted into the Friendship Cup Hall of Honor at this year’s Gala Dinner at Sand Hollow Resort.

This is the second time the Scots have made the trip to Utah as Utahns reciprocated earlier by playing in Scotland in June. The biggest part of the event, dreamed up and created by Utah natives Mark Leavitt and Dave Wilkey, is organic natural diplomacy and brotherhood created between the group of Americans and Scots.  

Read more from Deseret News sports columnist Dick Harmon, CLICK HERE.