TALENTED youngsters with a West Fife golf club have teed up a place at the top of the leaderboard in a national competition.

Sam Miller, Hector Stobbie, Rory Stevenson and Cameron Craig, who are all members of Saline Golf Club's junior section, pitched and putted their way to being crowned Scottish Junior Flag Challenge champions at one of the sport's most prestigious venues, Gleneagles, last month.

The talented quartet saw off the competition from a field of more than 950 junior golfers from across Scotland that took part in the initiative, which was launched last year but could not be held for the first time until 2021 due to COVID-19.

In partnership with the Stephen Gallacher Foundation, Paul Lawrie Foundation and the Junior Flag Challenge, Scottish Golf launched the Scottish Junior Flag Challenge in a bid to create playing opportunities for players in the early stages of their development, while also supporting clubs to retain more junior members.

Introducing golfers under the age of 12 and without a handicap to competitive play in a fun and friendly environment, the championship saw those taking part play on a shortened, nine-hole course, with a modified scoring format.

Each player was given a flag and, starting at the first hole, they had 36 shots to play as many holes as possible, placing their flag where their 36th shot finished.

Saline, who only launched their junior section in April, entered two teams into the regional final, which was held at Dunfermline Golf Club's Halkett Course, on August 12.

Ten teams from six clubs, which included Dunnikier Park (Kirkcaldy), Braehead (Alloa), Burntisland, Glencorse (Penicuik) and Milnathort, competed in a regional final, with Sam (12), Hector (11), Rory (11) and Cameron (10) playing their way through to the grand final.

That took place on August 22 at 'The Wee Course' at Gleneagles, where 13 groups from Crieff, Bathgate, West Links Junior, Carnoustie Craws, Buchanan Castle, Cathcart, Strathlene, St Cuthbert, Royal Dornoch, Cruden Bay, Airdrie and Thornhill golf clubs competed with Saline.

The young quartet showed their skill to finish top of the standings and Steven Miller, Saline Golf Club's junior convener, said: "We are so proud of the boys and their achievement in this competition.

"Saline Juniors only started up in April this year, and already the kids are playing in major competitions and bringing back trophies. Thanks has to go to Scottish Golf for providing clubs in Scotland with a platform to encourage the next generation into golf."

Gregg Somerville, of Junior Golf Scotland, commented: "I first met the teams from Saline Golf Club at Dunfermline Golf Club for their regional final in early August. The boys were enthusiastic and keen to have fun out on the course, which is what these events were all about.

"They managed to get through the regional final successfully fending off eight other teams and earning their spot at the National Final at Gleneagles. The final at Gleneagles was much the same story; they were there to enjoy themselves and have a good day.

"Being the second game out, it was up to them to set the target to beat and what a target they set! It was a close-run event, with the team from Carnoustie Golf Links and Royal Dornoch just a handful of points behind!

"In the end, the juniors from Saline were victorious over the 13 regional winners. To find out that Saline Golf Club have only recently started working on a junior section makes their victory all the more impressive.

"Well done to all at Saline Golf Club and I look forward to seeing them next year to defend their title!"