Marshal law enables Dalmeny Golf Club captain meet his sporting hero in heat of battle

Wullie Ruffle at Gleneagles Hotel
Wullie Ruffle at Gleneagles Hotel
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A golfer from the Journal and Gazette area took the opportunity to present the Ryder Cup captains with hand-crafted oak barrels in recognition of his club’s links with the USA.

And he also got to shake the hand of his golfing hero - Tom Watson.

Bo’ness man Wullie Ruffle presented the barrels, made from fallen debris from a tree planted at the private Dalmeny Golf Club by former US President Dwight Eisenhower during a visit to Edinburgh to receive the freedom of the city in 1946.

When the three day golf competition was recently staged at Gleneagles, the Dalmeny club secretary took the opportunity to hand over the barrels to Gleneagles head professional Andrew Jowett who later passed them onto team captains Paul McGinley and Tom Watson.

Wullie also presented a barrel to the Ryder Cup hosts, the Gleneagles Hotel.

Wullie got the opportunity to present the barrels, made by Dalmeny club member Ian Andrews, in his role as a deputy team leader at the event.

He was notified on the final day of competition by Ryder Cup Europe officials that he could present the barrels to Andrew Jowett, head of golf, at Gleneagles Hotel.

After the presentation, Wullie went back to his marshalling duties on the final day at the third green.

But as well as witnessing another historic win for the Europe team, Wullie also got the chance to shake hands with USA captain Tom Watson.

Wullie said: ‘‘I was standing inside the ropes on 18th fairway when the last group came by.

‘‘I followed them up to the greenside and the security marshal called upon me to go round to Tom’s right flank and stand guard.

‘‘I duly obliged although I knew it was not my duty and after the last putt dropped we advanced onto the green, I was told by the head of security to clear the fans who had got onto the green.

‘‘As I joined in the celebrations with the players I turned round to see Tom on his own I went over and offered my hand which he shook and I said ‘unlucky Tom’ to which he replied ‘not unlucky, the better team won’.”

Wullie said: ‘‘That will last with me forever, that moment I met my hero.’’

Two years ago Wullie travelled to Chicago to present a similar gift to Medinah officials when it hosted the Ryder Cup to commemorate both clubs sharing an Eisenhower connection.