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Merchiston Castle's current golf captain Cameron has always shown tenacity and focus on and off the course, and it has paid off, from the academic year 2021/22 he will be a Wildcat.

Cameron, 18, has been accepted into the golf programme at the prestigious Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois and will be part of their Wildcats team playing against many of the other best young golfers in America from September next year whilst also continuing his education.

Northwestern Wildcats head coach Dave Inglis: "Cameron is a fantastic young man who embodies exactly what it means to be a Northwestern student-athlete. 

"He is a hard worker, a dedicated student and an outstanding golfer, but perhaps the thing that stood out to me the most in recruiting was his commitment to being the best version of himself in everything he does every single day. 

"His dedication to excellence is exactly what we are looking for in a Northwestern golfer, and I can't wait for him to start here next year."

High praise indeed from across the pond then, but what does Cameron himself think about the big move?

"I am delighted to have secured my future at Northwestern, and I cannot wait to get out there," Cameron said.

"Heading to America has become quite a well walked path for young British golfers, and over the last couple of years, it has been on my agenda to try and make it a reality for myself.

"I was lucky to head out and visit Northwestern while I was making up my mind about what to do next and everything about the place just made me sure it was where I wanted to be.

"The people were so friendly while the academic side of things seems great and the golf programme is second to none with excellent facilities and coaches, so all of those things made my decision pretty easy in the end.

"It is a big step for me, but I cannot wait."

And although he will be miles away from Merchiston Castle during the next chapter in his life, Cameron will always remember with fondness his time at the school.

"I have loved being at Merchiston," he stated.

"The Golf Academy has been excellent for me, and it has helped me to hone my own game as well as learning to play and train as part of a team while the way the school helps you to balance academic and sporting commitments is really helpful.

"I have made some great friends at Merchiston and have also learnt the value of being a good timekeeper and being organised, skills that will definitely help me at Northwestern."

Merchiston's Director of Golf Alan Murdoch has enjoyed working with Cameron over the last few years, and he said: "I am over the moon for him, it is well deserved.

"Cameron joined us around seven years ago, and it has been great to watch him develop over that time as a golfer and as a person.

"Now he is a young man who has done incredibly well academically and has excelled on the golf course in Scotland, in the wider UK and worldwide having played in Abu Dhabi and across Europe.

"He has accomplished a lot so far, and I think there is a lot more to come from him.

"Northwestern is a place with a great golfing pedigree, Luke Donald [the former world number one who has played in numerous Ryder Cups for Europe] studied there a number of years back while I know the head coach there Dave Inglis well because he is an Edinburgh guy.

"Dave will take good care of Cameron over there, and I know he has a really good player on his hands who will work ever so hard and will be a great asset to the golf team.

"I look forward to keeping in touch with Cameron and keeping an eye on his progress."

As Cameron mentioned, getting the balance between the academic side of things and the sporting one is key, and Merchiston's Director of Sport Rory McCann works hard to make sure that that balance is always in place.

"We are always keen to make sure that the pupils have a solid academic base which goes alongside their sporting programme here at Merchiston and Cameron has worked incredibly hard in both areas to secure a place at Northwestern," Mr McCann said.

"As staff, we are always here for the pupils should they have any issues getting that balance right while in recent years we have had a number of pupils who have headed out to America for university, so that helped us guide Cameron safely through the application process and to help him make the right decision when it comes to his next step."

Previous Merchiston pupils who have made the golfing journey to the USA include Calum Hill (Oregon State), Murray Naismith (University of Alabama, Birmingham) and Charlie Yuille (SCAD – The Savannah College of Art and Design).

Gary Heatly (Twitter @G_HMedia)