Johnny Ross will carry local flag in Scottish Open

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Mark McPeak will look on with envy when the Scottish International Opens gets under way at the Dewars Centre Perth, on Saturday.

The Belfast man came agonisingly close to claiming a place on the world ranking event only to lost out to John Fleming in last season’s PBA qualifier at the Watson Stadium.

Had McPeak managed to see off his opponent - he narrowly lost out 6-3, 6-4 - he would be lining out against Scotland’s Paul Foster, the number two seed, in one of the three matches scheduled for next Monday.

It means there will be no local interest, apart from Johnny Ross, the former Ireland international.

The Belfast man, who has been residing in Paisley for the past five years, now wears the blue of Scotland and will hope to pick up vital ranking points to retain his place in the elite top 16 in the world seedings.

Ross, who is ranked 11, will face a Canadian qualifier in his opening match, which is also scheduled for Monday, with a possible second round meeting with fellow Scot David Gourlay up for grabs.

Northern Ireland will have one prominent member at the Scottish showcase event - not on the famous portable rink, but on the television gantry.

David Corkill, the sport’s number one commentator and analyst will be at Perth once again for his media commitments.

However, he recently proved he can still rub shoulders with the best after winning the PBA World Pairs qualifier at Parkgate, along with Chris Eadie.

The Belfast boys will feature at Potters Leisure Resort early in the New Year.