THE unsung heroes at the Scottish Open are men and women without whom the tournament simply could not place.

A team of 240 volunteer marshals from local Ayrshire clubs, including Kilmarnock Barassie, Prestwick, St Nicholas, St Cuthbert, Irvine Bogside, Irvine Ravenspark, Ayr Belleisle, West Kilbride and Troon Welbeck, and 60 to 70 from clubs in other parts of the country helped the event run smoothly.

Chief Marshal Alex Littlejohn said: "The marshals all had compact area and the nine teams were controlled by two senior marshals each. They were given zones and they might b in a green for a while then you could put them on a tee.

"Organisers admit without volunteers, they couldn't control the system. The marshals are experienced golfers - not just people off the street - they are all members of golf clubs.

The marshals really enjoy their role and Prestwick St Cuthbert member Jennifer Hill said: "This is my second time as a marshal - I did my first one at the Open Championship in Troon. I did about 20 to 25 hours a week. I loved it and got a jacket, trousers and a t-shirt."

Marie Hill from Prestwick: "I have been a marshal at the Open at Royal Troon and Turnberry and the Ladies at Dundonald last year. This has been a good event, everyone seems to have enjoyed it. You have to be patient with the fans because they all want to see different players."

Added Lex McDicken from Symington: "Last year was my first year as a marshal at the Open at Troon and I thoroughly enjoyed that. And that's what made me want to volunteer for the Scottish Open. I carried a board with the score for three days and it was good. On Sunday I saw Adam Scott and Graeme McDowell."