Monday, July 25, 2016

Bad light stops play at Scottish Amateur. Five games to finish at 8am tomorrow

LATE NEWS: Bad light stopped play (after earlier rain delay), with five games still on the course. They will be asked to come back at 8am to finish their games Tuesday morning.


with a few additional words by Colin Farquharson 

Connor Syme, pictured right, lived up to his pre-tournament billing to ease through on day one of the 89th Scottish men’s amateur championship, along with a number of other fancied players.

Having lifted the Australian Amateur title at the start of the year, Syme recently celebrated his 21st birthday after helping Scotland secure back-to-back European Amateur Team titles and last week played his part in GB and I’s defence of the St Andrews Trophy.
Defending champion Robert MacIntyre (World No 23) and Syme (World No 29) are head and shoulders above the rest of the Balgownie field - on paper, at least - especially with Grant Forrest and Ewen Ferguson missing out.
While MacIntyre does not swing into action until 9.21 on Tuesday morning, Syme moved swiftly into round two of Scottish Golf’s flagship match-play event with a comfortable 6 and 4 win over Aberdour’s Hamish Gorn.

A challenging second-round tie awaits against Alva’s Lawrence Allan, a player who has been performing well on the US college circuit, but Syme hopes to maintain his form.
“We had a good match today. I managed to keep my ball out of trouble which is key around this course,” said the Drumoig man. “I’m looking forward to the match against Lawrence as he is having a good season.

“I’m enjoying the expectation this week, but you can only go out and play one match at a time. I’ve never been past the last-16 in the Scottish Amateur so it would be nice to do so this week.”

On a day when all four seasons seemed to arrive, with play delayed for 35 minutes due to some freak flooding, the top-ranked players weathered any storms.

Two other national title holders, South African Amateur winner Craig Ross and Welsh Open Amateur holder Barry Hume also progressed, with Haggs Castle’s Hume firing five birdies in a “solid” 4 and 3 triumph over Troon Welbeck’s Ross McEwan.

Kirkhill’s Ross, meantime, recaptured his early season form to ease through with a 5 and 3 success and the semi-finalist at Blairgowrie in 2013 found the conditions to his liking.
“I’ve played well here, I remember doing well in the Scottish boys' championship back in 2009,” said the 23-year-old. “The course suits my game and I played solidly, with not much wrong. I didn’t make any birdies despite regularly  gettng my approach shots in to 10 to 18 feet, but got the job done. I’m away to practise my putting now.”
There were big 8 and 7 wins for Liberton’s Kieran Cantley and Craig Howie (Peebles), another European Amateur team winner earlier this month, with Cantley noting: “For me, it’s all about keeping it in play off the tee here, that’s where you can score from.”
Cantley now faces Deeside’s new boy cap Michael Lawrie, watched by his father and Ryder Cup vice-captain Paul, as he edged through at the 19th against Stuart Houlden from East Kilbride.
Other winners included Turnhouse’s former Scottish assistant professional champion Euan McIntosh, named in Scotland’s Home Internationals side next month, and Howie’s younger brother, Darren.
Colin Farquharson writes:
But there are few  local and near-local dark horses quite capable of giving the big names a run for their money.
Royal Aberdeen member Mark Halliday will be no pushover for anyone over his home links. He won by 5 and 4 today against Jordan Shaw (Boat of Garten).
Bryan Fotheringham (Forres), was capped for Scotland quite a few years ago, but he is a regular competitor and winner of open tournaments in the North-east. He won the Sinclair Cup over 36 holes at Royal Dornoch on Saturday and beat John Douglas (Leven Thistle) by 4 and 3 today.
Links specialist Barrie Edmond (Bon Accord), winner of the Aberdeen Links title four times, won his tie against Neil Cameron (Renfrew) by 4 and 3 and will fancy his chance of a good run.
Remember, the last time the "Scottish" was played at Balgownie, it was a local lad - Donald Jamieson (Nigg Bay) - who beat the favourite, Charlie Green in the 18-hole final.




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