Saturday, April 12, 2008

Two players on 73 eliminated in first-round cut

Tournament leader Michael Buchan at Craigmillar Park today. "Mooks" is not the name of a sponsor - Michael is an amateur, of course. It is a childhood nickname that has stuck with him (Cal Carson Golf Agency image: all rights reserved).

Michael Buchan (65) leads rain-hit

Craigmillar Park Open

Former Tartan Tour professional Michael Buchan from Cruden Bay is back in the form that tempted him to leave the amateur golfing rankings for the best part of five years in the late 1990s.

Buchan, 40 years old last week, shot a great score of five-under-par 65 in very soggy conditions to lead by two shots in the weather-hit Craigmillar Park Open at the Edinburgh venue today.

Heavy overnight rain flooded the greens and delayed the start of the scheduled 72-hole tournament by two hours. That meant there was not going to be enough daylight to get the field of 78 round twice on Saturday.

The organisers decided to scrap one of the rounds and to have a cut at the end of 18 holes, reducing the field to the precise figure of 40 players for the final two rounds on Sunday.

In the end, three-over-par 73 was the cut-off point but two players on 73 were eliminated on a card countback – former British amateur champion Stuart Wilson (Forfar), on his last three holes, and Iain Munro (Stirling) on his last six holes.

A second past British amateur championship title-holder, Craig Watson (East Renfrewshire) missed out with a 74

Buchan, a +3 player, says his confidence has been restored by winning the North of Scotland open amateur stroke-play at Royal Dornoch last August.

"To be honest, I don't usually play well in the Craigmillar Park Open. I've only made the cut twice in all the years I've been coming here," said the British Telecom employee who got his old job back when he decided in 2000 that he could not earn enough money as a golf pro to pay the bills.

"But I birdied four of the first six holes today and suddenly I like the course although the conditions were very muddy and the pins, particularly over the closing holes, were cut in very awkward positions on the highest parts of the greens, in case the rain came back.

"Even with preferred lies in operation, it wasn't easy to get away from the really wet patches.

But I got three more birdies after the turn – at the 10th, 11th and 17th – and only two three-putt birdies at the ninth and 16th ."

It should be an exciting last day with Buchan leading by two strokes from five players – David Miller (Duddingston), Chris Orr (Lanark), Neil Henderson (The Glen), Bryan Fotheringham (Forres) and English challenger and Richard Aisbitt (Brancepeth Castle).

Par 70

*40 players with scores of 73 or better qualified for Sunday's second and third rounds.

65 M Buchan (Cruden Bay).

67 D Miller (Duddingston), C Orr (Lanark), N Henderson (The Glen), B Fotheringham (Forres), R Aisbitt (Brancepeth Castle).

68 G Campbell (Blairgowrie), P Betty (Hayston).

69 R Roper (Wike Ridge), M Greig (Bon Accord), G Dear (Murrayshall), W F Bryson (Drumpellier), R Bell (Downfield), J Mackay (Kilmarnock Barassie), J Senior (Heysham), C Gray (West Kilbride).

70 S Armstrong (Turnhouse), C Elliott (Carrickvale), M Kerr (Craigielaw).

71 S McAllister (Craigielaw), P O'Hara (Colville Park), P Waugh (Hexham), G Paterson (St Andrews New), S Borrowman (Dollar).

72 G Tough (Letham Grange), Z Saltman (Craigielaw), S Knowles (Kingsknowe), M Rose (Pitlochry), D Henderson (Hamilton), F Henderson (Craigielaw), J White (Lundin), P McLean (Peterhead), S Rennie (Airdrie), S McEwan (Caprington), J Duff (Newmachar).

73 M Main (Thornton), T Mathieson (Kings Acre), B McLeod (Royal Musselburgh), A Bews (Murcar Links), A Wallace (Glenbervie).


73 (after card countback) S Wilson (Forfar) on last three holes; I Munro (Stirling) on last six holes.

74 C Watson (East Renfrewshire), A Robertson (Craigmillar Park), C Martin (Balbirnie Park), S Smith (Arbroath Artisans), C Wilkinson (Blyth), C Heuchan (Southerness), R Gill (Craigmillar Park), C Bradley (Pitreavie), G Mitchell (Braemar), J Clarke (Royal Montrose).

75 K Reilly (Silverknowes), D Martin (Longniddry), E Brown (Kilmarnock Barassie), S Neilson (Dunbar), M Hillson (Craigielaw).

76 B Scott (Lochmaben), A Anderson (Bruntsfield Links), R McDonald (Craigmillar Park), B Edmond (Bon Accord), R Carson (Dalmahoy), S Herald (Whitecraigs)

77 A Dick (Shotts), S Hume (Murrayshall), G Stevenson (Whitecraigs), D Waugh (Baberton).

79 K Nicol (Fraserburgh), M Hammond (Moyola Park), M McMillan (Aboyne).

80 M Clark (Kilmacolm).

81 T McLevy (Blairgowrie).

82 N McKinnon (Murcar Links).

No Returns: S McGarvey (Glencorse), B Soutar (Leven GS), A Main (Thornton), M Jobling (Morpeth), D Murray (Newbattle).



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