Thursday, September 01, 2011

STAGE SET FOR FINAL-DAY SHOOT-OUT AT MELDRUM HOUSE


A STUDENT OF GOLF: Graeme Robertson of Stirling University and Glenbervie GC, joint leader with Gareth Wright (West Linton) at halfway in the Aberdeen Asset Management Northern Open championship at Meldrum House.
By COLIN FARQUHARSON
Colin@scottishgolfview.com
Stand by for a golfing version of the Gunfight at OK Coral at Meldrum House Hotel golf course tomorrow.
Only two shots span the leading 10 players - five of whom are amateurs - with Friday's final 36-hole shoot-out set to make a thriller of a climax to the £25,000 Aberdeen Asset Management Northern Open golf championship at the Oldmeldrum, Aberdeenshire venue.
The men in the pole position on seven-under-par 133 are Welsh-born, Edinburgh-based tour pro Gareth Wright (West Linton) (65-68) and Glenbervie GC amateur Graeme Robertson (66-67), a 23-year-old Stirling University student.
Wright shared the lead with Alan Reid (West Lothian) at the start of the second day before Reid slipped back with a 71 for 136.
Robertson and Wright are a shot ahead of two amateurs, Daniel Kay (Dunbar) and Scott Crichton (Aberdour) and four pros, Dunbar's Neil Fenwick, Hayston's Stephen Gray, one of the most successful men on the Tartan Tour this season, Chris Kelly (Cawder) and former Walker Cup player David Patrick (Elie Sports Club).
Gray was one of two players to equal today this week's lowest score of five-under-65. The other was Scottish amateur championship beaten finalist Kay.
Kris Nicol (Fraserburgh) (68-67) and Banchory's Walker Cup selection James Byrne (67-68) are in joint ninth place on 135, which means that five of the leading 10 at halfway are amateurs.
Never mind the Bookless Cup, which goes to the leading amateur. At this rate there could be the first amateur winner of the Northern Open since Hazlehead's Sandy Pirie's 1970 success at Cruden Bay.
Graeme Robertson, 23, scored his first win on the SGU Order of Merit circuit at the South-east District open championship at Musselburgh on Sunday after being there or thereabouts in most of the preceding weekend events.
Today Robertson had a three-under 67, one more than his opening effort but his seven-under tally of 133 was good enough to put him at the top of the leaderboard alongside Wright who had a 68 for 133.
Robertson, who will be heading off to Slovena with the rest of the Stirling University squad to compete in the 2nd European universities championships next week, birdied the first, second, long fifth, long 11th and 14th. He had bogeys at the eighth and 13th as the players continue to play a course some 300yd shorter than the 7,010yd distance from the "Black Tees."
Tartan Tour supremo Michael MacDougall is planning to have the qualifiers - 52 players with aggregates of four-over-par 144 or better - play the final 36 holes off the longest course available on Friday.
Wright, who missed the cut in this championship last year and lost a play-off to Chris Doak for the 2010 Gleneagles Scottish PGA championship, had birdies at the long fifth, eighth, short 10th, 11th and 13th but dropped shots at three holes - the short third, short sixth and long 16th.
After a 2010 season without a victory, the former Welsh amateur international whose father is West Linton GC club pro, Gareth has learned to win in the pro ranks this season. His four victories on the Tartan Tour have included two in Young Pros' competitions.
Dunbar amateur Daniel Kay, beaten by David Law in this year's Scottish amateur championship final, had a bogey-free 65 - birdies at the first, long fifth, eighth, long 11th and 17th for a total of 134.
Defending champion Greig Hutcheon (Banchory) has it all to do. A lacklustre 73 with six bogeys and three birdies leaves him eight shots behind the leaders with 36 holes to play.

SECOND-ROUND TOTALS
Par 140 (2x70). Yardage: approx 6,700

133 Graeme Robertson (Glenbervie) (am) 66 67, Gareth Wright (West Linton) 65 68.
134 Daniel Kay (Dunbar) (am) 69 65, Neil Fenwick (Dunbar) 67 69, Scott Crichton (Aberdour) (am) 68 66, Stephen Gray (Hayston) 69 65, Chris Kelly (Cawder) 68 66, David Patrick (Elie Sports Club) 67 67.
135 Kris Nicoll (Fraserburgh) (am) 68 67, James Byrne (Banchory) (am) 67 68.
136 Alan Reid (West Lothian) 65 71, Philip McLean (Peterhead) (am) 69 67, William Colquhoun (Dundonald Links) 66 70, Jason McCreadie (Buchanan Castle) 68 68, David Law (Hazlehead) (am) 67 69, Scott Henderson (Kings Links) 67 69, Ross Dixon (Renaissance Club) 68 68.
138 Craig Matheson (Falkirk Tryst) 68 70, Steven Taylor (Bothwell Castle) 68 70, Mark Kerr (unatt) 66 72, Paul McKechnie (Braid Hills) 67 71, Greg McBain (Gamola Golf) 66 72, Ross Kellett (Colville Park) (am) 70 68, Graeme Brown (Montrose Links) 70 68.
139 Jonathan Lomas (unatt) 69 70, Mark Loftus (Adam Hunter Golf) 71 68, Stuart Williamson (West Kilbride) 72 67, Peter Smith (Deeside) 70 69, Graham Fox (Rowallan Castle) 70 69.
140 David Orr (East Renfrewshire) 68 72, Christopher Currie (Caldwell) 71 69, Alan Lockhart (Ladybank) 68 72, James McKinnon (Irvine) 74 66, James White (Lundin) (am) 67 73, Robert Arnott (Bishopbriggs) 73 67, Lee Harper (Archerfield Links) 69 71.
141 Alastair Mackenzie (Renaissance Club) 68 73, Greig Hutcheon (Banchory) 68 73.
142 James McGhee (Duddingston( 69 73, Scott Grieve (Turnhouse) 72 70, Kenneth Hutton (Downfield) 70 72
143 Ian Taylor (Drumpellier) 71 72, Colin Gillies (Kingsfield) 71 72, Nick Robson (Meldrum House) (am) 72 71, Callum Trahan (Meldrum House) (am) 67 76, Fraser McKenna (Balmore) (am) 73 70, Steven Duncan (Carnoustie) 71 72
144 James Erskine (Portpatrick Dunskey) 72 72, Andrew Crerar (Panmure) 68 76, Alan Tait (Marriott Dalmahoy) 76 78, Jonathan Porteous (Craigielaw) 76 68, Paul Shields (Kirkhill) (am) 71 73
MISSED THE CUT
145 Craig Ronald (Carluke) 75 70, Alistair Brown (Whitecraigs) 71 74.
146 Paul Wardell (Whitekirk) 73 73, Ian Graham (Crow Wood) 74 72, Mark King (Kingsfield) 70 76.
147 Scott Herald (Adam Hunter Golf) 72 75, Greg Paterson (St Andrews New) 76 71, Sandy Aird (McDonald Ellon) 73 74, Colin Brodie (Meldrum House) (am) 74 73.
148 Stephen McAllister (Renaissance Club) 76 72, Campbell Elliott (Haggs Castle) 5 73, David Broadfoot (Dumfries and Co) 73 75, John Ruth (Clydeway) 76 72, Joel Hopwood (Carnegie) 73 75, Ross Cameron (McDonald Ellon) 73 75, Lindsay Mann (Carnoustie Links) 73 75.
149 Brian Mason (Callaway Golf) 71 78, Graham Forbes (Gourock) 74 75, Christopher Robinson (Dumfries and Galloway) 73 76, Malcolm Isaacs (Nairn Dunbar) 73 76, Clarke Lutton (Qatar) 76 73.
150 Andrew Cooper (Newmachar) 71 79, Grant Smith (Gleneagles) 74 76, Sean Thompson (Renaissance Club) 75 75.
151 Terry Mathieson (Murcar Links) 76 75, Joseph MacBrearty (Haggs Castle) 77 74.
152 Sean O’Donnell (Balbirnie Park) 75 77, Craig Gordon (Edinburgh Golf Centre), Jordan Ramanauskas (Gullane) 76 76
153 Nathan Keast (Renaissance Club) 74 79, Michele Thomson (McDonald Ellon) 75 78, Terence Burgoyne (Gotastroma) 76 77, Stuart Morrison (Tain) 76 77.
154 Paul Brookes (Pitreavie) 78 76
155 Duncan Williamson (Kirkhill) 82 73, Ewan Davie (Dunblane New) 78 77, Jonas Hedberg (Royal Aberdeen) 79 76.
156 Anthony Mackrell (Playsport Golf) 79 77, Paul Wytrazek (Burntisland) 81 75.
157 Nicola Melville (Nicol Melville Golf) 82 75, Lewis Burnett (Adam Hunter Golf) 80 77
159 David Thomson (Carnegie) 74 81, Stewart Savage (Dalmuir) 79 80, Ryan Buckley (Craigielaw) 77 82, Fraser Malcolm (North Berwick) 79 80, Jamie Carver (unatt) 84 75.
167 Duncan Bain (Aberdour) 82 85.
168 Keil Beveridge (Inchmarlo) 84 84.
Retired – James smallwood (Fereneze) 74 -.

(am) denotes amateur

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