Wednesday, April 11, 2012


                       Gareth Wright, brilliant round of 63 over Dundonald Links

Welshman Gareth Wright spreadeagled the field on the opening day of the Optical Express PGA Tour 54-hole tournament with a brilliant round of nine-under-par 63 at the Dundonald Links, Ayrshire today.
It won't remove the official course lowest mark of 65 from the record books because preferred lies were in operation but that doesn't detract from the 30-year-old West Linton's man brilliant effort.
Scotland's No 1 from last season, Stephen Gray (Hayston) had earlier posted the clubhouse leading score of five-under 67 but Wright motored past him with a bogey-free round which included an eagle 3 at the third, where he chipped in from 15yd, and birdies at the first, short fourth and long fifth on his way to a five-under-par outward half of 31.
"I holed a 20ft putt on the first green and that kind of start always make you feel confident about what's to come," said Gareth who finished fifth on the Tartan Tour's Order of Merit last season.
After the turn he birdied the 10th, 12th, long 14th and long 18th for four-under 32 home.
"I finished last season very well but I never usually start the season well because I have, until now, had to concentrate on studying for PGA exams. But that's behind me now and maybe today's round is a sign that, for a change, I will get off to a good start," said Wright.
So Gareth is four shots clear of the Stephen Gray and five ahead of joint third-placed Banchory's Greig Hutcheon, Scott Herald (Mearns Castle) and Motherwell's Steven O'Hara on the 68 mark. O'Hara had an eagle 3 at the 14th.
And Wright is a good deal more ahead of the host of Scottish stars from the various tours who have responded to the PGA in Scotland's take-over of the tour originally set up by Alan Tait and Nigel Scott-Smith.
Gray had seven birdies and two bogeys - both at short holes -- as he set the early pace with his  67.
Not all the big guns had a good day on a course measuring around 6,900yd but with little or no wind.
Andrew Oldcorn (Kingsacre), from the European Seniors Tour, could do no better than a seven-over 79 and one time Scottish PGA champion Mark Loftus (Mearns Castle) had an 80.
Oldcorn is in joint 61st place in a field of 75 players.
They are in danger of missing the cut which will reduce the field for Friday's final 18 holes to only the leading 30 players and ties at the end of Thursday's second round.
The prize fund is round about £10,000.

Par 72
63 Gareth Wright (West Linton).
67 Stephen Gray (Hayston)
68 Scott Herald (Mearns Castle), Steve O'Hara (Alain Equestrian Shoot), Greig Hutcheon (Banchory).
69 Jack Doherty (North Gailes), Robert Arnott (Bishopbriggs).
70 Fraser Grant (Ralston), Graeme Brown (Montrose Links), Craig Lee (Tain), Kris Nicol (Fraserburgh), Andrew McArthur (unatt), Callum Macaulay (Tulliallan), Scott Catlin (Greenburn).
71 Iain Colquhoun (Dundonald Links), Ross Dixon (Renaissance), Patrick Walker (England), Neil Fenwick (Dunbar), Chris Doak (unatt), Mark King (Kingsfield).
72 Paul Wardell (Whitekirk), Paul McKechnie (Braid Hills), Scott Henderson (Kings Links), Wallace Booth (Comrie).
73 Eric Ramsay (Carnoustie), Andrew McIntyre (Ranfurly Castle), Christopher Currie (Caldwell), Steven Taylor (Bothwell Castle), Greg Paxton (Ralston).
74 Graham Fox (Rowallan Castle), Paul Robinson (Largs), David Patrick (Elie SC), Craig Ronald (Carluke), James McKinnon (Irvine), Jason McCreadie (Buchanan Castle), Chris Kelly (Cawder).
75 Keir McNicoll (Gullane), Ross Kellett (unatt), Martin Lawrence (Newmachar), Vincent Brown (Westerwood), David-Ross Nicol (Dundonald Links), David Orr (Mearns Castle).
76 Lorne Kelly (Prodeam USA), Jamie Mackay (North Gailes), Gordon Law (Uphall), George Cowan (Westerhope), Stuart Morrison (Tain), Craig Matheson (Falkirk Tryst).
77 Alan Reid (West Lothian), Stuart Williamson (West Kilbride), Steven Mackie (unatt), Iain Hanna (Strathclyde Park), Christopher Russell (Dunbar), Fraser Clarke (Newmachar), Shaun McAllister (Craigielaw), Nigel Scott-Smith (Palacerigg).
78 Ian Robertson (Dalmilling), Ian M Redford (St Andrews New), Norman Huguet (Musselburgh), Ed Wood (Crow Wood).
79 Craig Knowles (Panmure), Ben Irving (unatt), Andrew Oldcorn (Kingsacre), Sean Thompson (Renaissance).
80 Craig Gordon (Edinburgh GC), Mark Loftus (Mearns Castle).
82 David Knapp (American Golf), Lewis Burnett (Adam Hunter Golf), Ian Graham (Crow Wood), Ryan Buckley (Craigielaw).
83 Michael Mackenzie (Edzell).
85 Ian P Redford senior (St Andrews New).
86 Duncan Williamson (Kirkhill)
87 Richard Holt (Balbirnie Park).
88 Paul Gallacher (Dalmuir).



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