Tuesday, August 27, 2013


    SCOTT HENDERSON ... First round leader at Northern Open
               Picture by Cal Carson Golf Agency


(Who reported on the Northern Open when John Panton and Eric Brown were still playing in it)
Seventeen years after he won the title at Cruden Bay, Scott Henderson is back in the Northern Open picture.
The 43-year-old Kings Links, Aberdeen tour pro led a charge of sub-par scorers - 21 in all - on the opening day of the three-day, 72-hole Tartan Tour major at Meldrum House Golf Club, Oldmeldrum.

His figures were:
OUT - 4 4 3 4 4 3 4 3 4: 33
 IN - 2 4 4 4 3 3 5 2 2: 29
Late on a day which turned from warm and sunny, calm conditions to a very wet afternoon, Henderson posted an eight-under-par 62 to dislodge David Law, the 2011 winner as an amateur, from the lead he had held with a 63.
Out in the worst of the deteriorating, Henderson knows what it takes to win the Northern Open in bad weather. In 1996, at Cruden Bay, he won the title in gale-force winds. 

He birdied the long fifth with two putts and holed a 4ft birdie putt - his first single putt of the round - at the eighth.
Henderson reached the turn in 33 of which 17 had been putts.
"I holed a raker of a putt from about 40 feet for a birdie at the 10th and got a two-putt birdie 4 at the 11th," said Henderson.
"Holed another raker from more than 30ft for a birdie 3 at the 14th.
"Did well to get a one-putt par 5 at the 16th and then finished with a pair of 2s! Hit a three-wood to 12ft at the 17th  to set up an eagle 2. Then a seven-iron to 6ft at the short 18th."
Henderson had come storming home in 29, six under par, with 14 putts on the inward half.
"My putting's been letting me down this season and I've lost confidence on the greens, leaving putts well short by being too timid.
"But today I seemed to see the lines better and some of the long putts went in.
"Been playing OK on the Tartan Tour this season, just the putting has not been as good as the rest of the game.Maybe this is the turning point.
Until Scott's after 5pm round, the clubhouse leader was David Law (Paul Lawrie Golf Centre) who won the event as an amateur over the same course in 2011. David shot a seven-under-par 63 today.
Law's scorecard read:
OUT - 4 3 3 4 4 3 4 5 4 - 34
 IN - 3 4 3 3 4 3 4 3 2 - 29
Next best in the birdie-fest was Graham Fox (Clydeway Golf) with a 64, followed closely by Robert Arnott (Bishopbriggs) on 65, leading amateur Jamie Savage (Cawder) and David Patrick (Kingsfield) on 66.

David Law (pictured right) birdied the last three holes and almost aced the 178yd 18th wth a seven-iron tee shot which left him with a 6in tap-in putt for a 2.
That completed an excellent collection of eight birdies and one bogey in halves of 34 (one under par) and 29 (five under).
"I know the Meldrum House course well from my amateur days when I used to come out here to see my coach Neil Marr," said David, 22.
"I like the course, I feel comfortable on it and it shows in my scores. I had a 62 the year I won the title but that was from preferred lies. I've got a good record in this tournament because the course just suits my eye."
He had birdies at the second and long fifth before dropping a shot at the eighth where he had three putts from 30ft.

David missed a 6ft putt for an eagle 3 at the long 11th but it was the first of his six birdies on a brilliant inward half. He holed from 15ft at the 12th - the longest putt he holed all day - and birdied the 13th before his hat-trick of birdies over the last three holes. 

Graham Fox (pictured left) came in with a 64 before the heavy rain, which came on before lunchtime, reappeared in the late afternoon.
Fox had bogey-free halves of 31 and 33 with birdies at the first, fourth, eighth, ninth, 12th and 16th.
"I think 64 is the best I've ever managed here at Meldrum House. I played pretty steadily for it," said the West Kilbride-based 36-year-old.
Former PGA Cup player Robert Arnott had held the clubhouse lead for a short spell with a five-under 65 in which he also birdied the last three holes, holing putts of sixth, eight and six feet again.
"I had been hitting everything left so I went for a session with coach Ian Rae. Seems to have sorted it out. If anything I was hitting it a little bit too right today" said Robert with a laugh.
Now 50 and 27 years on the Tartan Tour, Arnott, from Kirkintilloch, fancies extending his playing career on the Seniors Tour but knows it is difficult to get one of only eight players' cards available each year at the Over-50s Tour Q School.
"I will have a go but eight cards means it does not leave you any margin for error."
Arnott has never failed to make the cut in the Northern Open and he is set to extend that record despite bogeys at the seventh, eighth and 14th (three putts).
Fortunately, he birdied the first, second, long fifth, long 11th, 13th and then the last three holes in halves of 34 and 31.
Defending champion James Byrne came in late (after 6.15pm) with a fighting 67
"We had the worst of the weather, no doubt about that. It started raining for us round about third or fourth hole. We didn't get the summer sunshine that the morning starters enjoyed
"It was tough near the end. So easy to drop shots when the weather is unpleasant, so after bogeying the 12th and 13th I was really pleased to birdie the 16th and 17th. Keeps me in the picture."


"I've golf shoes that are older than some of the guys I am playing against. When I came on the Tour 27 years ago, a par round guaranteed you a cheque.
Nowadays, a par round gets you a "Thanks for coming along."
 --- ROBERT ARNOTT (now aged 50) pictured above

"It's so easy to drop shots when the weather's unpleasant."
 --- Defending champion JAMES BYRNE

"I had a bad day .. Yes, I am tired ... Everybody's tired, it's that time of the season. I reckon I've covered 1,000 miles of Scotland this year so far."
 ----GREIG HUTCHEON after a 69 

"You tend to score better over courses you like, and I like Meldrum House. I feel comfortable here."
--- DAVID LAW after coming home in 29 

"It was like a summer's day when we started. Look at it now - like North-east Alliance weather- lots of rain and a bit of wind."
--- SCOTT HENDERSON, Tournament leader




Post a Comment

<< Home

Copyright © Colin Farquharson

If you can't find what you are looking for.... please check the Archive List or search this site with Google