Thursday, October 31, 2013


Jamie McLeary’s dreams of graduation to The European Tour are still alive after the Scot began the Dubai Festival City Challenge Tour Grand Final hosted by Al Badia Golf Club with a four under par 68 to end the first day in joint third position, two shots off the lead.

McLeary, pictured right, is after something special as he sits 33rd in the Challenge Tour Rankings, some €23,579 away from the last of the top 15 who earn their card at the conclusion of this week’s event. 
But with a winner’s prize of €56,650 on offer at the lucrative Grand Final, everything is still to play for for the Edinburgh man and he believes he has the beating of the course in Al Badia after following up a stunning round in the Pro-Am with an impressive score in the first day of tournament play.
“I shot a nine under 63 in the Pro-Am so I was thinking if I could do that again today I would be doing well but I played well again today,” said the 32 year old Peterhead-born player who played on the US college circuit for four years a decade or so ago. 
“I've been hitting the ball well for most of the season but this course suits me because I'm hitting a lot of wedges in and my wedge play is good. I don’t think I hit one outside 15 feet today.
“If you hit it well off the tee you will get a lot of chances. It suits my game out there, I don’t think I hit a shot off line today, everything was on line so it was good.  
“I think I need a second place or better here. It doesn’t really change much for me because you enter every event wanting to win but I just have to make as many birdies as I can and not make many bogeys, as obvious as it sounds.”
McLeary has proven this season that there are some low rounds in him once he gets in the mood and he is hoping that he can rekindle that kind of form as he chases an unlikely rise in the Rankings to follow in the footsteps of compatriots Chris Doak (2012) and Craig Lee (2011) by graduating from the Challenge Tour.
“I have had two nine-under rounds this year,” he said. “So I just need one of them this week and I could be right in the mix. I feel like I'm hitting it good so it just depends on whether the putts go in. 
“Of course, Craig and Chris are inspiration. They’re both good players and it shows that the Scottish guys, if they get the opportunity then a lot of them don’t come back and a lot of them have gone on to do well. It would be great if myself, Duncan (Stewart) and Andrew (McArthur) all got through and I think we would go on to do well.”
McArthur finished the opening day tied for 11th spot after a two under par 70 while Stewart had to settle for a level par 72, which left him in a tie for 21st.

 Par 72
66 A Pavan (Ita) , B Paolini (USA) ,
68 E Dubois (Fra) , J Carlsson (Swe) , J McLeary  (Sco) , L Kennedy  (Eng) 
69 J Guerrier  (Fra) , T Hatton (Eng) , S Kapur (Ind) , R Davies (Wal) , A Otaegui  (Esp) 
70 J Lima  (Por) , W Besseling  (Ned) , A McArthur  (Sco) , N Elvira  (Esp) , N Lemke (Swe) , J Dantorp (Swe) , T Sluiter  (Ned) 
71 O Wilson (Eng) , T Nørret (Den) , J Garcia Pinto (Esp) 
72 J Elson (Eng), D Gaunt (Aus), D Frittelli (RSA), V Riu  (Fra), F Calmels  (Fra) , D Stewart (Sco) 
73 A Gee  (Eng) , M Crespi  (Ita) , S Manley (Wal) , J Huldahl (Den) , R Kakko  (Fin) , J Fahrbring (Swe) , L Bjerregaard  (Den) , S Tiley (Eng) , S Kim (SKor) 
74 B Ritthammer (Ger) , P Archer (Eng) , B An (Kor) , D Im (USA) 
76 R Dinwiddie  (Eng) , D Huizing (Ned) 
77 S Walker (Eng) , A Domingo (Esp)




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