Thursday, July 31, 2014




Summary by ED HODGE, SGU Press Officer
Top seed Bradley Neil stayed on course to add the Fairstone Scottish amateur championship title to his impressive year, but a host of other in-form players are also hunting down the SGU’s flagship event.

At Dundee's Downfield, the former Open qualifying venue, all eight quarter-finalists will fancy their chances when the action resumes tomorrow morning.
The 18-year-old Neil (pictured), winner of the British amateur title at Royal Portrush last month, won the ‘Battle of Blairgowrie’ this morning, seeing off clubmate Glenn Campbell after a titanic match in front of a 70-strong crowd, before defeating Fraser Davren (Williamwood) 4 and 3 thanks to a seven-under-par scorecard.
Davren had earlier ended the hopes of Downfield stalwart Stewart Smith in round four.
Neil was two down to Campbell at the turn, but won the 10th and 11th before his short game ultimately saw him home after some wayward tee shots towards the finish.
“Coming back against Glenn this morning was also massive for my confidence. It can be hard to pull him back when he is ahead,” said the Perthshire player.
“I knew I was coming into the week as the No 1 seed, and as the highest-ranked player, but it was a bit strange being ranked as the first seed, given I’ve only played in the event once before. 
"There are also several past champions in the field and a lot of good players in form.
“I had no expectations playing at The Open and have come back to play in a top Scottish event, on a course which is similar to Blairgowrie, so hopefully I can keep things going.”
In the last eight, Neil now faces Josh Jamieson (St Andrews New), with the pair knowing each other well from their days in the SGU youth ranks. 
Jamieson, who has completed two years at Luke Donald’s former college at Northwestern in Chicago, said: 
“Bradley has done fantastically well. He has shown us what is possible, but tomorrow is a good opportunity for me and I think I’m playing well.”
Jamieson saw off Kyle McClung (Wigtownshire) in the fifth round, after McClung had taken the fourth-round scalp of defending champion Alexander Culverwell.
In the second quarter, last year’s SGU Men’s Order of Merit winner Jack McDonald, from Kilmarnock Barassie, continued his fine week to emulate his run to the quarter-finals last year.
Two down after 10 holes to Glenbervie’s Cameron Buist, the winning European Palmer Cup team member turned things around in style after a birdie, birdie, birdie, eagle burst before sealing victory on the 18th.
With 12-year-old brother Ross pulling his bag, McDonald feels he is going under the radar a little, but knows he will have to be on top form to end the hopes of Chris Robb (Meldrum House) in their quarter-final.
Robb, who plans to go to European Tour Qualifying School at the end of the season, has yet to play the last three holes in his five matches this week, and has only played the 15th hole once.
Today the Banchory man saw off Scottish boys championship runner-up Ben Kinsley 5 and 4, before dispatching Ben Ferguson (The Vines) by a similar margin. 
“I knew I was coming into this event playing well,” said Robb. “But I wasn’t pressurising myself. You just never know in match-play. It’s so different to stroke play. I’m pretty good off the tee so this course suits my eye.”
In the third quarter, Haggs Castle’s Barry Hume, the 2001 champion on its last staging at Downfield, produced his “best performance so far” to end the hopes of sixth seed Connor Syme (Dumfries and County), semi-finalist at the British amateur championship.
“I feel I have a better chance when it’s head to head,” said Hume, who now faces another Kilmarnock Barassie player in the quarters, Euan Walker.
Meantime, European Nations Cup team winner Graeme Robertson turned on the style at the finish against Matthew Clark (Kilmacolm), setting up a last-eight tie with another Scotland international team-mate, Grant Forrest.
Glenbervie’s Robertson turned his match around against Clark after playing the last six holes of their high-quality contest in seven under to secure a 4 and 2 win.
Forrest was also in form, none more so than in his morning game against Lanark’s Jamie Lamb when he recorded the first albatross of his career after holing a 200yd six-iron at the par-5 11th. 
“One bounce and in it went,” said Grant who .
then won the battle of last year’s beaten semi-finalists, defeating Kirkhill’s Craig Ross 2 and 1, to keep the second seed and 2012 Scottish amateur champion at Royal Dornoch on course for more success. 
 View scores from the Fairstone Scottish Amateur Championship

 View video clips and photos on SGU Facebook

Top half
 Bradley Neil bt Fraser Davren 4 and 3.
Josh Jamieson bt Kyle McClung 2 and 1.
Jack McDonald bt Cameron Buist 1 hole
Chris Robb bt Ben Ferguson 5 and 4.
  Lower half
Barry Hume bt Connor Syme 4 and 3.
Euan Walker bt Daniel Hendry 5 and 4.
Graeme Robertson bt Matthew Clark 4 and 2.
Grant Forrest bt Craig Ross 2 and 1 


8.00 Bradley Neil (Blairgowrie) v Josh Jamieson (St Andrews New)
8.15 Jack McDonald (Kilmarnock Barassie) v Chris Robb (Meldrum House)
8.30 Barry Hume (Haggs Castle) v Euan Walker (Kilmarnock Barassie)
8.45 Graeme Robertson (Glenbervie) v Grant Forrest (Craigielaw).

SEMI-FINALS at 12.45 and 1pm




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