Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Scottish boys championship Day 2 report from Dunbar

Chip off the old block Michael Lawrie impresses his Dad with 6 and 4 win
Report by ED HODGE
A day after securing his first-ever hole-in-one at nearby Gullane, Michael Lawrie continued his East Lothian form to ‘crush’ his opponent and march into round two of the Scottish Boys Championship.
On a breezy day at Dunbar, pleasantly without the fog that forced a four-hour delay on day one, Lawrie, 16, handled the conditions well to see off Andrew Crusher from Eastwood 6 and 4.

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Playing in his fourth Scottish Boys Championship, he was again supported by his famous father, Paul, the 1999 Open champion and two-time Ryder Cup player, who looked on impressed.
At Gullane on Monday, Michael (pictured top by Kenny Smith) warmed up for his week in practice with the first ace of his golfing career at the 13th hole on the No 1 Course.
Given his previous best in the Scottish boys championship is to reach the third round, he is eager to maintain his form to go as far as he can over the renowned Dunbar links.

“The wind was tough to deal with, but I feel like I’m playing well,” said the one-handicapper. “It was great to get my first hole-in-one at Gullane, it felt great, and hopefully I can keep my play going here at Dunbar. I’d love to go as far as I possibly can, but I’m just taking every round as it comes.”
Lawrie Senior is impressed with the way his younger son is playing, but doesn’t want to put too much pressure on him in the knockout format.
“He has matured hugely in the last year, got bigger and stronger and is hitting it lovely,” said Paul, who is planning to tee up in next week’s China Open.
Richie Ramsay, who recently secured his third win on the European Tour, was also present at Dunbar, having played the venue back in 2000 at the Scottish Boys. Along with Lawrie, the pair are sure to have inspired the emerging young talent and enjoyed signing autographs.
Lawrie was far from the only big winner on a day when organisers did well to catch up after Monday’s delay. Anglo Scot Gregor Tait progressed with an 8 and 7 win over John Cowan (Pitlochry), while Matthew Dalrymple of Lochwinnoch impressed too in his 8 and 6 success against Ronan Johnston from Haggs Castle.
Dalrymple is targeting a place in the last eight at least and has memories of a coaching clinic with Sir Nick Faldo to call upon.
Having won the Faldo Series event at Panmure last year, the 16-year-old played in the World Series Final at the Greenbrier at West Virginia in October. “Faldo was there and gave us a group coaching session, it was fantastic.”
Meantime, Sandy Scott (Nairn) and Joseph Bryce (Bathgate) will rematch in round two, with the Lothians player out for revenge having lost in their opening round duel at West Kilbride last year.
Bryce, a member of last year’s Boys’ Home Internationals team, said: “It’s my last Scottish Boys and I’ve never been past the first round before, so this week is already going well! It will be a good match against Sandy.”
However, Nairn’s Scott, who represented Scotland against England and in the Under-16 Quads last year, is in confident mood.
“It’s tough at Dunbar in the wind, especially on the back nine, but it’s a great challenge. My ambition is to win this week, but it’s a long week so it’s all about handling your nutrition and tiredness.”
Another player from the north, Ferghus Milne, a five handicap from Banchory, made a heroic bid to compete. The 16-year-old broke his leg five weeks ago playing football in the school gym and has been in plaster and on crutches up until a matter of days ago. But after five holes of his first-round tie against Kyle Reid from Balmore he was forced to withdraw.
Late in the day on Tuesday, there was a victory for another Lothians player, Marriott Dalmahoy’s Murray Naysmith, the second seed. Naysmith saw off Cameron McArthur (Newmachar) by 7 and 6.
“I was six up after seven holes so it was great to get off to a fast start,” said Naysmith. “My strategy this week is to hit fairways and greens and try and make my opponent make mistakes.”
Of the late second round matches, Calum Fyfe, the top seed, from Cawder, came through after a battling 2&1 win over Christophe Finnie from Lockerbie. However, much-fancied Duncan McNeill (Powfoot) exited soon after, losing 4&2 to Royal Aberdeen’s Fintan McKenna.



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