Tuesday, April 05, 2016

Scottish U18 boys' championship Day 2 report from Murcar Links

Top seed Sandy Scott's brother Calum

 (only 12)  makes it to Round 2

Rory Franssen from Inverness in action. Picture by Kenny Smith

 Scottish Golf PR and Media Manager.
Big brother was watching but Calum Scott, the second-youngest player in the field, proved he could handle the attention as the 12-year-old produced one of the highlights on day two of the Scottish U18 boys’ championship at Murcar Links.
With Sandy Scott, 17, the top seed, continuing his progress to reach the third round at the North-east venue, his younger sibling made sure he enjoyed some family bragging rights of his own as Calum achieved his goal of booking his place in round two at such a young age.
Helped by regular tips from his brother over the Nairn links, diminutive Calum won the battle of the seven-handicappers to defeat Campbell Gibson from Blairgowrie 2 and 1.

View results from the Scottish boys championship

“I feel quite good, but I was quite nervous this morning,” said the youngster. “I came here to try and make the second round so I’m happy. I play with Sandy a lot at Nairn and he gives me tips. He is great at golf.

Jamie Stewart began his week in good form

For his part in-form Scott, who went out in the afternoon and wasted little time in reaching round three with a 6 and 5 win over Aboyne’s Kyle Harker, he admitted it was more stressful time watching his wee brother.
“Calum potters about at Nairn with his little pals, but I will play and hit balls with him as well,” he said. “I was very nervous watching him play, I saw him for a few holes before my match. I was more nervous than I was playing (on Monday).”
On an improved weather day at Murcar, where the wind also picked up, the fancied players continued their progress. Inverness’ Rory Franssen (pictured top), the second seed, began his title tilt with a 4 and 2 success over Kilmarnock Barassie’s Ewan Milligan, son of past GB and I Walker Cup player, Jim.
It was Franssen’s first matchplay tie since he lost at the first hurdle in the South African Amateur Championship in February, having won the strokeplay event with rounds of 64 and 68. 
“I probably do prefer strokeplay,” said Rory. “It’s nice to be classed as the second seed and I can hopefully fulfil it.”
Franssen is in the same half of the draw as Calum Ross, the American who qualifies for the event through his father, Bob, who hails from Glasgow and has accompanied him to Scotland. Coinciding with Spring Break in the US, he is enjoying the links… and weather challenge. “I didn’t realise Aberdeen was so far north in Scotland,” laughed Ross, 15, who stays near Atlanta. 
The colder climate didn’t affect Ross, though, winning comfortably 7 and 5 against John McGowan from Shotts.
Meantime, Jamie Stewart, the third seed from Old Course Ranfurly, also reached round two after his 5 and 4 victory over Carluke’s Graeme Greer.
Like top seed Scott, he has not been past the third round but the Global Golf Post Scottish Boys’ Under-16 Open winner last year is in optimistic mood.
“I’m hoping to go as far as I can,” said the 16-year-old, who plays off plus two. “I’m taking it a game at a time really, I’ve not actually looked at the draw. Graeme actually messaged me so that’s how I knew I was playing him.

The busy driving range at Murcar this week
“Graeme is a good player, a scratch golfer, so I had to play well and my putting was good. It wasn’t a great ball striking day but I got the job done.”
Also reaching round two was Callan Harkness (Lochmaben), who ended the hopes of Bothwell Castle’s Scott MacPherson, the grandson of renowned Scottish football commentator, Archie.
Late in the day, as round two got underway, No 1 seed Scott was joined in the third round by Michael Lawrie (Deeside), again watched by his dad, Paul, the former Open champion. 
But there was a shock as the fourth seed, Darren Howie, the 2015 Paul Lawrie Scottish schoolboys title-winnerfrom Peebles, lost on the last to Craig Leith from Royal Aberdeen.
The biggest win of the event so far then came from Tom MacKenzie after his 9 and 8 thumping of Michael Walker (Hazlehead), setting up a clash with Lawrie in round three.
Images: Kenny Smith






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