Thursday, June 23, 2016

Hutch leads by three with a round to go in 
Northern Open
Greig Hutcheon does not often lose the lead after occupying the pole position with one round to go - and, with a commanding lead of three shots after 54 holes of the £30,000 Northern Open at Royal Dornoch, it is almost a case of "who's gonna be second?"
But Hutch, pictured, the 2010 "Northern" winner who now plays out of the Paul Lawrie Golf Centre Inchmarlo, will certainly not be counting his chickens as he tees off on nine-under-201, three ahead of Greg McBain (Newmachar) and Chris Kelly and five in front of the joint third-placed Louis Gaughan (Bathgate) and Scott Henderson (Kings Links) on 206.
Hutcheon had a bag of eight birdies in a five-under-par 65 at the Sutherland venue.
The 43-year-old  sits on nine-under-par, increasing his slender overnight advantage to three shots over defending champion Kelly (67) and McBain (64).
Hutcheon's victory at Meldrum House five years ago was claimed over 36 holes due to bad weather, so it would probably give him a sense of satisfaction if he emulated that triumph over the full distance.
“I’m really looking forward to tomorrow and I just need to keep it going," he said. “I would like to shoot all four days in the 60s - that would be great.”         
On a day when the wind was blowing in the opposite direction from the opening two rounds, the leader stormed to the turn in 32 following birdies at the first, third, sixth and seventh before making further gains coming home at the 12th, 13th and 15th.
“I played a lot better today and also didn’t make any clubbing errors," added Hutcheon, who finished as the leading PGA pro in last month's BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth.
Kelly kept alive his hopes of becoming the event's first back-to-back winner since 1994, when Montrose pro Kevin Stables achieved the feat at the same venues, with a 67 that was lit up by four birdies in five holes from the 11th.
"It was pretty rubbish on the way out, but I was able to hold it together," said the Cupar-based 38-year-old. “I’m three shots back on Greig, but that can change in one hole, so anything can happen tomorrow."
Newmachar pro McBain, who served his PGA training at Royal Dornoch, used his local knowledge to equal the best round of the week with a flawless 64, which included an eagle-3 at the ninth.
“It could have been a wee bit better as I missed a few chances, but you would take a 64 round here all day long," he said. “I will just go out tomorrow, do what I have been doing all week and see where that takes us.”
Kings Links Golf Centre man Scott Henderson, the 1996 winner, and Bathgate's Louis Gaughan are sitting joint-fourth on two-under after matching 68s.
An exciting finish lies in store in the battle for the Bookless Cup, which is awarded to the leading amateur.
After a level-par 70 to sit on four-over, Boat of Garten’s Jordan Shaw leads by one in that race from the host club's Chris Mailley (72), with another Royal Dornoch member Craig Mackay a shot further back after the same third-round score.





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