Tuesday, June 21, 2016

 Great Scott! Henderson swoops to lead 

  with a late 65 in Northern Open

It's 20 years since Scott Henderson won the Northern Open at Cruden Bay but the 46-year-old Aberdonian showed he's no back number by shooting a five-under-par 65 to lead at the end of the first round of this week's 72-hole tournament, one of the oldest in the Tartan Tour schedule, at Royal Dornoch Golf Club.
The Kings Links Golf Centre player had a bag of seven birdies, including four in the first six holes.
"I got a bit of a break as the wind died a bit when we were playing the 11th and 12th before it was back to full throttle at the 18th," said Scott whose Northern Open win in 1996 was achieved in gale-force winds over the final day..
"It is hard for me to get excited about that score as I'm not chuffed how I'm hitting it at the moment. But, if you are not hitting it at your best, this is probably a good course to be playing as it is not just about smashing driver all the time."
Henderson came in late to demote clubhouse leader Greig Hutcheon (Paul Lawrie Golf Centre Inchmalro), the 43-year-old Northern Open winner in 2010, who had only 27 putts in compiling a three-under 67.
He holed an "absolute monster" (60-70ft) at the 11th for one of his five birdies
"I've been struggling for a long time with a troublesome pain that I've now discovered is a pinched nerve in my left shoulder/neck," said the man who had dominated the Tartan Tour in recent years.
"The good thing about finding the diagnosis is that I know what exercises and stretching I need to do to help it and, apart from the first couple of shots on the range, I felt fine out there today."
Sharing third place on 69 are Aberdonian Greg McBain, the Newmachar tour pro, and defending champion Chris Kelly.
 Kelly had two birdies, at the eighth after a wedge to 6ft, and the 12th where he holed from 15ft
"I only got here just before 11pm last night after making a six-and-a-bit hour drive from Gosforth, where I missed out in The Open regional qualifier said last year's Scottish professional champion.
"I putted awful in that but today I was pretty steady, though I don't hold out much hope of hanging on to my title as I have not been playing well."
McBain, 32-year-old two-time Paul Lawrie Invitational winner, had
three front-nine birdies, at the first, fifth and ninth, "all pretty much tap-ins"
"As always, the course is very good but the rough is brutal. I hit a few loose tee shots on the way in but, apart from that, it was pretty steady, " said McBain.
"I did my PGA training up here from 2007-11 and met my wife, Kirsten, during that time. Her family are from here so I'm getting free lodgings and fed like a king this week."
Par 70
65 S Henderson (Kings Links)
67 G Hutcheon (Paul Lawrie Golf Centre Inchmarlo)
69 G McBain (Newmachar), C Kelly (unatt)
70 M Hillson (Kilconquhar Castle), M Patterson (Kilmacolm), M Owenson (Gullane), S McLaren (Blairgowrie), D Pearson (Royal Dornoch) (am), G Wright (West Linton)
71 C Everett (Caldwell), G Brown (Montrose Links), C Currie (Caldwell), C Goodwin (Duff House Royal), C Matheson (Falkirk Tryst) P Robinson (Largs).
72 C Mailley (Royal Dornoch (am), P Wardell (North Berwick), F Fotheringham (Nairn) (am), S Maxwell (Eastwood), G Paxton (Ralston), A Forsyth (Mearns Castle), M Urquhart (Nairn), P O'Hara (Clydeway Golf).
73 S Binning (Mearns Castle), G Fox (Clydeway Golf), R Tinker (Piperdam), S O'Hara (Clydeway Golf), C Ronald (Carluke), A Welsh (Cathkin Braes), C Mackay (Royal Dornoch) (am).
74 J Lomas (Caprington), D Watters (Gourock), A MacDonald (Royal Dornoch) (am), G Hay (Grantown on Spey), G Forbes (Mar Hall),  C Campbell (Taymouth Castle), A Crerar (Panmure), L Gaughan (Bathgate), J McGhee (Whitehill House), D Orr (Eastwood), A Saddington (The Dutch), S Gray (Lanark), R McConnachie (Peterculter), C Marr (Musselburgh).
75 J Treasurer (Loch Ness), P Malone (Braid Hills), M Kerr (Marriott Dalmahoy), J Shaw (Boat of Garten) (am), R Clarke (Golf Dedication Centre), C McMaster (Wellsgreen), R Arnott (Bishopbriggs), Heather MacRae (Archerfield Links), J Fraser (Renaissance).
76 S Morrison (Tain), C Gordon (Edinburgh GC), F Mann (Carnoustie), C Billows (Gleneagles), D Stein (Ranfurly Castle).
77 S Savage (Dalmuir), R Harrower (Boat of Garten), F Cromarty (Nairn), G McFarlane (Clober), K McNicoll (Gullane), P Brookes (Pitreavie), N Huguet (Musselburgh), K Zeynalov (Portlethen), B Mason (Callaway Golf), J Porteous (Craigielaw)



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