Thursday, June 14, 2018

Wild west wind on the south bank of the River Dee

It's a Gray day in Scottish Par-3 championship 
                                                                                    By COLIN FARQUHARSON
Lanark's Stephen Gray leads by two strokes with a two-under-par 52 at the halfway stage of the ASI Scottish par-3 championship at the Paul Lawrie Golf Centre, by demonstrating the short-game skills that have established him as one of the most consistent performers on the Tartan Tour.
A wild west wind - the same one that caused the cancellation of the final round in the EuroPro Tour event a few miles down the coast at Montrose - made it a tough day for even the most experienced competitors.
It blew some players, like New Zealand's Michael Campbell, who has links to Edinburgh in his ancestry, almost off the course with an 11-over par 65 for two circuits of the Graeme Webster-designed nine-hole course at Ardoe on Aberdeen's South Deeside Road.
Paul Lawrie (Gleneagles) himself and Greg Hutcheon (Paul Lawrie Golf Centre) both shot five-over 59s - and were happy to salvage such scores and lie in joint 12th place overnight.
Gray had four birdie 2s - at the third, sixth, eighth and 16th - in halves of 25 (two under) and 27 (level par).
The Lanark man was pleased to register gains on a day when, if a player missed the green, he could be knee-high in long grass at some holes.
Lost balls contributed to the rounds over a 2,808yd course taking the best part of 4 1/2 to 5hrs.
Gray dislodged Somerset man David Dixon (Enmore Park) from the lead. Dixon's par-matching 54 had him the lead for some time. Dixon too had four birdie 2s - at the second ,fifth, 10th and 15th in halves of 27. Bogeys at the 16th and 17th cost him a share of the lead. The Englishman had earlier bogeyed the third and fourth.
Louis Gaughan (Bathgate), who took home the £3,500+ first prize from this event last year, is one of five players on  57 - five off the lead. 
Andrew McArthur had a hole in one at the seventh, the 16th as he played it, but unfortunately for him the specil Cask of Whisky prize was for an ace at the fifth.
The leading lady pro is Vikki Laing from Musselburgh with a 58 which has her in 11th place, a spot and a stroke ahead of Heather MacRae (Elite Golf Academy).

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