Wednesday, July 31, 2019


Stuart McLaren leads 68 qualifiers for Scottish 

amateur championship match-play at Crail GS

Stuart McLaren, pictured below by courtesy of Scottish Golf, topped the leaderboard on day two of this year’s Scottish men’s amateur championship at Crail Golfing Society, Fife to take the top qualifying spot in the match-play which starts on Thursday.

Playing his second round on the Balcomie Links, the Bruntsfield Links member carded a superb eight-under-par round of 61 to finish one shot clear of his fellow competitors on 12-under par. McLaren was joined at the top of the leaderboard by fellow Bruntsfield Links member Eric McIntosh, a former Scottish boys' champion who finished just one shot behind on 11-under par after a four-under par round of 68 on the Craighead Links.
Speaking to Scottish Golf after his second round, McLaren said, “Crail is a course that really suits my eye, so it has been good fun to play here in such a big competition. I have been playing well this past month and won the East of Scotland which was nice, and I know that I am playing some really good golf at the moment.” 
With all 68 players who totalled 141 or better qualifying for the match-play stages, McLaren knows that it is key to take the next phase one step at a time, adding:
“I don’t really want to put too much pressure on myself in terms of expectations for the next few days. I am playing good golf but don’t want to get ahead of the game. It is just important I keep trying to replicate the form I have had over the past few weeks.” All of the match-play ties will be contested over Crail’s Craighead Links, a course McLaren believes will provide a fair challenge for the field.
“The Craighead Links is definitely a tougher course which means that it will be important to know which holes can cause your opponent’s difficulty. With that being said, there’s definitely still a lot of opportunities out there if you are hitting it well. 
"I have played it a good few times which helps with knowing where to miss it, and where not to miss it, so I will be hoping to take advantage of the holes I know I can make birdie on.”  Defending champion Euan McIntosh was one of the biggest movers on day two, climbing 98 spots up the leaderboard to keep alive his hopes of defending the Scottish title alive.  
Speaking to Scottish Golf after his seven-under round on the Balcomie Links, the defending champion said, “There was no real difference to yesterday in terms of my approach, I was just able to putt better which helped. 
"I know that tomorrow will be a tough challenge, so it is just a case of seeing what happens over the next few days.”  
Michael Smyth was also able to jump 54 spots on Wednesday after tying the new Balcomie course record set by David Rudd on Tuesday. The Royal Troon member had just one bogey in his nine-under par round of 60.
Following the cut, the match-play ties will get underway from 07.30 Thursday morning with live scoring available on this website.



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