Number one seed Gregor Graham is through to the last 16 of the Scottish Boys’ Match Play Championship at Bruntsfield Links.
The Blairgowrie teenager beat Greenburn’s Dominic McGlinchey 7 & 5 in the first round but then faced a much tougher test against John Jack in the afternoon before holing a 10-foot putt on the 17th to beat the Gourock player by 2 & 1.
Graham lost the first hole to Jack but looked to be taking command when he won the third, sixth and seventh before Jack bounced back with wins of his own on the eighth and ninth. The next four holes were shared before the leading qualifier sealed his place in the last 16 with wins on the 14th and 17th.
“I played really solid out there and didn’t do anything too silly,” said Graham. “I kind of plodded along, took one shot at a time and that got me through the day which was nice.
“In the morning I holed quite a lot of nice putts later on to win the match and this afternoon I was nice and solid which is what you have to be in match play.
“It was a tight match,” he added. “It was tricky because John played well so it’s nice to get through to the weekend.”
Graham’s next opponent will be Bothwell Castle’s Callum Waugh who made short shrift of both his opponents in the first two rounds. He beat Jake Johnston from the Royal Burgess Golfing Society 6 & 4 in the morning and then followed that up with an almost as decisive 5 & 4 win against Royal Montrose Mercantile’s Finn Coull in the afternoon. Coull had earlier beaten Graham’s younger brother Connor 3 & 2 in the first round.
“This morning I went out and hit the ball really well and also holed lots of putts,” said Waugh. “This afternoon it was much the same. I made a few birdies and kept the ball in play. It has been a good day. Hopefully I can do the same again tomorrow.”
The first player to make it into the last sixteen was Nairn’s Calum D Scott who was the beneficiary of a bye in the morning and then needed just 13 holes to dispatch Strathlene Buckie’s Alex McCaig 7 & 5 in the second round. He will face Anglo-Scot Charlie Roper from The Berkshire for a place in the quarter-finals in the morning.
“This morning it was a bit frustrating getting up at 5.00 am, coming to the course and then finding that my opponent had withdrawn. It was nice to get the walkover but at the same time it would have been good to get a lie in as well.
“I just went home, had a wee nap, chilled for a while and then had a bite to eat.
“This afternoon I got off to a rocky start when I bogeyed the first but from then on something clicked and I played really well,” he added. “I think I was 11 under for the remaining 12 holes which is obviously pretty good.”
Number two seed Ross Laird from Glenbervie was another player who progressed to the weekend with victories over Brocket Hall’s Toby Shirvell and Charlie Campbell from Murrayfield. The other players to earn spots in the draw for the last 16 were Harry Bent (Gullane), Archie Finnie (Royal Burgess Golf Society), Adam Hawthorn (Murrayfield), Aamar Saleem (St Andrews New), Niall Shiels Donegan (The Meadows), Cameron Johnstone (Kilmarnock Barassie), Max Shirvell (Brocket Hall), Alex North (St Andrews), William McGhie (Lancaster), Archie Wyatt (Loretto School) and Aidan O’Hagan (Old Course Ranfurly). North beat third seed Cormac Sharpe (Blairgowrie) on the 23rd hole of an epic second round tussle.
Today marked the start of this year’s Scottish Girls’ Amateur Championship at Strathaven where Forfar Ladies Club champion Robyn Fowlie headed the 16 qualifiers with rounds of 71 and 73.
Fowlie’s level par total of 144 saw her finish a single shot ahead of Aboyne’s Carmen Griffiths who carded rounds of 73 and 72.
Megan Docherty from Bishopbriggs and Shrewsbury’s Isla McDonald-obrien both returned scores of 73 and 74 to claim a share of third place on three over par 147 while Ailsa Brannock from Southerness was fifth with two rounds of 75.
“I’m delighted to have started the tournament so strongly and I’m really enjoying the fantastic condition of the course,” said a delighted Fowlie.
“I feel as if all my hard work during the lockdown is starting to pay off. I’m really chuffed to have played so well and hope it continues into the match play stage.
“I’m just going to take one shot at a time and hope that works out for me.”
The final 11 players to make the match play draw were Grace Crawford (West Links Junior), Rachel Foster (Prestwick St Nicholas), Freya Russell (Royal Troon), Katie Graham (Hamilton), Freya Constable (Prestonfield), Alice Webb (Parkstone), Ruby Watt (Paul Lawrie Golf Centre), Rachel Mathieson (Hazlehead), Jennifer Lynagh (Caldwell, Kirsten Miller (Strathmore) and Jodie Graham (Hamilton).