DORNOCH, Sutherland, Scotland (July 30, 2012) -- Former Scotland international Bryan Innes (Murcar Links), a beaten semi-finalist in 2009, edged through by the narrowest of margins this morning to set up an intriguing second round battle with number one seed Graeme Robertson (Glenbervie) as the Scottish Amateur Championship got underway at Royal Dornoch.
The Scottish Golf Union’s flagship event teed off in near perfect conditions at 0645 this morning, but early sunshine gave way to heavy rain showers forcing challenging conditions on the afternoon starters on the Dornoch firth.
Innes, who played alongside Martin Laird in the 2003 Home Internationals, got off to a flying start in his first round match against Calum McCombie (Meldrum House) by opening with two birdies and was three up at the turn, but the 42-year-old was pegged back to all square after 16. He then won the 17th with a par and sealed the match on the final green, with Robertson easing past Lewis Reid 4 and 3.
“The first round match is always a tough one but I’m delighted to get through,” admitted Innes, who was also a bronze medallist in the 2010 Scottish Stroke Play Championship. “The course is set up tremendously well, the rough is up which is good and I don’t mind playing in the wind. The second round draw was a good incentive to win this morning and I’m looking forward to playing Graeme.” he added.
Fellow North East golfer Chris Robbb (Meldrum House) was the first player through to the second round with a convincing 6 and 5 win in the opening tie against Grange’s Mark Thomson, while Charlie MacNeal, a Troon Welbeck club-mate of 2010 champion Michael Stewart, was also an early winner beating Glasgow’s Clark Nelson.
Lundin’s James White, winner of the 2011 SGU Order of Merit, eased past last year’s quarter-finalist Neil Henderson (The Glen) with a resounding 6 and 4 win, with fellow Fifer and Scotland international Scott Crichton reaching round two after a 3 and 2 victory over Burhill’s Callum MacKay.
Former champion Glenn Campbell, victor at Southerness seven years ago, enjoyed a fine one-hole win over Royal Aberdeen’s Scott Larkin, but Scotland squad member Conor O’Neil made a first round exit at the hands of Merchants’ Brian Erskine at the first extra hole.