Northern Amateur Open: Match play moves to Round of 32
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (March 13, 2012) -- Four members of the SGU National Men’s Squad have qualified for the last-32 match play stage of the Northern Amateur Open, the final event of their eight-week winter performance programme in South Africa.

Aberdour’s Scott Crichton, one of the in-form players during the intensive trip, Paul Shields (Kirkhill), Lundin’s James White and Fraser McKenna (Balmore) are all in with a chance of replicating the success of compatriot David Law in the competition last year.

But, at Randpark, Johannesburg, there was agony for South African Amateur champion Brian Soutar after the Leven Golfing Society player missed the cut on a count back for the leading 32 players following four rounds of stroke play.

Crichton shared ninth spot among the qualifiers on six-under-par after rounds of 72 and 73 today, with Shields also comfortably qualifying two shots further back in a tie for 14th.

White, who along with Shields is in a 12-man preliminary squad for this year’s St Andrews Trophy against the Continent of Europe at Portmarnock on 31 August and 1 September, secured his passage in a tie for 19th despite slipping down the field with a fourth round three-over-par 75.

McKenna, meanwhile, produced heroics to respond from a third round 78 to hit back in style with a glorious five-under-par 67 and claim the 31st of the 32 places on offer at three over par.

Soutar, meanwhile, struggled to recapture his championship-winning form of 10 days ago as he fired rounds of 74 and 77 to be right on the cut mark but ultimately missed out due a better final round 70 from Teagan Gauche, who secured the final berth.

Daniel Kay was 66th overall as the Dunbar player failed to build on a promising start.

The knockout stage begins early tomorrow morning with hopes among the Scots quartet high.

The SGU programme in South Africa is supported by Aberdeen Asset Management, South African businessman Johann Rupert and the Alfred Dunhill Links Foundation.

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