36-hole co-leader Craig Howie
(Scotland Golf Photo)
AYRSHIRE, Scotland (June 3, 2017) - Craig Howie catapulted into a share of the second-round lead at the Carrick Neill Scottish Men’s Open Championship, becoming the third player to post the new course record at Western Gailes.
After seven-under 64s from Calum Fyfe and Alister Balcombe on Friday, shaving a shot from the previous course record held by the likes of Bernard Gallacher, Howie joined the new three-strong club after his own seven-under-par effort.
Going into the final 36 holes in Ayrshire tomorrow, the Peebles player sits on seven under, alongside fellow Scot Liam Johnston (Dumfries & County) after his 66 and Australian David Micheluzzi. Another Scot, Connor Syme from Drumoig, lurks just a shot further back.
“On day one I didn’t hole anything and then I got on to the third green today and had a good chance and said to myself ‘right, I’m not letting these slip by as well’. I holed that and putted great from then on,” said Howie, a Walker Cup contender this year.
“I wasn’t thinking about the course record. I was just thinking about improving my score as I was only level-par in the first round. The greens are a bit slower than in recent weeks, but they run superbly. I’ve got the pace of them now.”
Howie’s round was highlighted by a 3-wood, 6-iron into three feet for an eagle at the sixth, with that hole also proving a saving grace for Micheluzzi. The Melbourne player, 20, lost a ball at the sixth but eagled with his second ball to save his par-5.
“We’re quite used to this type of golf back so it suits me,” said the Aussie, who is travelling with a group of five countrymen currently doing the UK circuit. “I’ve had loads of second-place finishes but I’m just trying to stay patient and hope that win comes.”
England’s Laird Shepherd (Rye) and South African Albert Venter are still well in the hunt on five under par, with Fyfe and Bathgae’s Joesph Bryce among a sizeable group on four under.
ABOUT THE Scottish Open Amateur Stroke Play
The Scottish Men’s Open Amateur Stroke Play
Championship is open to Male Amateur
all Nationalities. 72-hole stroke play
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