Australia-based Josh Greer continued the low-scoring at Portlethen to share first place in qualifying for the Scottish Amateur Championship matchplay stages.
Greer has been based in Western Australia and part of that successful development programme for the past decade but hails from Greenock. He was runner-up in the 2017 Scottish Boys Championship at Scotscraig.
Now 21, he also reached the last eight of the last Scottish Amateur at Crail two years ago and shrugged off yesterday’s lengthy weather delay for lightning in the North East.
“I played very well today,” said Greer, who started out at Gourock Golf Club and now plays at the Joondalup club in Perth after his eight-under 64 at Portlethen. “My driving was good and so were my irons. I missed a few chances on the greens but overall my putter worked as well.
“The weather delay didn’t bother me. I just slept a bit longer than I would have done if we hadn’t had the bad weather.
“I’m looking forward to the match play,” he added. “Murcar is a tougher course but I’m driving the ball well and that’s the key round there. You’ve got to keep in on the fairway.”
Portlethen’s own Ben Murray will be No 1 seed in the matchplay draw after a two-under 69 at Murcar also left him on nine-under for the two days of qualiftying. Callum Bruce, pof the Duff House Royal Club In Banff, had a 65 at Portlethen to also stand on nine-under.
Just off the leading pace were Leven Thistle’s Scott Crichton and Blairgowrie’s young hope Cormac Sharpe on seven-under.
Other notables into the matchplay round include Bruntsfield Eric McIntosh – who won the Scottish Boys in 2016 at Murcar – first round leader Steven Stewart and Scottish internationals Calum Scott, Stuart Easton, Rory Franssen and Darren Howie.
Murray put his local knowledge to good use again with a solid performance of two-under-par at Murcar.
“The conditions when we played were pretty much perfect again,” he said. “I was lucky. I was running a bit late this morning so the delay might even have helped me a bit.
“The plan today was to keep the ball in play. I made one mistake when I made a double on the par three but I didn’t let that bother me. The weather was nice and I was swinging good so I just tried to grind it out.
“I think I’m going to play a little bit more aggressive on certain holes in the match play but other than that the main plan is just to keep it in play and try to keep the pressure on my opponent.”
Defending champion George Burns is safely through to the match play stage after adding a two over par 73 at Murcar Links to his 67 at Portlethen on Tuesday.
His three-under aggregate was well within the cut mark at one-over with 64 progressing to Thursday first matchplay round.