8am Round-Up: Early boost for Connor Syme after another blunder by Open starter

Drumoig's Connor Syme lines up a putt from the back of the firest green in the second round of The Open at Birkdale. Picture: PA
Drumoig's Connor Syme lines up a putt from the back of the firest green in the second round of The Open at Birkdale. Picture: PA
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Amateur ace Connor Syme shrugged off having his name pronounced wrong on the first tee for the second day running to get off to a flying start in the second round of the 146th Open Championship at Royal Birkdale.

The 22-year-old, who had finished birdie-birdie yesterday for an opening 73, holed from off the green from around 40 feet with a putter at the 422-yard par-4 second to get back to just two-over for the event.

That early boost came after Syme, one of five amateurs in the field in Southport, had once again been announced as “Sim” by starter David Lancaster on the first tee.

Having made the same mistake in the first round, it seemed Lancaster was going to get it right this time as he paused before announcing Syme on the tee only to do exactly the same thing again.

As had been the case the first time, Syme certainly wasn’t affected as he hit the best tee shot in a group featuring 1995 champion John Daly and Australian left-hander Adam Bland.

The Drumoig player two-putted from just off the back left before putting a huge smile on his face by rolling in that monster effort at the second, where Daly also made birdie after hitting his approach close.

At that point, Syme was up to joint-79th, needing to be among the top 70 ties at the halfway stage to make it to the weekend on his major debut.

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Bad weather was on its way on the second day at Royal Birkdale, with the later starters expected to get the worst of the conditions.

It was dry as Andrew “Beef” Johnston got the action back underway on the Lancashire coast, but “outbreaks of rain” were being forecast for the morning’s play.

After noon, there is to be a 30 per cent chance of rain, rising to 80 per cent after 4pm with “outbreaks of heavy rain” between one to five millimetres.

During that spell up to 6pm, the wind could also gust up to 40mph before dropping to 10-15mph for the final three hours of play.

Tomorrow’s forecast is for sunny spells with a chance of showers, especially in the afternoon, but the wind is set to be much lighter than today.

Similar conditions are being predicted for Sunday’s final round, when the Champion Golfer of the Year is likely to be presented with the Claret Jug under a cloudy sky.

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Ayrshireman Michael Stewart took route 66 to move within three shots of the lead heading into today’s final round of the Cobra Puma Golf Championship in south Wales.

The former Scottish Amateur champion, who has been in good form lately on the third-tier circuit, moved to four-under overall after carding seven birdies in his second round at Machynys Peninsula.

Stewart took over as top Scot after Dunbar’s Neil Fenwick, who’d been sitting pretty after an opening 68, had to settle for a 74 in his second circuit.

Englishman Chris Evans leads by a shot after rounds of 70 and 67.

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Bradley Neil maintained his recent good form in the opening round of the Le Vaudreuil Golf Challenge.

The Blairgowrie player, who has finished second in his last two events, opened with a two-under 69 at Golf PGA France du Vaudreuil, as did fellow Scot Grant Forrest.

The efforts left the Scottish pair sitting five shots off the lead, held by Chilean Mark Tullo.

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Estonia’s Joonas Turba gave himself the perfect 16th birthday present when he won the McGregor Trophy by a stroke at Burnham & Berrow in Somerset.

“It is a good present for me,” said Turba, who finished the 72-hole tournament on two-over par. “It is my second international title and this is one of the biggest tournaments for under-16s.”

He adds the English Under-16 boys’ Open Championship to an earlier success in the Finland Under-14s title.

Royal Montrose youngster Ewan Wheat, the sole Scot to make the cut, finished in 44th on 23-over-par.