9am Round-Up: Craig Ross 2up at halfway stage in SA Am final

Picture: Getty

Picture: Getty

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Kirkhill’s Craig Ross is on course to become the fourth Scot in six years to win the Sanlam Scottish Amateur Championship.

The 23-year-old won the last two holes with birdies in this morning’s round at George Golf Club to sit two up at lunch on home player Dylan Naidoo.

The strong finish took Ross’s birdie haul for the round to eight, two more than his Modderfontein Golf Club opponent.

Ross fell behind early on in a ding-dong battle, with the pair not separated by more than a hole until the Scot finished 2-3. The pair had also halved the 16th in birdie-4s.

Ross is trying to keep the title in the home of golf for another 12 months after Craigie Hill’s Daniel Young won it last year.

Prior to that, it was claimed by Troon Welbeck’s Michael Stewart in 2011 then Brian Soutar of Leven Golfing Society the following year.

“I really want to win this event,” admitted Ross before the final. “It would be a good end to the South African trip and a good start to the season.”

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Three Scots - Connor Syme, Liam Johnston and Grant Forrest - have qualified for the knock-out phase of the Spanish Amateur Championship at Royal Seville Golf Club.

Bidding to follow up his win in the Australian equivalent earlier in the year, Syme finished as the leading Scot out of six hopefuls after the 36-hole stroke-play qualifying.

The Drumoig Golf Centre player slipped down the leaderboard after following his opening 70 with a 75 but still qualified comfortably in joint-13th.

Johnston finished a shot behind in joint-22nd after the Dumfries & County man carded rounds of 74 and 72.

Forrest needed a second-round 70 to be among the 32 qualifiers as the Craigielaw player bounced back well from an opening 77.

Welshman Owen Edwards (66-72) led the qualifiers on 138, one in front of Ugo Cossaud (70-69) and two better than Amateur champion Romain Langasque (76-64) and Guido Migliozzi (71-69).

Scottish champion Bob MacIntyre (75-73) missed out by a shot while Ewen Ferguson (76-74) and Jack McDonald (77-74) fell three and four short respectively.

In the first round, Forrest faces Colm Campbell, Syme is up against Francisco Rosete Fabos and Johnston takes on Ivan Cantero Guiterrez.

In the Spanish Women’s Amateur Championship at Escorpion Golf Club in Valencia, Grantown-on-Spey’s Hannah McCook made it to the match-play stage.

With rounds of 76 and 74, she finished as the 23rd qualifier and meets Swede Sarah Nilsson in the opening round.

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Sally Watson and Pamela Pretswell will represent Scotland in next week’s World Ladies Championship at Mission Hills in China.

The tournament is primarily a 72-hole individual strokeplay event, but also features a team competition, based on the combined scores of 15 pairs from different countries.

Pretswell finished sixth in the individual competition last year and is feeling confident ahead of the fifth edition.

“I was looking forward to this tournament anyway, as I always love playing in China,” she said.

“But representing Scotland with Sally obviously makes the event even more exciting and we will do our best to raise the Saltire on the Sunday evening.”

Watson added: “I really enjoyed the experience of playing in last year’s World Ladies Championship and I am very excited to be representing Scotland again.

“I am also thrilled to have Pamela as my team-mate, she is a great player and I think we will bring a strong team to this year’s tournament.

“I am sure we will both be hoping to make our country proud by putting in a strong performance and it would be amazing for us to add a team win to our résumés.”

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European Tour duo Stephen Gallacher and Richie Ramsay are helping a Lothians golf club as it rallies to support one of its members.

Faced with a long road to rehabilitation and recovery, his fellow members at West Lothian Golf Club have organised a golf day there on March 19 to meet some of the costs.

“Initially, we had hoped to fill 72 places and have a shotgun start but we’ve had to close the entry at 176 competitors,” said Barrie Lewis.

“We now have over 30 sponsors who have sponsored various packages while there has also been some outstanding sports memorabilia donated, including signed items from both Richie Ramsay and Stephen Gallacher, for an auction.

“It looks like the sum raised will be north of £20,000. This is an unbelievable amount and will hopefully go some way to helping with our good friend’s recovery.

“The way the Bo’ness townsfolk have rallied around Mark’s family at this challenging time has been very humbling and is something Mark’s parents, Joe and Lynne, have appreciated greatly.”

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