TWO years after graduating from the final together, Elliot and Lloyd Saltman are facing an uphill fight to get past the second stage in this season’s European Tour Qualifying School due to the pair making poor starts in southern Spain.
On a day when Callum Macaulay took pride of place amongst a 15-strong Scottish contingent, Elliot found himself lying last at Lumine Golf, near Tarragona, after an opening 76 while Lloyd is already ten shots off the pace at El Saler after a 79. Macaulay, a former Scottish Amateur champion, passed the same test 12 months ago and made an encouraging start again with a two-under-par 69 at El Valle to sit in joint-fifth, one shot off the lead. David Law, another former Scottish Amateur title-holder, is also lying handily there after a 70, but Michael Stewart opened with a 76.
Jamie McLeary, the 2009 Scottish Challenge winner, carded a 72, one less than Scottish PGA champion Graham Fox, to sit in the top ten at El Saler, while Wallace Booth also opened with a 72 at Las Colinas.
Back at Lumine Golf, Jack Doherty, with a 70, is the leading Scot but, like Saltman, Steven O’Hara (73) already has work on his hands if he’s to make the final stage at Girona at the end of the month. So, too, does Alan Dunbar, who won the Amateur Championship at Troon earlier this year. Still keeping his options open – he has a spot in next year’s Masters – he could only muster a 75 at Lumine Golf.