As Jimmy Gunn celebrates securing an invitation for next month’s Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open, the amateurs bidding to join the qualifying scramble for the Castle Stuart event have been confirmed.
The six players handed spots in the 36-hole qualifier at Moray Golf Club in Lossiemouth on 2-3 July include Kirkhill’s Craig Ross, winner of the South African Amateur Championship earlier this year and also successful against professionals in the past on the PGA EuroPro Tour at Mar Hall.
Among those joining him in attempting to emulate Tantallon’s Calum Hill, who played in last year’s Scottish Open after being among the five players to come through the inaugural qualifier at North Berwick, will be Moray member Kyle Godsman.
The other spots have been allocated by Scottish Golf to Liam Johnston (Dumfries & County), Calum Fyfe (Cawder), Jeff Wright (Forres) and Scott Gibson (Southerness).
Walker Cup duo Ewen Ferguson and Grant Forrest were unavailable along with Craig Howie, Jamie Savage, Sandy Scott and Conor Syme due to them representing Scotland in the European Men’s Team Championship the same week as the Castle Stuart event.
Before then, Ferguson (Bearsden), Forrest (Craigielaw), and Syme (Drumoig) will be joined by Robert MacIntyre, the Scottish champion from Glencruitten, in testing themselves against the professionals in next week’s SSE Scottish Hydro Challenge at Macdonald Spey Valley in Aviemore.
For both Ferguson and Forrest, it will be their third outing of the season on the Challenge Tour, where amateurs can now secure ranking points, but it will be a first-time experience for both Australian Amateur champion Syme and left-hander MacIntyre.
It will also be a first-time Scottish Open experience for Gunn after the American-based Dornoch man secured the invitation he was craving for the £3.25 million event at Castle Stuart.
The web.com Tour player narrowly missed out on the final spot in last year’s field at Gullane but seemed an obvious choice for one of the eight invitations up for grabs on this occasion.