Golf: Mind games used wisely by Elliot Saltman

Lothians ace Elliot Saltman today admitted how mastering golf's mind games has helped take him to within touching distance of a spot on the European Tour.

The Archerfield golfer continued his impressive qualifying school final campaign at PGA Catalunya in Girona yesterday and moved into a three-way tie at the top with a six-under 64 over the Tour course for an 11-under 201.

Saltman, who finished alongside Steve Lewton and Alfredo Garcia-Heredia at the summit, is confident he has the ability to compete at the highest level and the 28-year-old insists his game has now been bolstered by a more relaxed mental approach on the course.

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"I think that side of the game had been holding me back over the years," said Saltman..

"I'm trying now to keep a quiet mind. I'm not thinking about what might happen and I'm not looking a few holes ahead because the more active your mind is, the worse your golf gets. I'm just trying to keep my head." Saltman's younger brother Lloyd also got in on the birdie-feast over the Tour course yesterday and blasted a 65 for a 10-under 202 to share fourth spot and keep his bid for one of the 30 tour cards rolling along nicely.

"It was important to take advantage of the conditions and I did," said Lloyd. "This is a very tough week, mentally and physically, but we're both doing alright."

Prestonpans man Raymond Russell gave himself a lift with a neatly assembled three-under 69 on the tough Stadium course to move to a one-under aggregate of 213.

Russell still sits just outside the leading 70 who will make today's 72-hole cut but after a card featuring one eagle, one birdie and 16 pars, the 38-year-old put himself back in the picture after the setback of a second round 75.

Edinburgh-based Jamie McLeary fired a two-under 70 on the Stadium course for a 216 but needs a low round today to survive into the final two days while Capital man Andrew Coltart also showed signs of improvement with a 71 for his 216 total.