Amateurs: Forrest stands tall as field struggles

ON A day when the Fairstone Scottish Amateur Championship sprung up typical surprises, the top three seeds in the initial 256-man field were all left standing.

Grant Forrest, pictured during last month's Open at Muirfield. Picture: SNS

Craigielaw’s Grant Forrest, the defending champion, continued his comfortable progress to round four as he eased past Bathgate’s Simon Lockhart, with Jack McDonald of Kilmarnock Barassie and Glenbervie’s Graeme Robertson joining him late in the day after tough tests. But, elsewhere, the seeds simply tumbled.

Most impressively, part-time baker boy Greig Marchbank found all the ingredients to dish up third-round success against fourth seed Scott Borrowman.

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Marchbank, 19, has failed to make a cut this season but has found his form over Blairgowrie’s Lansdowne layout.

Dollar’s Borrowman helped Scotland reach the final of the European Men’s Team Championship earlier this month, but was on the end of a 7&5 defeat.

Ex-Scottish Boys Stroke Play champion Marchbank, who works nightshifts at his dad’s bakers in Thornhill, said: “This year has not been great, but I’ve found my confidence this week.

“I’ve just been trying to get better and play more consistently. With helping my dad at night, I sleep during the day and play golf later on – but he has given me time off this week.”

Borrowman was one of four seeds to fall yesterday, with James Ross, Daniel Young and Blairgowrie member Bradley Neil also exiting.

Neil, the Scottish Boys champion, lost four of the opening six holes to fellow Scotland squad player Lawrence Allan (Alva) and was unable to claw back the deficit, losing 4&3.

But Allan, who recently completed his first year at Southeastern Louisiana University, then lost out to Royal Aberdeen’s Nick Macandrew, while Ross’ conqueror, Fraser McKenna, was beaten by Mark Riddell of Baberton. Bradley’s brother, Connor Neil, also lost out to end the five-strong Blairgowrie challenge as early as round two.