Connor Wilson knocks out top-ranked Mark Power in Amateur Championship at Nairn

Revenge was sweet for Connor Wilson as the Castle Park player joined host club member Calum Scott and four other Scots in progressing to the last 32 in the 126th Amateur Championship at Nairn.

Connor Wilson during his match against Mark Power in the R&A Amateur Championship at Nairn. Picture: David Cannon/R&A/R&A via Getty Images.
Connor Wilson during his match against Mark Power in the R&A Amateur Championship at Nairn. Picture: David Cannon/R&A/R&A via Getty Images.

Wilson, the 2018 Scottish Boys’ champion, defeated world No 33 Mark Power, the top-ranked player in the field, by one hole, turning the tables on the Irishman in the process.

“I played him in the 2018 Boys’ Home Internationals as well and he beat me 5&4 at Royal Dornoch,” recalled Wilson, who now meets Englishman Ryan Tattan.” I think he had five birdies in a row that day, so I knew he was a good player.”

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As is Wilson, who has been involved in the Stephen Gallacher Foundation since it was launched a decade ago and is now proud to be one of its ambassadors.

Calum Scott on his way to beating Conor Gough of in the openin round of the R&A Amateur Championship at Nairn. Picture David Cannon/R&A/R&A via Getty Images.

“I was two up after three today, helped by a chip in on the first, which is always a good start,” he said of this notable success.

On a day when Matthew Clark became the latest player to suffer the leading qualifier’s curse as he fell to England’s Mason Essam, 17-year-old Scott also claimed a notable scalp as he beat England’s Connor Gough.

As well as winning the 2018 Boys’ Amateur Championship, Gough also played on the same 2019 Walker Cup team as Scott’s older brother Sandy, who was forced to sit out this week’s event due to a wrist injury.

But, cheered on by the enthusiastic local members, Scott holed a 45-feet putt from the back of the fifth green then knocked in another long one at the next to set up a 3&2 success.

“I don’t show nerves, but I do feel them,” said Scott, who now takes on Icelander Hlynur Bergsson. “I’m just trying to enjoy it and I’m happy I’ve made it this far.”

Scottish champion George Burns (Williamwood), John Paterson (New Club St Andrews), Andrew Ni (Murrayfield) and Lewis Irvine (Kirkhill) are the other host nation players still standing in the quest for a first Scottish title triumph in the event since Bradley Neil did the trick in 2014.

Paterson beat 57-year-old Dunnikier Park man Derek Paton, who headed straight to Duff House Royal to open with a one-under 67 in the Scottish Seniors’ Open to sit in the top 10.

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