Dad Paul, the winner at Carnoustie in 1999, is among just three Scots currently in the field for the event’s eighth staging at the Angus venue as the annual scramble for coveted spots in the game’s oldest major gets underway.
Also among the hopefuls at Panmure in the first of two stages over the next nine days is Sean Lawrie, Paul’s nephew, with the first target to make it through to final qualifying at four venues.
After a successful run at Gailes Links in Ayrshire, The Renaissance Club in East Lothian is staging one of those 36-hole shoot-outs next Tuesday, when only three Open spots will be up for grabs.
Others hoping to clear the first hurdle at Panmure include Paul McKechnie, who qualified for the 2014 event at Royal Birkdale, and former European Tour card holder Craig Doak.
There are also a number of amateurs, including Will Porter, who is trying to secure a dream Open appearance at his home course, and fellow Scottish Boys’ champion Eric McIntosh (Bruntsfield Links).
A sizeable Scottish contingent is also crossing the Border to join the hopefuls at Goswick, south of Berwick-upon-Tweed, and that group includes Lloyd Saltman, who won the Silver Medal at the 2005 Open as leading amateur.
Joining him in trying to go low there are his younger brother Zack, as well as former Palmer Cup player James Ross, Northern Open champion Gareth Wright and John Gallagher, who made the cut in the SSE Scottish Hydro Challenge in Aviemore.
A handful of Scots are trying to progress at some of the other venues, including Falkirk’s Ryan Campbell, who shared the lead heading into last week’s PGA EuroPro Tour event at Clevedon, near Bristol, before finishing joint-third.