Fascinating mix set for battle in Scottish Par 3

Bathgate's Louis Gaughan, the winner of last year's event.
Bathgate's Louis Gaughan, the winner of last year's event.
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Two major winners, two potential European Tour winners and a “battle of the sexes”. All fascinating aspects in the £20,000 Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Par 3 Championship at the Paul Lawrie Golf Centre on the outskirts of Aberdeen over the next two days.

Won last year by Bathgate’s Louis Gaughan in a play-off with Alastair Forsyth, the 36-hole event has attracted another interesting line-up given, of course, that it is up against the US Open at Shinnecock Hills.

Thirteen years after claiming that prize at Pinehurst, Kiwi Michael Campbell once again joins 1999 Open champion Lawrie in trying to show off their short-game skills on a fun but testing course that sits close to the River Dee.

The presence of that pair alone should be an attraction at an event that offers free entry and that should certainly prove appealing with both Connor Syme and Bradley Neil also in the field on this occasion.

Syme, who played last year as an amateur, is back as a European Tour card holder, a status also held by Neil, with the former coming into this event on a high after finishing second in the Shot Clock Masters in Austria last weekend.

Bidding to stop the men get things all their own way, meanwhile, are a talented female contingent of Michele Thomson, Heather MacRae, Kelsey MacDonald, Vikki Laing, Kiran Matharu, Sophie Walker and Amy Boulden.

Also taking place at the same time but at Milnathort is the Scottish Golf R&A 9-Hole Championship, with 270 players competing for a chance to tee up at Carnoustie ahead of the 147th Open. Two spots are on offer in the push to promote nine-holf golf.

Back in the paid ranks, Tartan Tour No 1 Paul O’Hara trails leader Chris Gane by three shots heading into the final round of the PGA Tour’s Eagle Orchid Scottish Masters at Montrose Links. Both overnight leader Craig Farrally and O’Hara’s fellow Scot, John Gallager, slipped out of contention after struggling to second-day 75s.