Gavin Hay's strong start on Tartan Pro Tour secures 'wee bonus' in Finland

Gavin Hay has secured a Challenge Tour start later this year on the back of his eye-catching start on the new Tartan Pro Tour campaign.

Gavin Hay won the season-opening Montrose Links Masters on the Tartan Pro Tour and has backed it up with top-10 finishes in both the Barassie Links Masters and Royal Dornoch Masters. Picture: Tartan Pro Tour

Hay, who hails from Grantown-on-Spey but is now based at East Renfrewshire Golf Club, won the season-opener at Montrose Links with rounds of 74-69 before finishing in a tie for seventh behind Sam Locke at Kilmarnock (Barassie) after scores of 71-68.

He then completed the first phase of the campaign by following a 71 with a bogey-free 66 in tough conditions at Royal Dornoch last week to finish in a share of fourth spot behind KIeran Cantley.

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The combined efforts left Hay sitting at the top of the money list after three events, meaning he has secured a spot in the Vierumäki Finnish Challenge on the Challenge Tour in August.

“It’s a nice wee bonus,” said Hay of a reward set up by the Tartan Pro Tour’s founder, Paul Lawrie. “I was aware of the different scenarios heading into the event at Royal Dornoch, especially the second round.

“I hadn’t played so well on the first day, but a bogey-free 66 in strong winds on the second day was very pleasing indeed.

“The Challenge Tour is a slightly higher level than I am used to, which will be good. I have played in the Scottish Challenge in the past, but it will be good to get a trip to Finland for this one.”

By then, he is hoping to be closing in on a trip to Muirfield for the Farmfoods Paul Lawrie Match Play, having made home advantage count in his first -round match against Philip McLean and now facing a trip to Nairn to take on Craig Goodwin.

In addition to the Tartan Pro Tour, Hay also finished third in the Tartan Tour’s Stirling Order of Merit event and believes he has the perfect balance in his golfing life at the moment.

“I have always enjoyed teaching and becoming the teaching pro at East Renfrewshire was important due to it providing a stable income,” he said.

“The club has attracted quite a few new members and it also has a good junior section, so it’s a great place for me to be based.”

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