Joe Bryce bags 12 birdies to land career-best Tartan Pro Tour win at Pollok

Joe Bryce, yet another player to roll off Bathgate’s conveyor belt of golfing talent, landed the biggest win of his career after carding an incredible 12 birdies in the final round of the Tartan Pro Tour’s Pollok Open.

The 24-year-old, a PGA trainee at the West Lothian club, had started the day four shots off the lead in the sixth event of the season on Paul Lawrie’s circuit after an opening 71 at the Glasgow venue.

But, as overnight leader Fraser Moore quickly fell away after dropping four shots in the first six holes, Bryce produced a performance that was every bit as impressive as DP World Tour winner David Law’s 61 in the corresponding round in the same event last year.

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He birdied the first, fourth, sixth, seventh and ninth going out, with a bogey at the fifth coming in the middle of that run. A lost ball also led to a double-bogey 6 at the 14th, but that was sandwiched by gains at the tenth, 11th, 13th, 15th, 16th and 17th.

Bathgate's Joe Bryce watches a shot during his second-round 62 in the Pollok Open. Picture: Tartan Pro Tour

It added up to a nine-under 62, giving him a four-shot win over both Fraser McKenna (70-67) and Michael Stewart (69-68), with Danny Kay (68-70) one further back.

“It was just one of those days,” said Bryce, who won the Craigmillar Park Open and Battle Trophy back-to-back in 2019 in his amateur days. “I’d been struggling with my putting a bit, but it’s been getting better each week the past month or so and I just putted the lights out today, to be honest.

“I hit the ball really well, lots of nice irons and wedges and drove it pretty solid as well. I gave myself plenty of chances and holed a good few 10-15 footers. They were the ones that hadn’t been dropping recently, but they all seemed to go in today, which was good.”

Bathgate legends Eric Brown, Bernard Gallacher and Stephen Gallacher would all have been proud of how Bryce bounced back from potential disaster on the back nine.

Joe Bryce with his Pollok Open prizes, which included a winner's cheque for £3,750. Picture: Tartan Pro Tour

“It was a bad tee shot at the wrong time,” he said of that double-bogey at the 14th. “But, having birdied the 13th, I knew I would be there or thereabouts, even though I wasn’t looking at the scores.

“I think hitting that shot and losing a ball brought me back to reality as everything was going perfect for a few holes then I finished birdied 15th, 16th and 17th. It was almost as though it gave me a kick up the backside and I kicked on from there.”

Bryce won the East Alliance Championship earlier in the year, but this was a step up. “I’d definitely say it’s my biggest win so far and I am chuffed to bits,” he admitted. “I finished tied third in one of these events last year and I’d been pretty steady this year. It’s been trending the last month or so.”

Elsewhere, Royal Troon’s Paul Moultrie added a 67 to his opening 63 to hold a two-shot lead heading into the final round of the Scottish Seniors’ Open at Arbroath.

Meanwhile, Muckhart’s Jamie Roberts lost by one hole to Alex Maguire in the last 16 of the Amateur Championship at Royal Lytham, where Nairn’s Sandy Scott had been beaten 7&6 by Englishman John Gough earlier in the day.

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