WHEN Paul Lawrie swaps The Masters for Murcar this week, he hopes to arrive home to the news that both his sons are still standing in the Scottish Boys Championship, which tees off today under the former Open champion’s Foundation banner on the outskirts of Aberdeen.
As predicted in The Scotsman a fortnight ago, 16-year-old Craig, who reached the third round on his debut in the event at Dunbar last year, has now been joined in the field by his 13-year-old brother Michael, a fellow Deeside member, after weekend withdrawals opened the door for the second reserve.
He will face Tantallon’s Aaron McManus tomorrow morning, by which time Craig, who is up against another Lothians player, Scott Finlay of Liberton, in the eighth match on the tee today, will be hoping he’s already through to the second round.
“It’s great both boys are now in the championship and, hopefully, if Craig wins his first-round match, we will get to see him play as well,” said Lawrie of the fact he’ll be around 35,000 feet in the air this morning along with his wife, Marian, and Michael as they return from Augusta.
For Michael, who plays off 5.8, it’s a timely boost after he was bitterly disappointed to have missed out on the chance to caddie for his dad in the par-3 competition at The Masters when it was abandoned due to bad weather last Wednesday.
“You can imagine that he’s pretty excited to be making his debut in the tournament, but then he is still only 13,” added Lawrie. If Craig wins this morning, there’s a chance he’ll then be up against Craig Howie, a talented youngster from Peebles. Looking further in advance Greig Marchbank, one of the pre-tournament favourites, could be lying in wait in the third round.
Marchbank, a 17-year-old who plays his golf at Dumfries & County, reached the quarter-finals last year.
Troon Welbeck’s David Wilson, who recovered from seven down with 14 holes to play to beat Marchbank’s clubmate, Liam Johnston, in last year’s final, is back to defend his title as Murcar stages the event for a third time.