McKechnie aiming for top-five spot

ELEVEN years after topping the inaugural PGA EuroPro Tour Order of Merit, Paul McKechnie sets out at the start of the Eagle Orchid Scottish Masters at Montrose Links today aiming to secure a step up to the Challenge Tour at the age of 36.

Helped by winning the Grant Property Investment Championship at Moray – one of three other Scottish stops on the third-tier circuit this season – McKechnie is lying fourth in the order of merit and needs to stay in the top five to follow in the recent spikemarks of both Scott Jamieson and Craig Lee.

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George Woolgar, who is almost £9,000 clear at the top of the money-list, heads the Angus field, which also includes his two closest challengers and fellow Englishmen Dave Coupland and Daniel Gavins, as well as Welshman Mark Laskey, who is breathing down McKechnie’s neck.

Aiming to make local knowledge count will be Montrose man Graeme Brown, while the home contingent also includes Chris Kelly, fresh from an impressive Tartan Tour win at Dumfries & Galloway, where he carded a second-round 63, 
and Sam Binning, who has 
entered the 54-hole event as an amateur, presumably to gain some experience.