Sandy Scott eyes Open spot after narrowly missing out on US Open

Sandy Scott, who narrowly missed out on playing in this week’s US Open, could still find himself playing on one of the game’s biggest stages this summer.

The winner of this week’s Amateur Championship at Royal Lytham secures a spot in next month’s 150th Open, with Scott still standing in the battle for a dream date at St Andrews.

The Nairn player progressed to the last 32 in Lancashire with a 2&1 win over Welshman Matt Roberts and now faces England’s John Gough in a tasty third-round tie on Thursday morning.

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Scott, who played in the 2020 US Open at Winged Foot, lost out in a six-man play-off in Texas last month for the last two spots in a final qualifier for this week’s event at Brookline.

Sandy Scott in action during the R&A Amateur Championship at Royal Lytham & St Annes. Picture: Matthew Lewis/R&A/R&A via Getty Images.

The Walker Cup player is looking forward to facing Gough, who has won 20 of his last 22 match play tie, now that he’s fit again after almost two years of wrist injury problems.

“I first started noticing some pain probably in July two years ago,” said Scott. “So it's been close to two years I've been dealing with it but I was fully out of the game for about 18 months and it was the hardest time of my life.

“I'm just grateful to be back playing golf again and really, really happy that I'm here.”

Scott’s younger brother, Calum, bowed out on the opening day of the knock-out stage along with Angus Carrick and Connor Wilson, the winner and runner-up respectively in last year’s Scottish Amateur at Murcar Links.

But Muckhart’s Jamie Roberts is also still in the hunt after he beat Finland’s Markus Luoma 3&2. He now meets American Sam Murphy.

While leading qualifier Jonathan Broomhead from South Africa continued his title bid, beating home club member Callan Barrow by one hole, there was disappointment for another English hopeful, Barclay Brown.The Walker Cup player was beaten 4&3 by Dane Gustav Frimodt, who came through 36 holes on Wednesday after a preliminary-round victory against Lars van der Vight of the Netherlands.

In the pro ranks, Fraser Moore set the pace in the Tartan Pro Tour’s Pollok Open as he carded a four-under 67 at the Glasgow venue.

The Glenbervie-attached player holds a one-shot advantage over Montrose Links Masters winner Danny Kay, as well as Jamie Savage and Zack Saltman.

Meanwhile, Sean Lawrie shares the lead in the IFX Payments Championship, the latest event on this season’s PGA EuroPro Tour, at Studley Wood.

The Paul Lawrie Golf Centre player carded an eight-under 65 to set the pace along with English duo Taylor Carter and Billy Hemstock.

In the PGA Pro Professional Championship, Paul O’Hara and Chris Currie both sit just two shots off the halfway pace at Slaley Hall

Back in the amateur game, Royal Troon’s Paul Moultrie set a hot pace in the Scottish Senior Men’s Open at Arbroath.

Having opened with a seven-under 65, he leads by two shots from a couple of other home players in Nick Robson (Royal Aberdeen) and Robert Smith (Nairn), as well as Stratford’s Stephen Creed.

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