Seven Scots qualify in Amateur Championship

Euan McIntosh''Scottish Golf/Kenny Smith
Euan McIntosh''Scottish Golf/Kenny Smith
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Seven Scots, including Australia-based Robbie Morrison, progressed in the 123rd Amateur Championship as South African Wilco Nienaber and Norwegian Viktor Vovland shone in the stroke-play qualifying in Aberdeen.

Morrison, a former Kilmacolm member who now plays his golf at Royal Perth after moving to Australia with his family, birdied the last at Murcar Links to make it through along with 15 others on the cut-off mark of six-over.

That saw him join Euan McIntosh (Turnhouse), Rory Franssen (Inverness), Sandy Scott (Nairn), John Paterson (New Club St Andrews), Jeff Wright (Forres) and Stuart Easton (Irvine) in flying the Saltire in the match-play stage, starting on Wednesday at 
Royal Aberdeen.

McIntosh, pictured, the 2016 Scottish Order of Merit winner, finished as top Scot in joint 14th, having been second for a spell after two early birdies at Murcar Links before having to settle for a 72.

“It was really tough today,” admitted the Edinburgh-based former professional afterwards. “It was quite firm and it was a case of hanging on. My game’s not too bad, my putting could be better, but I definitely feel that’s an age thing. I enjoy playing with the young guys today as they are fearless, while I can remember missing too many putts.”

Scott, who qualified for last year’s Scottish Open at Dundonald Links, progressed comfortably on four over along with Franssen, as did Wright, Easton and Paterson as they all ended up on four over.

Nienaber, an 18-year-old from Bloemfontein, became the first South African to qualify as top seed after backing an opening 66 at Murcar Links with a splendid 67 next door at Royal Aberdeen.

He finished two ahead of world No 5 Vovland, who posted an eagle and five birdies in carding a 65 – the best score on either course over the two days – at Murcar Links.