Talented teenager Cormac Sharpe wins Scottish Men's Open qualifier

Cormac Sharpe will be teeing it up alongside fellow Blairgowrie talented teenager Connor Graham in the Scottish Men’s Open at Cruden Bay later this week.

Barrie Douglas Foundation ambassador Sharpe secured his place in the field by winning the event’s first qualifier, which was played over 18 holes at Fraserburgh.

The youngster carded a three-under-par 67 to finish two shots clear in a shoot-out for around 30 spots in one of Scottish Golf’s showpiece events.

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Sharpe signed for five birdies, including three going out, to join Graham, who avoided the qualifier, among the home hopefuls at Cruden Bay.

Blairgowrie's Cormac Sharpe won the first Scottish Men's Open qualifier at Fraserburgh by two shots after carding a three-under 67

Ryan Copeland (Moray), Sam Hall (Styal), Fergus Milne (Banchory) and Saul Guilford (Moor Allerton) all finished on one-under.

Other qualifiers included Glenbervie’s George Cannon as he maintained his winning weekend form on the Scottish Junior Tour at Forfar.

A total of 80 players teed up in the event at Fraserburgh, which was introduced by Scottish Golf to give more players a chance to compete in the 72-hole tournament, which starts on Friday.

In previous years, entries were balloted to provide a final field, with a reserve list used to fill spaces if there were any withdrawals.

Scottish Golf head of events Fraser Munro said: ‘With Scottish Men’s Open entries continuing to grow year on year we were pleased to offer players an increased means to qualify for this year’s event and have been delighted by the response.

‘In previous years, entries were balloted by WAGR and handicap and a large waiting list maintained on handicap order.

The pre-qualifying round puts the opportunity to qualify back into players’ own hands and, with a minimum of 30 spots available, we hope it offers a far more transparent and accessible route to qualify for the event.”

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Graham, who finished second in the Lytham Trophy earlier this month, will spearhead a Scottish challenge along with Rory Franssen.

The field also includes South African Christiaan Maas, who won the Brabazon Trophy at Saunton in Devon last weekend.

Liam Johnston landed the last Scottish success at Western Gailes on 2017 while other home winners include Colin Montgomerie (1985), Stephen Gallacher (1995) and Richie Ramsay (2004).

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