Soutar into last eight as Pretswell squanders good start

HAVING dispatched fellow Fifer Scott Crichton and then home hope Paul De Beer to reach the quarter-finals, Brian Soutar is the last Scot standing in the South African Amateur Championship.

Bidding to emulate Troon Welbeck’s Michael Stewart, who lifted the title a year ago after beating Paul Shields in an all-Scottish final, Soutar is producing his best golf so far on the SGU squad’s trip to the Rainbow Nation.

Joint-fourth after two stroke-play rounds in qualifying for the event at Mowbray Golf Club in Cape Town, the Leven Golfing Society player beat Aberdour’s Crichton 3 and 2 in their last-32 clash before seeing off De Beer 2 and 1 to set up a meeting this morning with another South African, Louis Taylor.

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Two other Scots, Kirkhill’s Shields and Danny Kay from Dunbar, both bowed out in the afternoon after winning second-round matches earlier in the day. Shields lost to Brandon Stone, the South African No 1.

Meanwhile, Curtis Cup hopeful Pamela Pretswell squandered a good start in the first of two stroke-play qualifying rounds in the Spanish Women’s Amateur Championship at El Valle.

The Bothwell Castle player, who has been named in the GB&I squad for the match against the Americans at Nairn in June, was three-under-par after six holes and had only given one of those shots back with four holes to play.

However, she dropped three shots over the closing stretch and had to settle for a 72 to sit in a tie for 15th, six shots behind leader Natalia Escuriola Martinez.

Pretswell was still by far the best of the Scots in the line-up as Ailsa Summers (79), Jane Turner (80), Hannah McCook (83) and Rebecca Wilson (85) all finished the opening day well down the field. England’s Charley Hull is tied for fourth after a 69.