Paul Lawrie Foundation Scottish Boys Championship: Day Four Morning Report
After the shock exits of top seeds Greig Marchbank and Anthony Blaney, two other fancied players went tumbling out of the Paul Lawrie Foundation Scottish Boys Championship at Murcar Links this morning – including the defending champion.
David Wilson, the Troon Welbeck player who sensationally recovered from eight down to win last year’s final against Liam Johnston at Dunbar, has lost his grip on the coveted Boys’ title.
The 17-year-old failed to sparkle in his fourth-round match against Ryan Walsh from Kirkcaldy and lost out 2&1. Wilson’s hopes took a turn for the worse when he was plugged in a bunker at the par-5 14th and took six to hand Walsh the initiative.
Another shock came when St Andrews’ Ben Kinsley, remarkably a descendant of the 1893 Open champion Willie Auchterlonie, was defeated by Jake Scott of Buckpool 3&2.
National Boys’ Squad player Kinsley, the reigning Scottish Under-16 champion and a semi-finalist in this championship 12 months ago, had looked a strong contender for success but met his match in Scott.
The 16-year-old, who cuts a colourful figure on the course with his bright Ricky Fowler-style clothes, won four club championships at three different clubs in 2011 and has now set up an all north-east last-16 tie with Andrew Burgess (Nairn) this afternoon.
In difficult conditions for all this morning, after the early sun gave way to persistent showers and a strong wind, Burgess was a 3&1 winner over Colin Edgar from Cochrane Castle.
Meanwhile, Craig Howie of Peebles continued his smooth path to the last 16 after a final hole-triumph over Irvine Bogside’s Jack Thomas. Howie faces Colville Park’s Dominic Dougan later today for a place in the quarter-finals.
In the second quarter of the draw, another Boys’ Squad member, Jamie Savage of Cawder, stayed on course after a 3&1 win over Royal Aberdeen’s Andrew Carrell.
Notably, Connar Cook (Caird Park) also became the third player of the week to rack up an 8&7 victory, powering past Martin McCorkell from Gleddoch.
Elsewhere, Bradley Neil of Blairgowrie continues to look the most in-form player of the competition. Neil has not needed to go past the 15th hole in his four ties so far, this morning crushing Adam Loch (Pumpherston) 8&6 to move easily into the fifth round.
But there was no such joy for Ben Craggs, son of SLGA national coach Kevin, who saw his gallant run come to an end after suffering a heavy loss to impressive Paul Reilly (Lochwinnoch).
At the foot of the third quarter, Ewan Scott, 16, of St Andrews - the former English Under-14s champipn - also booked his last-16 berth with a comfortable 7&5 win over Blair Gavin (Kilmarnock (Barassie)).
Scott and Neil could well be on course for a quarter-final clash tomorrow if they both win this afternoon.