Paul Lawrie Foundation Scottish Boys Championship: Day Four Afternoon Report
It was a day of surprises at the Paul Lawrie Foundation Scottish Boys Championship with only two seeds left standing – and they meet in tomorrow’s quarter-finals at Murcar Links.
Following the early exits of top two seeds Greig Marchbank and Anthony Blaney on the outskirts of Aberdeen, three more form horses fell at the fourth and fifth-round hurdles today.
After defending champion David Wilson and Ben Kinsley departed this morning, Jamie Savage was also knocked out in the afternoon following a 2&1 defeat to Lawrence Allan (Alva).
It means Bradley Neil of Blairgowrie and St Andrews’ Ewan Scott are the two remaining SGU National Boys’ Squad players left standing – and they have set up a mouth watering last-eight tussle tomorrow.
Neil continued his effortless path to the quarters – he has yet to go past the 15th green in his five rounds this week and only played 67 holes – after thrashing Craig Anderson of Sandyhills 7&6.
The Blairgowrie ace, the former Scottish and English Under-14 champion, feels he is putting as well as ever and is relishing the match with his friend and rival, Scott.
Neil, 16, said: “I’ve never played Ewan in competition, but we’ve known each other for a long time and are good friends.
“I just want to keep things going as I know I’m playing well. The changes I’ve made with my coach Kevin Hale (National Under-16s Coach) have progressed my game so much.
“There have been a few surprises in the event but it just shows how well all the boys can play.”
Scott was less pleased with his fifth-round win over Lochwinnoch’s Paul Reilly, a tight 2&1 success, but expects to give Neil a hard-fought contest.
“It was quite scrappy for me in the afternoon, I struggled in the wind a bit,” said Scott, also a past English Under-14 winner.
“It was all square with five to play but then I managed to finish it off after finding some form. I’m looking forward to facing Bradley.”
Elsewhere, Peebles’ Craig Howie reached the quarter-final stage after recording two narrow victories today, eventually seeing off Dominic Dougan from Colville Park at the 21st in the fifth round.
Howie was two down with four to play but wins at 15 and 18 squared the tie, before Dougan found trouble long and left to concede at the third extra hole. “I’m wining games, but I’ve not been at my best yet,” admitted Craig.
Howie now meets Jake Scott from Buckpool, who won the all north-east tie against Andrew Burgess (Nairn).
The 16-year-old looked down and out after trailing by four holes after 11, only to stage a stunning comeback by winning the next four holes on the bounce.
Scott, the last northerner left in the competition, said: “My target coming into the week was to get to round four so I want to keep going now and see how far I can get.”
In the other quarter-finals, Allan will square off against Connar Cook of Caird Park.
Lawrence, 17, was a quarter-finalist in 2010 is playing in the event for the final time. Cook, the 16-year-old from Caird Park, defeated Ryan Walsh from Kirkcaldy at the 18th to set up the clash.
Cook said: “I feel confident, I’m starting to play solidly at the levels I know I can.”
In the final quarter of the draw, Alan Waugh (Cowglen) faces a last-eight tie against Turnhouse's Lewis Bain, the Lothians junior champion.
Bain came back from four down with six holes left to beat fellow Lothians player Fraser Christie (Craigmillar Park), while Waugh was a 4&2 victor against George Burns (Williamwood).
Quarter-final draw (Friday 13 April)
Craig Howie (Peebles) v Jake Scott (Buckpool)