Carrick Neill Scottish Stroke Play Championship: Day One Morning Report
On a glorious day for scoring at Kilmarnock (Barassie), Australian Brett Drewitt set the pace in the opening round of the Carrick Neill Scottish Stroke Play Championship.
The 21-year-old, one of 14 players in the field from Down Under, fired four birdies in his last five holes, started with a 45-foot putt at the 14th, on his way to a six-under-par 67.
With the fairways running well and the greens receptive, it was the type of score many felt achievable given the lack of wind and the sun shining.
Drewitt, who plays his golf out of the Long Reef club near Sydney, has a decent pedigree, having won the likes of the New South Wales Amateur in February and the South Australian Classic in 2011.
“I played across here last year and have also played Prestwick and Western Gailes this week, so I felt comfortable,” he said. “It was still a little chilly to what I’m used to but it was fine.”
Drewitt, inspired by countryman Bryden Macpherson winning The Amateur Championship last year where he beat Michael Stewart, is bidding to emulate the only previous winner of Scotland’s national stroke play title, John Sutherland at Nairn/Nairn Dunbar in 2001.
Ross Bell (Downfield) is tucked one shot behind Drewitt after a fine 68, making birdies on three of the four par-5s.
The 2010 Champion of Champions winner and last year's Leven Gold Medal winner is now hunting his biggest-ever title. “I knew I had to take on the par 5s to make my score and I did. It’s a good start,” said the 23-year-old.
East Yorkshire’s Paul Lockwood (Hessle) is next bext on 69, with three other Scots well-placed on 70: Jamie Savage (Cawder), Scott Borrowman (Dollar) and Scott Stewart-Cation (The Dukes).
Savage is in confident mood, having claimed success in the Scottish Hydro Junior Tour Event 2 at The Roxburghe just last weekend.
The 17-year-old said: “There are lot more players more experienced than me here but I don’t see why I can’t compete. I drove the ball well and put myself in good conditions.”
Paul Barjon (France) and Luke Humphries (Australia) also posted 70s to be well in the mix.