Fotheringham Faces Robertson as Scottish Amateur Reaches Quarter-Final Stage
Local hopeful Bryan Fortheringham, from down the road in Inverness, will seek to take the scalp of top seed Graeme Robertson in tomorrow’s Scottish Amateur Championship quarter-finals as the battle for the coveted national title reaches its business end.
With the starting field whittled down from 256 to just eight players at Royal Dornoch, 34-year-old Fortheringham will hope to continue his form.
The former Scotland cap, indeed part of the side that claimed the Home Internationals crown in 2005, has been away from top-level competition for a number of years but has found top gear on ground he loves.
“This course can spring up anything,” admitted Fotheringham, who is a support worker for people with learning difficulties. “If you miss the greens in the wrong place, it’s difficult to get up and down.”
“In match play form goes out of the window and anyone can beat anyone,” added Bryan, who lost in the first round to David Patrick at the last staging of the Scottish Amateur at Royal Dornoch in 2000. “I’ve been coming up here since I was a boy and I love it.”
Fortheringam will probably have to be at his best to stop Robertson, who found his form spectacularly this afternoon to defeat Craig Deerness (Harburn) 6&4. The Glenbervie man and SGU National Men’s Squad player, the only seed left standing, was eight-under-par for those 14 holes.
Robertson, who reached the fifth round last year when he lost out to eventual winner David Law, said: “I couldn’t believe the difference from my morning round (a narrow comeback win over Charlie MacNeal) but that’s golf. I played superbly, didn’t miss a shot. I just made my timing and rhythm better and that was it.
“I’ve just got to concentrate on my own game. There are a lot of good players left and facing Bryan is a tough game.”
The rain, which refused to relent virtually the whole day in Sutherland, made life difficult, but scoring was still good.
Craig Ross (Kirkhill) made an eagle on the par-4 third after holing from 150 yards, helping the Scottish Golf Academy player to a 4&3 win over Scott Moffat (Braehead). “I’m just relaxing and enjoying it. My only goal this week was to get past the first round when there is the most pressure,” he said.
Ross has set up a last-eight clash with Richard Docherty, after the Bearsden man, 22, defeated Alexander Culverwell (Dunbar) at the 19th. Culverwell drove into a bunker at the first extra hole and couldn’t save his par.
In the third quarter of the draw, there was a surprise as 17-year-old Lewis Mutch saw off the challenge of yesterday’s hole-in-one-hero, Greig Marchbank.
The Dumfries & County player was two up after eight holes and looking good, before 1.4 handicap Mutch, from Duff House Royal, reeled off hole wins at the ninth, 11th, 12th and 16th to progress 2&1.
“It’s my biggest victory by a long way,” said Lewis. “I shot 81, 82 at Cardross last week and Greig won the event (the Stephen Gallacher Foundation Scottish Boys Stroke Play). I came up here not expecting to get past the first round and now I’m in the quarter-finals.”
Berwick’s Elliot Wilson (Goswick) stands in Mutch’s way after the 19-year-old Borderer – whose grandparents are Scottish – ended the brave title bid of 45-year-old Ian Rennie (Hindhead).
In the bottom half, the US-based SGU Men’s National Squad player Grant Forrest looks in fine form.
The 19-year-old chalked up 6&4 and 6&5 victories today – over Stewart Henderson and Donald Macandrew respectively – to book a quarter-final tie with Fraser Moore, a Glenbervie club mate of Robertson.
Forrest, the 2010 Scottish Boys champion, returns to the University of San Diego for his second year next month and said: “It’s my first year out of the Boys’ and this is only the fourth Men’s event I’ve played this summer. But I’m feeling good about my game.”
Moore, 22, denied Forrest a first-ever competitive meeting with his fellow Craigielaw member Greg Smail, after he triumphed by one hole.
Robertson v Fotheringham (8am)
Ross v Docherty (8.15)
Wilson v Mutch (8.30)
Forrest v Moore (8.45)