Robertson Beaten as Forrest Reaches the Semi-Finals at Royal Dornoch
Bryan Fotheringham provided local cheer at a glorious Royal Dornoch this morning, defeating top seed Graeme Robertson to reach the semi-finals in a high-quality contest.
Fotheringham, originally from Forres and now living and working in Inverness, drew on local support over the links to edge out the last remaining of the eight seeds and book a semi-final clash this afternoon with Richard Docherty of Bearsden.
Fotheringham, the former Scotland international, was an impressive six-under-par in a nip-and-tuck match that could have gone either way. Robertson, a student at the University of Stirling, held the early advantage but was unable to shake off an opponent who feels very much at home on the links.
Thirty-four-year-old Fotheringham held a one-hole advantage going up the 18th and retained his lead after saving his par-4 from the back fringe.
“Whichever way the game went, neither of us could feel down. We both put in a great effort. Graeme is a high-class player and it’s a pity our match wasn’t the final.” Glenbervie’s Robertson added: “I didn’t take my chances but I’ve no complaints. It was a quality match and well done to Bryan.”
Docherty, meanwhile, staged a superb comeback win after Craig Ross (Kirkhill) bogeyed the final three holes.
Ross looked in the driving seat as he led by two with the last three to play, only for red-head Docherty, 22, to dig deep and hold his nerve to progress on the final green. Docherty relishes the knockout format, he is the Dumbartonshire County matchplay champion.
In the other half of the draw, SGU National Men's Squad player Grant Forrest stayed on course for a third national title with another crushing victory.
Forrest, who claimed the Scottish Under-16s title in 2009 and then won the Scottish Boys a year later, was three-under-par in a 6&5 victory over Fraser Moore, another Glenbervie member.
Only three weeks after the death of his father, Graeme, following a battle with cancer, Forrest’s success here is all the more remarkable.
“What happened to my dad is driving me on this week. He is definitely proving an inspiration,” said the 19-year-old, who returns to University in San Diego next month. “I was really solid this morning and putted especially well.”
Forrest is also being ably assisted by his caddy, Calum Stewart from Brora, who is also a Royal Dornoch member.
Forrest now faces another in-form player, Lewis Mutch of Duff House Royal. The 17-year-old started “like a train” against Elliot Wilson (Goswick) to birdie four of the first five holes and never surrendered the advantage.
With his father, Gary, on the bag, Mutch eased to a 5&3 success. Two years ago, Lewis played at Royal Dornoch in the Donald Ross Junior Open and won it – he is clearly being inspired by such a feat.
Semi-final draw: Fotheringham v Docherty (12.45pm); Mutch v Forrest (1pm)