O’Hara seeks Highland fling
Golf: Bellshill player leads way as Aberdeenshire rival follows close behind
Paul O’Hara, unofficial player of the year on golf’s Tartan Tour with 10 wins to his credit, is on the trail of another big-money success in the Highlands.
Paul O’Hara, unofficial player of the year on the Tartan Tour with 10 wins – some outright, some shared – to his credit, is on the trail of another big-money success.
He leads the 54-hole Highland Links pro-am with a four-under-par 67 at Nairn, one of three links venues being used for this £55,650 event.
The other courses are Royal Dornoch and Castle Stuart.
The 83 players switch courses every day and it is difficult to assess the chances of the leaders, although O’Hara is off to a flying start.
On the overall par scoreboard, Neil Henderson (Renaissance), who also played Nairn yesterday, is lying second with a threeunder-par 68.
Next come Greig Hutcheon (Paul Lawrie Golf Centre Inchmarlo) and Gareth Wright (West Linton) joint leaders with one-under-par 69s at Royal Dornoch.
Hutcheon said: “It was very windy with heavy rain showers at all courses, I’m led to believe. Many par fours were tricky fives. It was a tough day and the weather is to remain pretty tough, I think many teams are already looking forward to the dinner on Wednesday night – a true Highland Links experience, but rain gloves required.”
The players found the going much tougher at Castle Stuart, where no one broke par.
Neil Fenwick (Dunbar) and Blairgowrie’s Bradley Neil shared the lead at that venue with level-par 72s.
First prize is £8,000 and the top 15 finishers after three rounds will earn fourfigure cheques.
Oban golfer Robert MacIntyre will make his professional debut on the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Tour.
The 21-year-old lefthander from the Glencruitten club, number 14 in the world amateur rankings, will enter European Tour qualifying school at the second stage in Spain next month.
“A true Highland Links experience, but rain gloves required”
FLYING START: Greig Hutcheon shot a fine 69 at Royal Dornoch yesterday
Paul O’Hara: Super 67 at Nairn