O’Hara seeks High­land fling

Golf: Bell­shill player leads way as Aberdeen­shire ri­val fol­lows close be­hind

The Press and Journal (Inverness) - - FRONT PAGE -

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

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