The experienced Steven Stewart smashed the course record at Portlethen and leads by two shots after the first round of qualifying for the Scottish Amateur Championship.
The Clydebank and District player has been a consistent performer on the Scottish circuit for some years but his nine-under-par 63 to set the pace at the second qualifying course has to be a career highlight.
Stewart will play the main course at Murcar Links on Wednesday two ahead of Leven Thistle’s Scott Crichton, Scotland international Stuart Easton and Portlethen’s own Ben Murray.
Most of the scoring was done in perfect playing conditions on the parkland layout that hosted the Northern Open earlier this year.
All three players sharing fifth place on six-under played there, including Blairgowrie’s Cormac Sharpe. Defending champion George Burns, who plays out of the Crail Golfing Society but represents his home club of Wlliamwood, had a five-under 67 ay Portlethen.
Stewart came out of the blocks with three successive birdies but it was his finish picking up six shots in five holes that left the field trailing, four successive birdies from the 13th and an eagle to finish up.
“To be honest I didn’t even realise I was that many under par,” he said. “When you are entering your score on an app you don’t pay attention to it. It was only when someone told me that I realised what I’d shot.
“I still don’t really believe it. It was brilliant out there, I really enjoyed it.”
Fife County regular Crichton and the host club’s Murray both shot 65s playing with each other while the third member of the group, another Fifer Liam Duncan (Dunnikier Park) had a 67 for a cumulative 19-under-par by the trio.
“It was brilliant,” said Murray. “We kind of fed off each other out there. We were pretty solid from the get-go.
“I was a bit more aggressive. Scott was a little more conservative which just goes to show there’s more than one way to play this course.
“Playing with a local member today definitely helped,” said Crichton. “There were a couple of lines off the tee I wasn’t sure about.
“But I watched Ben and then was able to commit to the club I was using. It was a pretty good round of golf for us and it wasn’t bad for Liam either. We definitely got each other going.”
The field play a further 18 holes of qualifying on Wednesday before the top 64 enter Thursday’s first round of matchplay.