Connor Syme lived up to his pre-championship favourite billing with a comfortable opening win in the Scottish Amateur Championship at Royal Aberdeen yesterday, but now faces a tricky second round tie.
Drumoig’s Syme (21), the highest ranked player in the field and fresh from helping Scotland retain the European Team Championship and GB&I’s successful defence of the St Andrews Trophy, romped to a 6 and 4 victory over fellow Fifer Hamish Gorn (Aberdour) during yesterday’s play in tricky conditions with a 35 minute delay for flash floods disrupting the schedule.
He now takes on Lawrence Allan of Alva, a consistent performer who has been on the verge of the international scene and reached the matchplay stages of the Amateur at Royal Porthcawl in June.
“It was a good match today and I’m looking forward to the challenge tomorrow as Lawrence has been having a good season,” said Syme.
“I’m enjoying having the expectation this week, and I’ve never been past the last 16 at the Scottish Amateur before so it would be nice to do it this week.”
Syme vies for title favourite with defending champion Robert MacIntyre, the Oban man who starts his campaign to retain the trophy he won at Muirfield in remaining first round ties this morning.
With Grant Forrest resting and Ewen Ferguson still nursing an injured wrist, these are the quartet who will go to the US Amateur next month representing Scotland.
In their absence it’ll still be a strong Scotland team in the Home Internationals, and Peebles’ Craig Howie, a strong performer in the European team Championship win, went through 8 and 7 in his opening tie yesterday.
South African Amateur winner Craig Ross progressed comfortably 5 and 3, while another international and former champion Barry Hume went through with a solid 4 and 3 win over Ross McEwan (Troon Wellbeck).
Another veteran, the recalled Euan McIntosh (Turnhouse) won his first round tie as did another member of the European team, Cawder’s Jamie Savage.
Other notable day one winners included Paul Lawrie’s younger son Michael, the new boys’ cap a 19th hole winner over Stuart Houlden (East Kilbride).
Lundin’s Greg Forrester won through on the final green with St Andrews’ Neil Beattie a handsome victor 6 and 5 over David Rudd of Longniddry, but there was a blow for the Auld Grey Toun contingent with their best runner, former Boys cap Ben Kinsley, losing at the 19th to Neil Melvin of Newmachar.