Golf: Craigmillar Park teen cruises into third round

Callum Cochrane has been happy with his short game this week
Callum Cochrane has been happy with his short game this week
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CAPITAL kid Fraser Christie is gunning for title favourite Ewan Scott in the Scottish Boys’ Championship at Monifieth.

After reaching the fifth round in the SGU event at Murcar last year, 17-year-old Christie is 
getting into his stride again.

The Craigmillar Park player was the first player through to the third round after crushing Longniddry’s Christopher 
Algeo 6 and 5 in an all-Lothians encounter.

That set up a clash this 
afternoon with Portlethen’s Ben Murray and Scott, last year’s beaten finalist, was likely to be waiting for the winner in the last 32.

“I’d look forward to the prospect of playing Ewan,” insisted Christie, a sixth-year pupil at George Heriot’s.

“I don’t see why I couldn’t give him a run for his money.” The five-handicapper, who 
recovered from losing the opening hole to beat Algeo, had the honour of hitting the event’s opening blow at the crack of dawn on Monday.

“I enjoyed that,” he admitted. “It was nice to get the whole week started and I’ve managed to play well in both my games so far.

“I don’t know why but it 
certainly seems that I do better in match-play events than 
playing stroke-play.

“After getting to the fifth round last year, I didn’t do as well as I was hoping but hopefully I can have a better season this year.”

Meanwhile, Callum Cochrane of Dalmahoy, who was last year’s Lothians Boys’ champion, and Calum Hill, the No. 8 seed from Tantallon, are also through to the third round.

Cochrane also lost the opening hole but soon recovered to chalk up a 4 and 2 triumph over Royal Aberdeen’s Daniel Sim.

“My short game wasn’t great coming into the event, but it seems to have come on this week,” said Cochrane, who is coached by Colin Brooks. “It’s been a bit tidier while I also haven’t missed any silly putts so far.”

Next up for the Stewart’s Melville pupil is a clash this afternoon with Niall Young from Insch in Aberdeenshire.

“I got to the fourth round last year and have been working hard over the winter in preparation for this week,” added Cochrane, who represented Scotland Under-16s against England at Panal last season.

After squeezing through at the 19th in his opening match, Hill had a more comfortable passage second time around as he beat Jamie Beedie (Montrose Mercantile) 6 and 5.

“I won the last six holes,” 
reported the North Berwick teenager, who reached the semi-finals at Dunbar two years ago before going out in the first round at Murcar 12 months later.

“Winning the way I did on Monday gave me a boost and my game feels really good, so much so that I don’t feel any pressure at all.”

Despite a brave effort, 
Alexander Wilson was unable to claim the scalp of No.4 seed George Burns in their tasty 
second-round tussle.

Renaissance Club member Wilson was two up with eight to play on the Glaswegian, who then dug deep to get his nose in front with three to play.

In what developed into a ding-dong battle, Wilson then won the 16th and was only prevented from taking the lead again when Burns holed a 
six-footer for a half at the 17th.

Wilson, the Valderrama club champion, found sand with his tee shot at the last and had to settle for a par-5 as Burns got up and down from through the back for a match-winning birdie. “A great game,” said Burns to his opponent as they shook hands, adding afterwards: “I knew I’d have to play well to beat Alexander and I did.”

Two Liberton players, Kieran Cantley and Daniel Eardley, came through their opening tests in contrasting fashion.

Cantley crushed Pitlochry’s Blair Stephen 5 and 4 but Eardley had to dig deep to beat Irish-based Ciaran Smyth at the second extra hole.

Craigielaw’s David Cleland also won in sudden death – at the 19th – and was joined in the second round by clubmate Willem Kerr after he triumphed 
6 and 5.

Completing a profitable first round for the Capital contingent, Murrayfield’s Alastair Thurlow was another victor, as were Gullane’s Thomas 
Simmonds, Lewis Bain of 
Musselburgh and Bathgate’s Scott McCandless.