Golf: Finlay gets over nerves to beat son of ex-Open winner

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LIBERTON lad Scott Finlay overcame a bout of first-tee nerves to send Craig Lawrie, the tournament host’s son, crashing out of the Paul Lawrie Foundation Scottish Boys’ Championship on the opening day at Murcar Links.

The 17-year-old quickly settled down after getting up and down to win the first and went on to chalk up a notable 5 and 4 victory on the outskirts of Aberdeen.

“I was pretty nervous at the start because of who his dad is,” admitted Finlay after securing a second-round tie with Craig Howie from Peebles.

“But, after winning the first with a par, I then birdied the second, holing from 12 feet, to go two up straight away.”

Lawrie, who reached the third round on his debut in the event at Dunbar last year, got it back to one but then went out of bounds with his approach at the ninth.

Finlay, a four-handicapper, quickly went three up before winning the 12th and 13th as well to ensure there was no way back for his opponent, who plays off scratch.

Other first-day winners included Robert Reynolds, who was brought up in Loanhead before moving to Cyprus with his family around six years ago.

Reynolds, a four-handicapper who turned 18 today, progressed with a 2 and 1 success over Canmore’s Matthew Miller.

Reynolds plays his golf at Aphrodite Hills, close to the family home at Episcopi, He’s been the junior champion there for the last two years and also finished runner-up in last year’s Cyprus Amateur Open, an event won in the past by Dalmahoy’s Robert Carson.

Carson’s clubmates, Murray Naysmith and Josh Rooney, both fell at the first hurdle yesterday, as did Murayfield pair Alistair Thurlow and Aodan Donnelly as well as Musselburgh duo Connor Good and Jack Valentine.

But others still flying the Lothians flag in the second round include the on-form Alexander Wilson (The Renaissance), Liberton’s Daniel Eardley and Oliver Duffy of Craigielaw.

Wilson, who shared the spoils with Blaney in the opening Scottish Hydro Junior Tour event at Gullane nine days ago, swept aside Wishaw’s Callaum Connacher 5 and 4.

He now meets Eardley, who beat Greenock Whinhill’s Stephen Wilson at the last, where Duffy also claimed victory against Alexander Mackie of Powfoot.

Liberton’s Blaney enters the fray today along with Tantallon’s Calum Hill, who reached the semi-finalist last year.