Golf: Gareth feels he has Wright stuff for Gleneagles title bid

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WEST LINTON’S Gareth Wright, runner-up last year, is feeling confident he can go one better in next week’s Gleneagles Scottish PGA Championship.

The Leith-based player lost in a play-off to Chris Doak in the Tartan Tour’s flagship event over the Kings’ Course 12 months ago.

Doak, who shot a 62 en route to his victory, isn’t defending the title as he is playing in a crucial Challenge Tour event in Rome later in the week.

And that has opened the door for the likes of Wright, a former Welsh international, to stake their claim for the coveted crown when the event tees off on Monday.

“I’ll be heading back to Gleneagles with nothing but fond memories,” said the 29-year-old, who shot rounds of 68, 66, 66 and 69 in claiming a £6000 runner-up prize last year.

“It is one of my favourite resorts – I love it up there – and I’m certainly looking forward to this event.”

Wright played in all four rounds of the Johnnie Walker Championship on the PGA Centenary Course at the end of August. His form has been good since then, most recently finishing third in the Northern Links Challenge at Brora and Tain then tying for fourth in the Sprint Series Final at The Duke’s. “I set a new course record along with David Patrick by shooting a 65 at Brora, which was nice,” he added.

“At The Duke’s, where it was a bit blustery, I was ten-over for 32 holes but eight-under for the other four holes.

“My game is pretty good and it’s just a case of trying to cut out some of the silly mistakes.

“I’m lying fifth in the Order of Merit at the moment and my goal is to get into the top three as that would get me into the PGA Play-Offs for the first time.”

Former Mortonhall man Patrick, who lifted the Scottish Young Pros’ title for the third time in a row earlier this year, is also in the field at Glenagles.

So, too, are a whole host of other Lothians players, including Mark Kerr, joint third last year, and on-form Edinburgh man Neil Fenwick.