GARETH Wright and David Patrick both had Optical Express doubles in their sights at Duddingston today.
Winners already this season of events sponsored by the opticians and run by the PGA, they were in contention heading into the second and final round of the latest one.
West Linton’s Wright was lying in joint-second, just a shot behind leader Greig Hutcheon, the 2010 Tartan Tour No.1 from Banchory, after his five-under 67.
And Patrick, the former Mortonhall man, was in the hunt as well on the Capital course, sitting in a group a shot further back.
Wright, who came through the Open regional qualifying at Bruntsfield Links on Monday, suffered a mild early scare when he was advised to hit a provisional off the first tee after pushing his opening drive a touch right.
But, after safely finding the initial effort, he easily saved his par before going on to bag five birdies in a flawless effort.
At the fourth, he was blocked off the tee but hit a 30-yard hook with his second and just missed from ten feet for eagle.
The best of his birdies, however, probably came at the ‘Temple’ – the tough 13th – where he hit an 8-iron approach to eight feet.
“I’m feeling good at the minute,” admitted Wright, who won the opening event on this season’s PGA Optical Express Tour at Dundonald Links.
“It would be nice to do the double and pick up another order of merit title,” he added.
Patrick reckoned he’d done well to keep himself in contention at the halfway stage.
“That’s the worst I’ve played in a while but I was able to just keep it in play enough not to kill me,” said the former Walker Cup player.
Struggling with a foot injury, he added: “It’s the tendon attached to my shin that’s causing the problem and it’s sore when I’m walking and driving.”
Turnhouse club pro Scott Grieve matched Wright’s 67 on the course where he was junior champion in both 1996 and 1998.
The 30-year-old doesn’t play nearly as much as the vast majority of those in the 105-strong field due to club commitments.
But he didn’t put a foot wrong in a five-birdie effort, having felt good vibes about both his game and returning to Duddy when he was four-under for ten holes in a weekend practice round.