BABERTON’S Paul Ferrier called for “consistency” over slow play as he flew the Lothians flag along with James Ross in the match-play stage of the Amateur Championship at Royal Troon.
The former Scottish Boys’ champion was responding to Englishman Nathan Kimsey being hit with a one-shot penalty by R&A officials as part of a crackdown on slow play in the Ayrshire event. Ferrier revealed he’d been put on the clock himself in the first round of the amateur game’s blue riband event on Monday and admitted it had been unsettling.
But, unlike him, Kimsey was punished for two “bad times” – the first instance of the R&A taking action against slow play since an unnamed player was hit during the 2004 Open, also at Royal Troon. “I was put on the clock on Monday for the first time in my career and it knocked me out of my rhythm,” Ferrier told the Evening News.
“When I registered for the event, I was told to read a document about slow play that had been prepared by the R&A for this week. It’s because of that they’ve punished someone obviously and as long as they are consistent I don’t mind.”
Ferrier followed his opening 69 at Royal Troon with a 73 at nearby Glasgow Gailes in the second of the qualifying rounds. It saw him qualify comfortably, sharing the honour of top Scot with Craigie Hill’s Danny Young on a level-par total. “I made a few mistakes around the turn but in the main I played well again,” said Ferrier, whose first opponent in the match-play stage was Englishman Ben Stow.
For Ross, he was faced with one of the 14 first-round ties – against England’s Max Orrin – after scraping through on 145, having added a 71 at Glasgow Gailes to his first-round 74 at Royal Troon. It left the Royal Burgess player in a sweat for around eight hours but the wait proved worthwhile in the end.
“It’s exciting to get through to the knock-out stage for the first time,” admitted the former Lothians Championship runner-up. “After finishing, I was certain I had missed out by a shot but I’ve made it.”
The last time Ross found himself playing match-play in Ayrshire he reached the semi-finals of last year’s Scottish Amateur at nearby Western Gailes, losing to eventual winner David Law. There was disappointment for the six other Lothians players in the bumper field for the 117th staging of this event.
On his return to Glasgow Gailes, where he won the Edward Trophy last year, Silverknowes star Graham Robertson carded a respectable 72.
But, with a total of 147, he missed out, as did Dunbar duo Danny Kay and Zander Culverwell, Craigielaw pair Ross Noon and Grant Forrest and the Glen’s Neil Henderson.