ALAN ANDERSON climbed out of his sick bed to take the first step towards becoming only the third player to win the Lothians Championship on more than two occasions.
The Bruntsfield Links man, winner in 2011 and 2013, is off and running in his bid to join Keith Nicholson and Stuart Smith after beating Broomieknowe’s Jamie McIntosh 4 & 3 as the first round was completed at Longniddry.
“I’ve had a 24-hour bug and was not well at all this morning,” revealed Anderson afterwards. “I’ve been on dehydration salts all day but it actually helped me as I played within myself and wasn’t trying to kill it out there.”
The 45-year-old now meets Duddingston’s David Miller, whose run he ended 12 months ago.
“Alan beat me at the 19th in the semi-finals,” recalled Miller after he progressed with a 2 & 1 success over Tantallon’s Richard Gill. “We’ve actually played each other a few times and I’m looking forward to it.”
Miller, a semi-finalist when the event was held at Longniddry in 2008, watched Gill hole a 40-footer for a 2 at the 16th but he rolled one in himself from half that distance to stay two up.
“This was my first game back here since losing to Stevie Armstrong in the semis six years ago,” added the 36-year-old after closing out the match at the next.
Armstrong was joined by two of his Turnhouse clubmates after Andrew Young and Jack McVey progressed. Young’s opponent, Neil Baird of Braids United, retired due to back trouble when he was two down after ten, but McVey had to dig deep to win on the last against Linlithgow’s Ed Shannly.
“I was one down with four to play but then won the 15th and 16th,” reported 18-year-old McVey after chipping it close at the last to make a winning debut in the event.
He now faces Craigielaw’s James Whitelaw, while Young is up against Broomieknowe’s Niall Webster, who won the last two holes to beat Chris Ratcliffe (Royal Musselburgh).
Bathgate’s Scott McClory holed birdie putts of 15 and 20 feet at the 11th and 12th as he marked his debut in the event with a 3 & 2 win over Steven Scott (Mortonhall) to earn a second-round clash tonight against West Linton’s Sean Walter who defeated Stuart McLaren (Bruntsfield Links).
S Walter (West Linton) bt S McLaren (Bruntsfield Links) two holes; S McClory (Bathgate) bt S Scott (Mortonhall) 3 and 2; D Miller (Duddingston) bt R Gill (Tantallon) 2 and 1; A Anderson (Bruntsfield Links) bt J McIntosh (Broomieknowe) 4 and 3; J McVey (Turnhouse) bt E Shannly (Linlithgow) one hole; J Whitelaw (Craigielaw) bt S Marc (Broomieknowe) 4 and 3; N Webster (Broomieknowe) bt C Ratcliffe (Royal Musselburgh) two holes; A Young (Turnhouse) bt N Baird (Braids United) retired.