Lothians golfers set to launch Royal Birkdale bid

Jonathan Porteous will line up at Northumberland
Jonathan Porteous will line up at Northumberland
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Lothians hopefuls are heading both north and south on Monday as they bid to take the first step towards an Open Championship appearance next month.

The battle for coveted spots at Royal Birkdale gets underway in regional qualifying, with local interest focused on Northumberland and Panmure. Heading for both venues is a mix of amateurs and pros, all aiming to progress to the final qualifying on Tuesday week.

The field at Northumberland includes Craigielaw pro Jonathan Porteous, who is Grant Forrest’s coach and now has a chance to make an impact himself on the golf course. Joining him are fellow pros John Gallagher (Duddingston) and Renaissance Club-attached duo Danny Kay and Neil Henderson. Musselburgh also has two players in that field – amateur duo Lewis Bain and Benn McLeod. Flying the amateur flag at Panmure, which stages the Scottish qualifier for the second year, are Ali Thurlow (Murrayfield) and Rory Smith (Dalmahoy). Also heading to Angus are pros Calum Smith (Royal Musselburgh), Alexander Morrison (Renaissance Club), Louis Gaughan (Bathgate), Cameron Adam (Harburn), Zander Culverwell (Dunbar) and Marc Owenson (Gullane).