Louis Gaughan is hoping for West Lothian lucky omen

Louis Gaughan

Louis Gaughan

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Between them, Bathgate legends Eric Brown and Bernard Gallacher chalked up 13 title triumphs in the Scottish Professional Championship.

Now the West Lothian club’s latest star, Louis Gaughan, is hoping their silverware successes in the Tartan Tour’s flagship event can prove a lucky omen for him in its 100th staging at Gleneagles.

The 23-year-old is in the mix at the halfway stage, sitting just shots behind the leader, West Linton professional Gareth Wright.

Gaughan had started the second round seven shots off the pace after an opening 69, but catapulted himself up the leaderboard with a six-under-par 65, the day’s joint-best effort on the King’s Course.

“A lot of people think Bathgate is an easy course and can’t understand why it seems to keep producing good players,” said Gaughan, who did his PGA training at the club under head pro Stuart Callan.

“But it is a good environment to play golf and you only need to see that at the moment when there are 30-odd juniors there for every medal.”

Gaughan cut his own golfing teeth at Deer Park but has seen his game come on leaps and bounds at Bathgate and is now watching the next crop of youngsters at the club do likewise. “We’ve got tonnes of young kids doing well in the Stephen Gallacher Foundation events,” he said.

Gaughan, who, like Stephen Gallacher, is coached by Alan McCloskey, signed for eight birdies as he matched the O’Hara brothers – Paul and Steven – in signing for 65s.

Wright, the 2014 winner, had led by five shots after an opening 62 but now has both Gaughan and Paul O’Hara breathing down his neck, with Sam Binning a shot further back.

“It is always tough to back up a low one and particularly so when it was a cold morning like this one,” said Wright after signing for a 70 in his second circuit.

“At the third hole, for example, I didn’t quite get a 5-iron but I normally hit it 205 yards and, faced with 190 yards for my second, it only went 165 yards. But it’s still a good day’s work and, if anyone had offered me ten-under at halfway before going out this morning, I’d have sat in the clubhouse in the warmth with a nice cup of coffee.”