Paul McKechnie claims share of second in Northern Open

Paul McKechnie
Paul McKechnie
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Braid Hills Golf Centre pro Paul McKechnie reckons he gave trying to catch runaway winner Paul O’Hara his best shot in the Northern Open.

McKechnie trailed the leader by seven shots heading into the final round at Moray Golf Club in Lossiemouth before picking up three birdies in the first six holes. But his outside chance of catching O’Hara disappeared as the birdies not only dried up but he then dropped three shots in the last four holes.

That left McKechnie, a winner on the PGA EuroPro Tour at the same venue four years ago, having to settle for a share of second spot.

“I played great the last three rounds,” he said of having closed with scores of 66, 69 and 71 for a level-par 284 aggregate.

“I could easily have been five or six-under early on in the final round before finding myself having to push things a bit towards the end.”

O’Hara won the 54-hole P&H Championship at The Renaissance Club last season before losing out to West Linton’s Gareth Wright in a play-off for the M&H Logistics Scottish PGA Championship at Gleneagles.

He’d come into this event on the back of carding a 61 and 63 in pro-ams at Largs and Bishopbriggs and maintained that good form as he recorded a wire-to-wire win.

The 30-year-old Motherwell man finished seven shots clear of the field on seven-under - the only player in the 86-strong field to end up in red figures. “My ball-striking won it for me and my iron play in particular as I was hitting it down the sticks in every round,” he said.

Elsewhere, North Berwick’s Clara Young, the 2015 winner, scraped into the last eight in the Scottish Women’s Championship with a 19th-hole victory in the second round at Royal Aberdeen.