Paul McKechnie is hoping for a happy return

Paul McKechnie

Paul McKechnie

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BRAID HILLS Golf Centre pro Paul McKechnie is hoping a return to a happy hunting ground this weekend will see him rubbing shoulders with some of golf’s big guns in the Scottish Open.

The Tartan Tour star is in the field for the £50,000 Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open qualifier at Moray Golf Club in Lossiemouth, where McKechnie triumphed in a PGA EuroPro Tour event three years ago.

“I’ve got great memories of winning up there and hopefully that will stand me in good stead,” he said after signing off with a flawless 69 for a seven-under-par total in the SSE Scottish Hydro Challenge in Aviemore.

McKechnie was one of only two Scots from a 28-strong starting contingent to make the cut at Macdonald Spey Valley, where he finished two shots behind George Murray after the Fifer closed with a 68.

“My game is in good shape,” added McKechnie, who is heading to Longhirst Hall in Northumberland for a PGA EuroPro Tour event starting on Wednesday before driving from there up to Lossiemouth on Friday night.

He was hoping to be involved in tomorrow’s Open final qualifying at Gailes Links, where he passed the test two years ago to play at Hoylake, but was unable to get through last week’s regional event at Panmure.

Among those heading to Ayrshire for the scramble for three spots in next month’s Claret Jug joust at Royal Troon are James Ross, Grant Forrest, Gareth Wright, Jamie McLeary, Neil Fenwick and amateur Callum Cochrane.