Fallen seeds continue to dominate the ongoing play in the Scotmid Co-operative-sponsored 14th West Lothian Masters with high-profile figure Gary Smith (No. 2) of Linlithgow the latest to depart the scene, the 53-year-old losing in last night’s 4th-round action.
And a second shock of the night saw 25-year-old No. 12 seed Blair Mackie of Newbridge get pipped at the post in a 21-20 thriller leaving Frazer Muirhead (No. 13) and Alec Allan (No. 16) the only rated players still standing going into tonight’s last 16 stage.
Smith – the 2010 Master and 2011 runner up – came a cropper, 21-17, at the hands of Armadale challenger Bob Mackay in a 23-end battle at Harrysmuir and the writing was always on the wall for the England/ Scotland international star.
Mackay settled quickest to the challenges of the green and impressed with leads of 10-4, 16-7, and 19-8 before Smith showed menace with a run of 4, 1, 2 to 15, however the noted Dale challenger scalped the seed with a 1, (2), 1 finish.
Mackie faced Andi Gray of Kirkliston at Glenmavis and was in trouble early at 9-1 down but a strong recovery put him in the driving seat at 14-11 and he continued to hold the upper-hand at 20-18 before making his exit to a 2, 1 finish.
Muirhead – still the youngest ever winner of the national singles title (1981) – is usually prominent in the Masters and the 50-year-old from Uphall Station kept his latest campaign alive and kicking with a 21-17 win over Graham Borland of East Calder.
Allan is another 50-year-old with a strong competitive record and the 1995 Scottish and British Isles Pairs champion made it to the fifth round in unusual circumstances having been gifted victory when Richard Mark of Uphall Station packed it in at 13-4 down.
Cameron Greer of Bathgate, a junior cap and nephew of Muirhead’s, looked destined for the exit when trailing James Speirs of Newbridge 11-0 at Kirkliston but staged a spectacular recovery and capped it with a 1, 1, 1 finish to win 21-20.
George Sneddon (Broxburn), Alan McCormick (Bathgate), Ian Drysdale (Bathgate) and Steven Forrest (Kirkliston) are other prominent challengers for the £1000 title and signature Green Jacket.
David (Buddy) Renwick – the world stage Golf Caddy – from East Calder lost 21-11 to Tommy Turnbull of Broxburn. Tonight’s venues are Pumpherston and Bellsburn (Linlithgow).