Following up a fine effort in reaching the last 16 in the Scottish Amateur at Blairgowrie, Saldarov – a new name on the Lothians scene – posted a 142 total to finish a shot ahead of Dunbar’s Jamie Duguid.
Stuart McLaren, last year’s Stuart Cup winner, finished third and the Bruntsfield Links man now meets Saldarov in the first round back at the East Lothian venue tonight.
Defending champion Jamie Morris (Glencorse) safely progressed to the knock-out stage, as did three other former winners – Alan Anderson (Bruntsfield Links), David Miller (Duddingston) and Sean Marc (Broomieknowe). Morris is up against 1982 Scottish Boys champion Alan Smith (Gullane) in the opening round; Miller meets Anderdson while Marc takes on former pro Greg Nicolson (Mortonhall) in another tasty tie.
First round: 5.00 Nurtai Saldarov (Craigielaw) v Stuart McLaren (Bruntsfield Links); 5.08 Rickie Moffat (Turnhouse) v Ross Brydon (Bruntsfield Links); 5.16 Sandy Reid (Bruntsfield Links) v Jamie Duguid (Dunbar); 5.24 Michael Rolland (Bruntsfield Links) v Michael Bacigalupo (Longniddry); 5.32 Alan Smith (Gullane) v Jamie Morris (Glencorse); 5.40 Rory Smith (Dalmahoy) v Murray Paterson (Bruntsfield Links GS); 5.48 Greg Nicholson (Mortonhall) v Sean Marc (Broomieknowe); 5.56 David Miller (Duddingston) v Alan Anderson (Bruntsfield Links).