David Rudd inspired by Tom Watson as he cards course-record 60 in Scottish Amateur Championship
Inspired by Tom Watson, Longniddry’s David Rudd led the way as a posse of Lothians players went low in the first qualifying round in the Scottish Amateur at Crail.
Nineteen-year-old Rudd had 12 single putts, including six in a row, as he shot a brilliant nine-under-par 60 in benign conditions on the Balcomie Links at the Fife venue.
That set a new course record, having been 62 before the event got underway then being lowered to 61 by Dunnikier Park’s Liam Duncan an hour or so before Rudd came in with his blistering effort.
“I knew I’d had a few birdies, but I had no idea that I had shot 60,” said Rudd. “My putter was pretty hot out there and, after getting in my own way a bit in recent events, I just tried to enjoy myself.”
Prior to this effort, Rudd said the highlight of his career had come in last year’s inaugural Watson Cup, a match between juniors from Edinburgh and East Lothian and their South Carolina counterparts.
“That was at Kiawah Island and having Tom Watson watching my match was very inspirational,” he added. “My coach, Stewart Savage, has also helped me by putting in a lot of work over the last month.”
Earlier, Eric McIntosh (Bruntsfield Links) equalled the old course record, which had stood for 15 years, while Murrayfield’s Ali Thurlow also shot 62 later in the day.
Craigielaw’s Angus Carrick carded a five-under-par 67 - the joint-best of the day - on the neighbouring Craighead Links in the two-round battle for 64 spots in the knock-out stage.
“I didn’t come here with any exprectations as I am a trainee actuary with Royal London in Edinburgh and have my next exam in September,” said the 25-year-old after carding an eagle and four birdies.
Stuart McLaren (Bruntsfield Links) was equally pleased with his 68 on the tougher Craighead course.