Chris Currie takes route 66 to Deer Park leaderboard summit

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PGA Cup player Chris Currie took route 66 to the top of the leaderboard at the halfway stage in the Deer Park Masters.

Currie’s hot six-under-par effort in the Tartan Tour Order of Merit event came after he’d joined his Great Britain and Ireland team-mates for a PGA Cup get-together at Foxhills in Surrey, venue for next month’s clash with the US.

Caldwell pro Currie headed into the second round at the Livingston venue leading by a shot from Braid Hills pro Paul McKechnie, as well as Robert Arnott (Bishopbirggs Golf Range) and Gavin Hay (Grantown-on-Spey).

Tartan Tour Order of Merit leader Paul O’Hara (North Lanarkshire Leisure) had Currie in his sights after an opening 68, matched by Graham Fox (Clydeway Golf).

But Greig Hutcheon, who is bidding to win the event for the fifth year in a row and sixth in total, needed something special on day two after a 70.

Meanwhile, Musselburgh’s Benn McLeod and Andrew Ni of Murrayfield led eight Lothians players into the match-play phase of the new-look Scottish Amateur at Prestwick. The pair finished joint-ninth on one-under after two qualifying rounds at Prestwick and Prestwick St Cuthbert.

Royal Musselburgh’s Stuart Blair, Euan McIntosh (Turnhouse) and Ni’s clubmate, Ali Thurlow, also progressed comfortably as a total of 73 players made it through.

Dalmahoy’s Rory Smith produced one of the best second-day fightbacks, carding a 68, to make it through with a bit to spare as well.

Turnhouse’s Mark Napier got through with a shot in hand while Chris Low of Tantallon was right on the cut-off mark as it fell at seven-over.