David delighted to Russell up lead alongside Doyle

David J Russell designed the two courses at Archerfield Links
David J Russell designed the two courses at Archerfield Links
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DAVID J RUSSELL enjoyed seeing Kevin Doyle’s name up on the leaderboard every bit as much as his own in the opening round of the Prostate Cancer UK Scottish Senior Open at Archerfield Links

Russell, who designed the two courses at the East Lothian venue and also lives in the area, used his local knowledge to earn a share of the first-round lead in the £250,000 event.

In blustery conditions, the 61-year-old Englishman opened with a two-under-par 70 to set the pace along with compatriot Gary Marks and Australian Peter O’Malley.

“It was a strange experience to play competitively around here,” said Russell, whose last of two Senior Tour titles came at the French Riviera Masters back in 2012.

“I don’t think I’ve marked a card here before. I enjoyed it but it was a bit daunting to say the least. I have to admit I was a bit nervous at the start.

“I would imagine there was a certain amount of anticipation locally and you don’t want to embarrass yourself round your own golf course. I’ve still got the opportunity to do that over the next few days but at least I can sleep well tonight knowing I’ve broken par.”

He added: “It was a hell of a test. They were kind with a few of the tees today but the greens were a bit awkward and the wind was very strong.

“I hacked it down the first but managed to make par and then hit a really good drive down the second and made eagle which settled me down a bit.”

Doyle, the Edinburgh businessman who owns Archerfield, is partnering Russell in the pro-am section of the tournament.

“Kevin’s not a prolific golfer but he enjoys his golf,” said the man he employed to lay out both the Fidra and Dirleton courses.

They finished the opening day in a tie for 11th after a four-under 68 – five shots behind the leaders, Ross Drummond and his amateur partner, Bill Robertson.

But, at one stage, both Russell and Doyle had their names at the top of the leaderboard – a moment that was duly captured on the former’s mobile phone.