Duddingston delight for pro-bound Rory Smith

Rory Smith accepts the trophy
Rory Smith accepts the trophy
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Dalmahoy’s Rory Smith is leaving the amateur ranks on a high after winning the South East District Open at Duddingston.

In his final 72-hole event before embarking on a pro career next season, he produced a polished performance to claim the coveted title by four shots.

Smith, who was recently crowned as the Lothians Champion of Champions, carded rounds of 74-67-69-70 for an eight-under-par 280 total at the Capital venue. Stuart McLaren (Bruntsfield Links) closed with scores of 66-69 to finish joint-second with Scottish Amateur champion Euan McIntosh (Turnhouse) and Stephen Roger (Peebles).

“I’ve been knocking on the door a few times this season and this is just the cherry on the cake,” said Smith.

“I struggled in the first round on Saturday morning but managed to salvage a 74 with a 3-3 finish then just fed off that and kicked on from there.

“And Sunday morning I’d never actually felt so calm considering the position I was in.

“I think one of my biggest thanks has to go to my brother, Steven. His psychological impact the last few weeks have been amazing and I’m grateful for what he’s done for my game, particularly this year.”

Host club player David Miller shared the lead after two rounds and was still in the hunt with a round to go before closing with a 79 to finish joint-11th.

Meanwhile, the closing date for entries for the new Lothians Handicap Stroke Play Championship at Kingsknowe on 23 September has been extended until September 10.