Gareth Wright bids for fourth Scottish Open in row via qualifiers

Gareth Wright
Gareth Wright
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Gareth Wright is hoping to maintain his 100 per cent record in Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open qualifiers when he joins the hopefuls in this year’s shoot-out at Longniddry this weekend.

The West Linton pro has come through the 36-hole test every time since it was introduced in 2015 at North Berwick and now he’s aiming to secure his spot in the star-studded European Tour event at Gullane once again.

Wright also made the field at Castle Stuart in 2016 after progressing from that qualifier at Moray Golf Club in Lossiemouth before winning at Kilmarnock Barassie in last year’s scramble for spots at Dundonald Links.

“It would be great if I could manage to get through again,” admitted the Capital-based Welshman as he looked forward to an event taking place on Saturday and Sunday.

“I think it will be a slightly different test on this occasion with the weather conditions we have had the last month or so. But it will make it interesting as it will be much more how links golf is meant to be played.”

In addition to his success in Scottish Open qualifiers, Wright also qualified for the 2013 Open Championship at Muirfield and is relishing his latest task on Scotland’s Golf Coast.

“I’m looking forward to some more golf on the east coast and I hope it can be as good to me as it has in the past,” added the recent Northern Open winner at Nairn Dunbar.

The field chasing four spots in next week’s $7 million Rolex Series event also includes Calum Hill, who made the cut in last month’s US Open at Shinnecock Hills after coming through two qualifiers.

Hill played his junior golf at Aberdour and Muckhart before improving leaps and bounds during a spell at Western New Mexico University.

“I’m feeling very good about the Scottish Open qualifier,” said Hill, who won three times as a professional in 2017, including the San Juan Open.

“I feel very fortunate to have received an invitation for this event from Aberdeen Standard Investments and I’m ready to capitalise on this opportunity.

“I have never played Longniddry before, but I’ve heard it’s a great track that is quite scoreable. To qualify for the Scottish Open would be one of the best achievements in my golfing career so far. In fact, I’d definitely say it would be my proudest moment.”

Another player to make the journey across the Atlantic in a bid to secure a spot alongside the likes of Patrick Reed, Phil Mickelson, Justin Rose, Henrik Stenson, Tommy Fleetwood and Rickie Fowler at Gullane is Royal Burgess man James Ross, who is based in Texas.

Turnhouse-attached Duncan Stewart will have high hopes 
of booking a Gullane spot, as will another recent European Tour card holder Jamie McLeary, who is now based at Deer Park.

The field also includes Duddingston trio Ross Munro, John Gallagher and James Dick, as well as Dunbar duo Neil Fenwick and Zander Culverwell, Musselburgh’s Cameron Marr and Louis Gaughan of Bathgate.

Two sets of brothers are also among the Lothians hopefuls - Lloyd and Zack Saltman and Gordon and Mark Hillson.