Gary Orr hoping to make the breakthrough in Scottish Seniors Open

Ian Woosnam was satisfied with his round
Ian Woosnam was satisfied with his round
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Gary Orr came smartly out of the blocks at Craigielaw and is now hoping he can be first across the finishing line in the Scottish Seniors Open.

The 51-year-old Helensburgh man, who is seeking his maiden win in the over-50s’ ranks, opened with a three-under-par 68 in testing conditions on the East Lothian coast.

That left him lying handily-placed, sitting two off the lead in fourth, and Orr is hoping this might be his chance to make that breakthrough on the 
Staysure Tour.

In 19 previous events, he’s finished outside the top 30 just once and came into this tournament on the back of two top fives.

“I’ve been pretty steady this year,” said Orr. “I just need to get over the line somewhere. “Hopefully this week as that would be ideal. But, if not, hopefully it might not be too far away.”

Welshman Stephen Dodd, a winner in Germany earlier in the season, set the pace with a 66, leading by one from compatriot Ian Woosnam and Englishman David Shacklady.

Dodd is on an incredible run of form, having been no lower than sixth place in his last six regular events.

“It’s probably down to a bit of good coaching with Denis Pugh,” he said of that run. “We’ve been working together for a long time, and we found something. It seems to have worked the last few months.”

The former World Cup winner opened with three birdies and added three more, with his only bogey coming into the wind at the par-3 sixth.

“It was tough out there today,” he said. “The wind kind of died down a little bit later on, but it was still tough.”

Woosnam was pleased with his opening effort, especially as it was his first crack at the course. “It wasn’t bad for a first go round here,” said the former world No.1. “I didn’t have a practice round. I wasn’t feeling that great yesterday so didn’t bother.

“Maybe that’s the way forward. Sometimes it’s better not to know too much about a course. It was pretty cold and I was quite stiff but I hung on in there. It was a grind today.”

Edinburgh’s Andrew Oldcorn opened with a two-over-par 73.