Golf: Bain at head of affairs for title defence

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TURNHOUSE teenager Lewis Bain will defend his Lothians Boys’ title at the Braids this week as the No 1 seed after winning yesterday’s 36-hole qualifier.

Rounds of 73 and 70 saw the two-handicapper claim the Lindsay Trophy and lead the 16 players to progress to the knock-out stage starting tomorrow night. Bain is bidding to emulate Craigielaw’s Simon Fairburn by making a successful defence of a title won in the past by the likes of Bernard Gallacher and Andrew Oldcorn.

The player he beat in last year’s final, Calum Cochrane of Marriott Dalmahoy, chased him home in the qualifying on 144 (72, 72). Bain will face Gullane’s Michael Boddie in the first round while Cochrane meets his 14-year-old clubmate Murray Naismith. Liberton’s Daniel Eardley was third on 146, having carded a best-of-the-day 69 in his morning round. He takes on Tantallon’s Calum Hill in his opener while Liberton clubmate Anthony Blaney faces Stuart Blair of Royal Musselburgh. The last of the 16 spots was claimed by Gullane’s Michael Williams, whose better score in the afternoon edged him ahead of Scott Finlay (Liberton), Garry Brownlee (Tantallon) and Alastair Thurlow (Murrayfield) after they all finished on 155. Other qualifiers included Craigmillar Park’s Fraser Christie.

Tomorrow’s first-round draw: 5pm Calum Cochrane (Dalmahoy) v Murray Naysmith (Dalmahoy); 5.07pm Lewis Reid (Tantallon) v Fraser Christie (Craigmillar Park); 5.15pm Blair McIntosh (Murrayfield) v Mikey Reid (Turnhouse); 5.22pm Daniel Eardley (Liberton) v Calum Hill (Tantallon); 5.30pm Stuart Blair (Royal Musselburgh) v Anthony Blaney (Liberton); 5.37pm Michael Boddie (Gullane) v Lewis Bain (Turnhouse); 5.45pm Fraser Johnston (Longniddry) v Michael Williams (Gullane); 5.52 Willem Kerr (Craigielaw) v Andrew Loch (Pumpherston).