DISPATCH TROPHY winner Mark Dickson clinched his first-round victory in style as the Lothians contingent enjoyed another decent day in the Scottish Amateur Championship.
The Mortonhall man wobbled a bit on the back nine after being three up at the turn against Colin Stewart from Fortrose & Rosemarkie in the Highlands.
But he rolled in a birdie putt from 30 feet on the last to make it past the opening round for the first time in the SGU’s flagship event.
“I was disappointed when I saw my wedge into the 18th release to the back of the green,” said Dickson, a member of the Caermount team that lifted the Dispatch Trophy at the Braids earlier this year. “But I hit a good putt and knew that it only had to straighten up in the last three or four feet, which it did.”
The only disappointment for Dickson was that his hopes of meeting Kyle Godsman, a team-mate at the University of South Carolina, were scuppered after the Moray player lost to local lad Lyle McAlpine.
Among those who joined Dickson in the second round with day-two wins were Craigielaw trio Ewen Donaldson, Grant Forrest and Greg Smail.
Forrest, the 2010 Scottish Boys’ champion, beat Neil Hampton, an experienced campaigner who is also club manager at this week’s host venue, by 3 and 2. “I played really solid,” said Forrest. “I didn’t miss any fairways and that put the pressure on Neil.”
He returns to his university in San Diego at the beginning of September and is looking forward to an exciting trip.
“Our first tournament is in Japan so that will be another part of the world for me to see,” added the East Lothian youngster.
Smail is also at college in America, though he’s transferring from Louisville to Louisiana after the summer holidays.
He described his performance as “very scrappy” but was delighted nonetheless to account for Craig Anderson, from Sandyhills, also by 3 and 2.
“I birdied the 12th and 13th to go three up and it was just a case of trying to hold on after that,” said Smail, who reached the last 32 at Western Gailes 12 months ago. Next up for the 19-year-old is a tasty tie against Newmachar’s Graham Gordon, the 2003 winner and back in the amateur ranks after a spell as a professional.
The biggest Lothians casualty so far is Dunbar’s Danny Kay after last year’s beaten finalist fell at the first hurdle this time around. He eagled the par-5 ninth to go two up against Jeff Wright from Forres then made a good up and down at the tenth to retain his cushion. But, after Wright won the 11th and 12th with birdies to level the match, he then hit his approach to 18in at the 15th after almost losing his ball in the rough and he went on to lose 2 and 1.
“It just about sums up my season,” admitted Kay of his disappointing defeat.
Already safely through to the last 64 is Harburn’s Craig Deerness, beaten finalist in this year’s Lothians Championship.
After a sluggish performance on Monday, Deerness was much happier with his game as he beat Glenbervie’s Derek Fish 4 and 3. “That was 100 times better,” he declared. “I spent some time on the range after my first match and felt a lot more confident today.”
Deerness, who is sharing a house in the Highlands town with a group that includes the seeded Matthew Clark, now takes on exile Chris Heslip from Chipping Norton who has beaten two Glenbervie players to get to this stage.
Baberton’s Paul Ferrier, the fourth seed, is also through to the third round after beating Turnberry’s Steven Stamper late in the day.