In-form James Morgan aiming to be dark horse in Scottish Amateur
The 22-year-old landed a fairytale first win of his career by picking up the Tennant Cup at Glasgow Golf Club’s Gailes Links and Killermont in the middle of June.
He then finished second to Crail’s Andrew Davidson in the 50th East of Scotland Open at Lundin before claiming victory in the Cameron Corbett Vase at Haggs Castle.
“I got a taste for it with my win in the Tennant Cup and it was nice to get another one under my belt,” said Morgan of posting rounds of 71-69-64-67 at the Glasgow venue to win by two shots from Lachlan Reynolds from Rothesay.
“In my 64, it was one of those days when everything came together. I drove it great, my irons were great, my short game got me out of trouble once or twice and I putted great.
“I was very steady, knocked a couple of long ones in and it added up to a 64, which I was delighted with. I also played well in my 67 in the last round. It was really steady golf.”
Morgan graduated from the University of Memphis in May before coming home for the summer, buthe is heading back there later in the year to do his Masters.
His focus for the the time being, though, is the Scottish Amateur Championship, which starts on Tuesday with the first of two stroke-play qualifying rounds at both Royal Dornoch and Tain.
“You always have the self belief that you can go out and compete and do well in these tournaments, but to have finished first-second-first in three events in a row was definitely one of those purple patches,” he said.
“I’ve gained a lot of confidence from my recent performances, especially the two wins. After the Cameron Corbett Vase, I went on holiday to Tenerife with a few of the boys to relax and enjoy some sunshine and I’ve been prepping for the Scottish Amateur since returning from that.”
Loretto’s Oliver Mukherjee, who created history when he became the event’s youngest winner at just 16 at Gailes Links 12 months ago, defends his title, with Suffolk-based Gregor Tait aiming to go one better after his loss in that final.
Nairn’s Calum Scott, the top-ranked Scot in the World Amateur Golf Ranking, is a notable absentee, but Connor Graham, the other Scottish player in the initial Great Britain & Ireland Walker Cup squad, is aiming to boost his hopes of facing the Americans at St Andrews on 2-3 September.
Other potential title contenders include 2021 champion Angus Carrick (Craigielaw), Battle Trophy winner Jack McDonald (Roxburghe Schloss), last year’s Scottish No 1 Connor Wilson (Castle Park), Royal Burgess left-hander Cameron Adam and reinstated amateur Chris Kelly (Scotscraig).
Meanwhile, Louise Duncan and Heather MacRae have both secured invitations for this week’s Freed Group Women’s Scottish Open at Dundonald Links.
The duo will be teeing up in the $2 million event in Ayrshire through spots handed out by long-term tournament partner VisitScotland.
Duncan and MacRae will join Gemma Dryburgh, Laura Beveridge, Michele Thomson, Kylie Henry and Pamela Pretswell Asher in flying the Saltire in a field containing seven of the world’s top ten.