Keir McNicoll got his year off to the perfect start with a double triumph in the East Alliance at Gullane No 3.
One of the host club’s PGA pros, the former Scottish international carded a two-under-par 66 to secure him the scratch spoils by two shots from The Renaissance Club’s Neil Henderson. McNicoll also picked up the day’s overall prize, The John Glen Trophy.
Henderson secured second spot in the scratch standings by a shot from three players – Ryan Buckley (Royal Musselburgh), Richard Johnston (Glenbervie) and Chris Morris (Kingsknowe).
On the handicap front, Uphall’s Martin Rennie, with a net 68 off four, claimed top spot by a shot from Ratho Park three-handicapper Ross Boyle and Ian Fyfe, who plays off the same mark at Musselburgh.
Top trainee was Duddingston’s Ross Munro on 70, the same net score carded by fellow nine-handicappers Derek Jervis (Prestonfield) and Willie Miller (Falkirk Tryst) as they shared the scratch spoils.
Henderson, with 392 points, continues to lead the scratch Order of Merit from Kingsknowe’s Chris Morris (367) and Edinburgh Golf Centre man Craig Gordon (336.5).
In the handicap standings, Walter Forsyth (Peebles) remains at the top, but has new chasers in Craigielaw’s David Nicolson (82.5) and Rennie (78.5).
Yesterday’s event was the first following the recent death of Willie Smith, a life member of the East Alliance.
“Willie was a gent and I certainly will have fond recollections of the chats we had before and after he played,” said secretary Alan Greenshields.
Elsewhere, Dunbar’s Danny Kay opened with a two-over-par 74 at Hua Hin in Thailand in his bid to secure an Asian Tour card.