Local lad Calum Scott and John Paterson still standing in Amateur at Nairn
Host club member Calum Scott and St Andrews man John Paterson both showed their fighting qualities to reach the quarter-finals in the 126th Amateur Championship at Nairn.
Seventeen-year-old Scott won at the 19th in both his matches on the second day of the match-play phase, with University of Colorado graduate Paterson also digging deep in the morning to do likewise.
Bidding to become the first Scottish player to claim the title since Bradley Neil in 2014, Scott now meets Welshman James Ashfield while Paterson takes on Englishman Monty Scowsill.
It had been a blow for the host club when Sandy Scott, the world No 7, was ruled out of the R&A event due to a wrist injury that also forced him to miss a second Walker Cup appearance last month.
However, his younger brother has used the home gig to step out of his shadow and was delighted to come through tight tussles with Iceland’s Hlynur Bergsson and Englishman Harley Smith.
“I can’t really believe it,” said Scott of his exploits so far, which have been watched by Sandy. ”When everyone is cheering my shots, it’s just amazing, so good.
“If you had said to me I would be in the quarter finals at the start of the week I’m not sure I would have believed it.
“I’m really tired. Thirty eight holes in one day is not easy, especially with a lot of pressure.
“It’s good to still have two Scottish players hanging in there in the last eight. I can’t wait for tomorrow. I’m really happy.”
Paterson, a member of the New Club in St Andrews, won the last against England’s Rory Browne to stay alive in the morning before winning the 19th hole with a birdie into the wind.
“Being able to close that match out, knowing I can do it, is always a good thing to have in the back of my mind,” he said after then beating another English player, Josef Hacker, 3&2 in the afternoon.
Both Paterson and Scott are now just three wins away from securing spots in both The Open and The Masters. “I’m not dreaming yet, it’s one game at a time,” insisted Paterson.
“I’m just trying to hit the fairway on the 1st hole tomorrow morning – that’s all I’m thinking about.”