THE decision to move the Lothians Amateur Championship to a new summer slot appears to have been vindicated despite concerns over the entry fee rising from £25 to £65.
It had been claimed that the price hike, introduced for the event being held at the exclusive Renaissance Club for the first time, might have a negative impact on the field.
But, in fact, a ballot was required due to 129 players vying for 96 spots, with the cut-off coming at 2.5 and producing what Lothians secretary Neil Park described as an “impressive field”. It includes most of the usual suspects as the stroke-play qualifying takes over two days – tomorrow and Sunday – instead of 36 holes being crammed into the one day. Also being held at the Renaissance Club, the match-play stage featuring the top 16 qualifiers then takes next Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.
Broomieknowe’s Sean Marc defends the title he won at Musselburgh last May, while other past champions in the field include Alan Anderson (Bruntsfield Links), Paul Drake (Pumpherston) and Allyn Dick (Kingsfield). Musselburgh’s Ian Fyfe, meanwhile, is bidding to do the double in an event being supported by the Sharkey Group after winning the Lothians Seniors at Newbattle earlier this week.