Defending champion Louis Gaughan and Musselburgh’s Vikki Laing are both in the mix heading into the final day of the £20,000 Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Par 3 Championship in Aberdeen.
Gaughan, who claimed the title in a play-off last August, opened his defence with a three-over-par 57 for two circuits of the Devenick Course at the Paul Lawrie Golf Centre.
That left the Bathgate pro lying joint-sixth, five shots behind pacesetter Stephen Gray, at the end of a day when players battled winds gusting over 30mph.
“It was tough out there and it was really difficult to hole putts in the wind,” said Gaughan. “I reckoned par wouldn’t be far off the lead and I’ll go out tomorrow and give it my best shot.”
Laing, one of seven female pros in the field, is a shot further behind after being pleased with her opening effort in an event being hosted by 1999 Open champion Paul Lawrie.
“It was a triumph staying upright, really,” she said of the testing conditions. “I was pretty excited to get the chance to play in this event and it’s a lovely wee track.”
Newly-crowned Northern Open champion Gareth Wright was among those who struggled, having to settle for a 62 to sit ten shots off the lead.