Capital-based Paul McKechnie is feeling quietly confident as he prepares for a big finish to his 2018 season.
First up for the long-serving Braid Hills Golf Centre pro is a chance to win the M&H Logistics Scottish Championship at Gleneagles.
Heading into the final round on the King’s Course, McKechnie had the leaders in his sights after staying in the mix with a third-day 68.
That left him sitting fifth on seven-under, just three shots behind joint-leaders Greig Hutcheon and Paul O’Hara, in the Tartan Tour’s flagship event.
“I hit it close at the opening two holes for tap-in birdies,” reported McKechnie, “but then my putts were burning the edge of the hole for the rest of the round.
“That was a wee bit disappointing because I definitely feel there is a 64 or 65 out there. This is a course I normally do well around and hopefully I can card that low one tomorrow.”
While the event at the picturesque Perthshire venue marks the end of the domestic season, it’s not the end of the road for McKechnie as far as this year is concerned.
Next week he’s playing in the PGA EuroPro Tour Championship at Desert Springs in Spain and the following week in the same country he’s got the second stage of the European Tour Qualifying School.
“I’m looking forward to these two big weeks and it’s down to my two sponsors, the Orion Group and Deans Civil Engineering, that I can still try and win a Tour card,” said McKechnie. “I wouldn’t be going to either of these events if I didn’t think I was good enough and having these two sponsors has meant I can be properly prepared.”
Hutcheon, the halfway leader at Gleneagles, eagled the last for the third day running to sit alongside O’Hara on 10-under, one ahead of Chris Currie, a member of last year’s winning PGA Cup team, after he shot a 65. Jamie McLeary (69) is five off the pace while Neil Fenwick (72) has eight shots to make up over 18 holes. Gareth Wright (68) and Andrew Oldcorn (71) both trail by 10 shots.