Craigielaw’s Nurtai Saldarov overcame the “Stuart Cup jinx” to win his opening tie in the Lothians Championship at Luffness.
The leading qualifier has frequently been knocked out in the first round but Saldarov dug deep to avoid being added to that list.
Continuing to benefit from the experience gained by playing at this week’s venue in the U.S. Kids Golf event in 2015, he eventually got the better of Stuart McLaren (Bruntsfield Links) at the 22nd. Saldarov now takes on Ricky Moffat after the Turnhouse player progressed to the last eight with a 4&3 win over McLaren’s clubmate, Ross Brydon.
Alan Anderson and Mike Rolland are still flying the Bruntsfield Links flag. Bidding to land the title for a third time, Anderson beat fellow former champion David Miller (Duddingston) by two holes while Rolland was a last-green winner over Longniddry’s Michael Bacigalupo. Defending champion Jamie Morris (Glencorse) is also through, as is 2015 winner Sean Marc (Broomieknowe).
First-round results: Nurtai Saldarov (Craigielaw) bt Stuart McLaren (Bruntsfield Links) at 22nd; Rickie Moffat (Turnhouse) bt Ross Brydon (Bruntsfield Links) 4&3; Sandy Reid (Bruntsfield Links) lost to Jamie Duguid (Dunbar) two holes; Michael Rolland (Bruntsfield Links) bt Michael Bacigalupo (Longniddry) one hole; Alan Smith (Gullane) lost to Jamie Morris (Glencorse) 2&1; Rory Smith (Dalmahoy) bt Murray Paterson (Bruntsfield Links) 5&3; Greg Paterson (Mortonhall) lost to Sean Marc (Broomieknowe) two holes; David Miller (Duddingston) lost to Alan Anderson (Bruntsfield Links) two holes.