Leading Scots well placed at Porthcawl

Grant Forrest and Barry Hume, Scottish Amateur champions a decade apart, led the large travelling contingent to the Amateur Championship at Royal Porthcawl into a strong position in yesterday’s first round of qualifying.

Forrest, beaten finalist in last year’s Amateur at Carnoustie, opened with a four-under 67 in his first quialifying round at the main venue,  with the veteran Hume earlier producing a scorching front nine of five-under 36 on his way to a 66.

Australian Amateur champion Connor Syme (Drumoig) shot 68, also at Royal Porthcawl, and it means the Scots lie just behind leader Frenchman Antoine Rozner, who carded a seven-under 64 at Pyle and Kenfig, the second course in use for qualifying ahead of tomorrow’s matchplay stages.

Craig Ross (Kirkhill), the winner of the South African Amateur earlier this year, is also well placed after a 68 as the strong Scottish squad made a solid start to qualifying, the top four all comfortably within the top 10 with 64 qualifiers going forward to matchplay after today’s second qualifying round.

Ewen Ferguson, current Scotish Amateur champion Robert MacIntyre and Elderslie’s Alasdair McDougal were among others well within the top 64 after one round.

Meanwhile new moves by the RA to crack down on slow play in golf are being imposed for the first time at the Amateur Championship this week, although they won’t be used at the Open as yet.

As part for the governing body’s new policies emanating from their Time for Golf forum held in St Andrews last year, two new measures were added to Pace of Play conditions at the Amateur, being staged at Royal Porthcawl in Wales this week.

They’re intended to address anomalies in the current playing conditions and will allow championship committees the right to crack down on groups that fall out of position on the course even if they are playing to the allocated times set by the organisers.

The second measure – “Random Timing Without Warning When Group Not Out of Position” – is intended to root out those playing at a slow pace who are only kept in position by other members of their group playing quickly.

David Rickman, Executive Director – Rules and Equipment Standards at The RA, said new measures would improve pace of play initially at the RA’s amateur championships and international matches.

“It is now possible for us to address instances where a particular group has fallen behind, and is playing considerably slower than those groups ahead of them, but is still under the schedule,” he said. “The Committee will now have authority to time these groups and encourage a quicker pace of play.

“Players also have a responsibility for playing at a good pace, not just when they are out of position and being timed. We will now be able to intervene in situations where a player is only being kept in position as a result of the quick pace of play from others in their group.”

Article source: https://www.thecourier.co.uk/fp/sport/golf/189516/leading-scots-well-placed-at-porthcawl/