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Scottish Open qualifier gives Moray greens highest praise

By Craig Christie

MORAY Golf Club could have the best greens in Scotland, claims the man who mastered the course to claim a place in this week’s AAM Scottish Open.

Jack Doherty won the Scottish Open qualifier at Moray and was impressed by the course
Jack Doherty won the Scottish Open qualifier at Moray and was impressed by the course

Indeed several of the country’s top professionals queued up to lavish praise upon the Lossiemouth links, which played host to a 36-hole qualifier for the European Tour event at Castle Stuart.

Rowallan Castle’s Jack Doherty won in a tense finale in testing conditions on Sunday to book his place alongside a host of major winners and star names taking part in the Highlands.

Fellow Scots and European Tour regulars Peter Whiteford and Alastair Forsyth also made the top five qualifying cut-off, as did Kris Nicol from Fraserburgh and Welshman Gareth Wright.

There was heartache for local amateur Kyle Godsman, from Hopeman, who led the tourney after 23 holes but ended up narrowly missing out on a Scottish Open place by just two shots.

Winner Doherty (34) who plays on the second tier of the European Tour – the Challenge Tour – shot rounds of 68 and 70 to top the leaderboard.

The Kilmarnock golfer’s success up for the heartache of just failing to qualify for The Open championships at Royal Troon, after Colin Montgomerie pipped him by a shot at Glasgow Gailes less than a week earlier.

Doherty was happy with the consolation of a first shot at Castle Stuart, and he had nothing but praise for the Moray old course he was playing for the very first time.

“It’s fantastic, and in really good condition,” he said. “The greens must be one of the best in Scotland just now, definitely. I played Glasgow Gailes on Tuesday, they were super and these are up there with it as well.

“The front nine (at Moray) is tough because you are restricted with the driver and you’ve got to get it in position but it makes the second shots really long.

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