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John Paterson



Bernie McGuire 

 John Paterson confessed he was thinking of breaking 60 in eventually equalling the Balcomie Links course record with a seven-under par 62 early on day one of the 2019 Scottish Men’s Amateur at Crail Golfing Society.


 The New Club at St. Andrews golfer was out in the very first group at 7.30am and teeing-up in glorious conditions at the 7th oldest golf club managing two eagles and three birdies to lead the 164-strong field by four strokes.


 Paterson is no stranger to Crail having competed in the club’s Junior Open and he used that knowledge to his benefit.


 He kick-started his round in landing a 5-iron to around 20-feet from the flat at the par-5 second hole and sank the eagle putt.


 Paterson then grabbed a second eagle of his round at the uphill par-5 11th hole where he hit a 6-iron to just four feet.


 He managed birdies at the par-4 fourth hole, the short par-4 ninth and then a third birdie in his round at the short par-4 15th.


 However, he went close on a number of other occasions including leaving a 12-foot left of the flat on 17 right in the jaws of the hole.


 “I was thinking about shooting 59 as that score was definitely out there today,” he said.


 “I know both courses here at Crail well having played in the Junior Open a few times when I was a wee boy but then I have not played the Balcomie Links for a few years now.


 “The conditions were ideal this morning with little wind while I drove the ball well and it presented me with plenty of opportunities.


 “I was greenside to the right on the par-5 12th and didn’t manage to get up-and-down while on 14 I hit it to 7-feet and missed the birdie putt while you saw my putt on 17.


 “So, while a little disappointed I cannot be too unhappy as the golf course was there for the taking and with the greens in fantastic condition.


 “I’m not sure if I will be still be leading at the end of the day but it’s a great start and I can build on that.”


 Long-time Crail Golfing Society member Ross Forgan first set the Balcomie Links course record of 62.