Forsyth and O'Hara tied at the top as battle intensifies in Loch Lomond Whiskies Scottish PGA Championship

Forsyth and O'Hara tied at the top as battle intensifies in Loch Lomond Whiskies Scottish PGA Championship


It’s tight at the top in the Loch Lomond Whiskies Scottish PGA Championship at West Kilbride. At this rate, the Arnold Clark Tartan Tour officials will have to deploy the hydraulic rescue tools to prise apart the frontrunners.

After a sun-soaked second day on the Ayrshire coast, Alastair Forsyth and Paul O’Hara are tied at the summit on 11-under with Craig Lee, last year’s runner-up, lurking menacingly just a stroke behind. It’s all set up for an intriguing closing 36-holes.

Forsyth, the leader after round one, cemented his place at the top with a five-under 66 while O’Hara, the national champion in 2019, bolstered his title tilt with a neatly assembled 65.

With just one bogey in two rounds, O’Hara is certainly in fine fettle and he made hay while that big fiery orb up in the sky shone down on this wonderful links.

A bag of six birdies burnished a tidy card as the reigning Tartan Tour No 1 found himself in familiar territory at the sharp end of affairs.

“It was a good day for scoring and I was pleased to take advantage,” said O’Hara, who has three second place finishes in the Scottish PGA Championship as well as a win.

Going toe-to-toe with former main Tour players like Forsyth and Lee continues to stir the senses too. “I’m really looking forward to the next couple of days,” he added. “It’s like a Sky Sports marquee group on the television with big Al and Craig. They are two great players and I’ll need to be at my best.”

After a slow start to his second circuit, Forsyth injected his round with fresh vigour with a mighty putt of some 50 feet on the seventh for an eagle. 

He struggled to make any more inroads, however, until a late thrust which saw him pick up three shots on his last five holes. A birdie chance spurned on the last from six-feet left him reflecting on what might have been. All in all, though, it was a good day at the office.

“It ended up better than it was looking early on,” admitted Forsyth, who won the national crown back in 2000. “It’s good to be in the mix. If you are going to win at this level you have to beat the likes of Paul and Craig. You have a good idea who will feature at the top in these events. If you finish ahead of Paul there’s a good chance you’ll win.”

Lee will have something to say about that, of course, and he upped the ante in his bid for a maiden Scottish PGA title with a fine 65 for 10-under.

The former DP World Tour campaigner is also eyeing the Tartan Tour’s Order of Merit crown this season and the Stirling man is ready to come out all guns blazing in his quest for a double whammy of successes.

“It could be a birdie fest over the next two days,” said Lee. 

Despite carving out six birdies, Lee was left to mull over the ones that got away. “It’s funny to say you’re disappointed with a 65 but I missed lots of chances and it really could’ve been much better,” he added. “I’m being pretty aggressive with the driver and that’s setting me up nicely but I’m just not making the most of that just now. Hopefully, it can change over the next couple of days.”

Deeside’s Sam Kiloh is still very much in the mix on nine-under after a purposeful 65 that started with three birdies in his first four holes. 

Kiloh has a three-shot cushion over Gavin Hay, who is fifth on six-under, with Aberdeen veteran Scott Henderson a shot further back on five-under.

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