Henderson rolls back the years

27/08/2013

2907ScottishScottHenderson

Seventeen years after he won the title at Cruden Bay, Scott Henderson is back in the Northern Open picture.

The 43-year-old Kings Links pro led a charge of sub-par scorers - 21 in all - on the opening day of the three-day, 72-hole Tartan Tour Order of Merit event at Meldrum House.

Late on a day which turned from warm and sunny, calm conditions to a very wet afternoon, Henderson posted an eight-under-par 62 to dislodge David Law, the 2011 winner as an amateur, from the lead he had held with a 63.

Out in the worst of the conditions, Henderson knows what it takes to win the Northern Open in bad weather. In 1996, at Cruden Bay, he won the title in gale-force winds so bad weather does not bother the Aberdonian.

He birdied the long fifth with two putts and holed a four foot birdie putt - his first single putt of the round - at the eighth.

Henderson reached the turn in 33 of which 17 had been putts.

"I holed a raker of a putt from about 40 feet for a birdie at the 10th and got a two-putt birdie four at the 11th," he said.

"I then holed another from more than 30 feet for a birdie three at the 14th. I did well to get a one-putt par five at the 16th and then finished with a pair of twos with a three-wood to 12 feet at the 17th  for an eagle and then a seven-iron to six feet at the short 18th."

Henderson had come storming home in 29, six-under-par, with 14 putts on the inward half.

"My putting has been letting me down this season and I've lost confidence on the greens, leaving putts well short by being too timid.

"But today I seemed to see the lines better and some of the long putts went in.

"I’ve been playing OK on the Tartan Tour this season, just the putting has not been as good as the rest of the game. Maybe this is the turning point.

"It was like a summer's day when we started. Look at it now - like North-east Alliance weather - lots of rain and a bit of wind."

Until Henderson’s round, the clubhouse leader was Law (Paul Lawrie Golf Centre) who won the event as an amateur over the same course in 2011.

He carded a seven-under-par 63 with Graham Fox (Clydeway Golf) posting a 64, followed closely by Robert Arnott (Bishopbriggs) on 65 and leading amateur Jamie Savage (Cawder) and David Patrick (Kingsfield) on 66.

Law, who  birdied the last three holes, commented:  "I know the Meldrum House course well from my amateur days when I used to come out here to see my coach Neil Marr.

"I like the course, I feel comfortable on it and it shows in my scores. I had a 62 the year I won the title but that was from preferred lies. I've got a good record in this tournament because the course just suits my eye."

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