Nairn beginner Scott progressed to subsequent week’s Final Qualifying in model by carding a best-of-the-day five-under 65 at Panmure in one among 15 Regional Qualifiers happening across the UK and Ireland.
On a day when the sooner starters on the Angus venue loved a better take a look at than these out within the afternoon, former Amateur champion Neil was additionally amongst a gaggle of 10 gamers to clear the primary hurdle in an thrilling battle to safe spots within the season’s last main subsequent month.
Having misplaced out in a play-off in his bid to make a second US Open look at Brookline final week, Scott was delighted to return by his newest qualifying take a look at with flying colors as he completed a shot forward of fellow beginner Thomas Finnegan from County Sligo.
“It was good,” mentioned Scott, a former Walker Cup participant, of his day’s work. “It was tough as it got a little bit breezier on the back nine. There are some good birdie chances on the first few holes and I took advantage of them before also making a few birdies coming in, including a nice 25-footer at the last.”
At a time when he was inside the highest 10 within the World Amateur Golf Rankings, Scott was all set to show skilled when the Covid pandemic hit then suffered a wrist damage that left him fearing about his profession.
“It was rough time for about a year and a half with the injury,” he admitted. “I still have to manage what I’m doing and be aware of it. As long as I do that, I can play and that’s the most important thing.
“Though I didn’t get into the US Open, the way I played in the qualifier was kind of the start of some good golf for me and ever since then it’s been getting better.”
Neil, who played in the 2014 Open at Royal Liverpool on the back of his Amateur Championship win that year, eagled the 14th then birdied the 17th as he shot a 67 to share fourth spot with amateur duo John Paterson (New Club St Andrews) and Alan Berrington (Drumoig).
“It’s actually the first year I haven’t got straight into Final Qualifying,” said Neil. “You’ve no idea what you’re aiming for, how many qualify. You’ve just got to keep going at it.”
The 26-year-old is starting to rediscover his form after getting into a rut since losing his seat at the top table in European golf after just one season.
“I don’t think the game has ever been away, it’s just the mental struggles have been crazy,” said Neil, who came through the amateur ranks with Bob MacIntyre, Grant Forrest, Ewen Ferguson, Calum Hill and Connor Syme.
“You see your peers do so well and you feel you should be there with them. But different people just take their own time, I suppose. I was there and I don’t think I was ready when I was there.
“You’ve really got to lean on the people around you. I’ve got an incredible missus in Roseanna Bailey. I’ve been with for ten years and her family, let alone mine, are outstanding.”
In a seven-man play-off for the final five spots, former European Tour player Peter Whiteford kept his hopes alive along with fellow Scots John Henry, Liam Duncan and Ben Murray, as well as Bolivian James Arandia.
In-form Graeme Robertson led a posse of Scots in progressing at Goswick while PGA EuroPro Tour player Stuart McLaren also passed his test at Minchinhampton.