The golfing good times keep coming for Robert Arnott.
Fresh from victory in last week's P&H Championship at Dundonald, the Bishopbriggs veteran showed no sign of easing up in the Scottish PGA Championship over the King's Course at Gleneagles yesterday.
"You have to take the good form when it comes, it doesn't last long," joked the self-deprecating Arnott after a tidy four-under 67 which hoisted him on to a six-under 136 and left him in a share of the lead with Greg McBain at the halfway stage of the Tartan Tour's flagship event.
The feelgood factor generated by one of the biggest victories of his long career seven days ago has given the flourishing 50-year-old an extra spring in his step. Hopefully those well-worn feet will stand up to the rigours of a final day comprising 36-holes. "It's going to be a tough shift," added Arnott, who has played in the Scottish PGA Championship for the past 20 years and was third behind eventual champion Paul Lawrie in 2005. "Getting a win like I did last week in my 50s has giving me a huge lift in confidence and I would love to win this. It's the national championship and there are some great names on it."
Those names include the likes of Bernard Gallacher, Sam Torrance, Sandy Lyle, Brian Barnes and the aforementioned Lawrie. It is a glittering roll of honour and Arnott's bid to etch his own name on to that cherished old piece of silverware gathered pace with a five-birdie round that was bolstered by a three on the on the tough, uphill par-four fourth. "That was like an eagle," said Arnott, who skelped a 3-iron into six feet and holed the birdie putt.
McBain, the 29-year-old who was fourth in the Scottish PGA Championship in 2010 and has built up a decent body of work in the event since then, finished with a flourish and trundled in a 25-footer on the 18th for an eagle in a 67 and a 136 tally.
The chasing pack is spearheaded by Paul O'Hara, Mark Kerr and Christopher Robinson, who all lurk just two shots off the pace on 138s. O'Hara, last season's Scottish Assistants' champion, has not been in the best of fettle since picking up an illness last weekend but a brace of 69s have provided a timely tonic even if the thought of two rounds on a tiring final day remains a daunting prospect. "I had to come home early from work on Saturday feeling ill and spent the whole of Sunday in bed," said the former Scottish amateur No.1, who aided his assault with a 6-iron into the teeth of the wind on the eighth for a birdie-two. "I was struggling near the end. I'll need some strength for two rounds."
Kerr divides his time between professional golf and working in the family-owned Canny Mans pub, that well-kent Edinburgh howff, and the 32-year-old served up a round of tartan special yesterday as he birdied his last three holes in a 70 to keep himself in the hunt. Whether he's pulling pints or putting for prizes, Kerr seems quite content. "I'm a full-time golfer from April to October," he said. "I still have goals as a golfer but it's nice to have something else to do."