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James Ross at home among the pros on home course at Royal Burgess

James Ross, the Scottish Amateur of the Year in 2013, lies one shot off the lead after the first round of the HotelPlanner.com PGA EuroPro Tour event at Edinburgh's Royal Burgess, his home course.

He trails the Englishman Gary King, of Tyrrells Wood, who shot a six-under-par 64, and is level with two more English players, Jack Colegate (Deanridge GC) and James Watts (Kingsway Golf Centre).

Ross, playing in his first pro event but maintaining his amateur status and therefore ineligible for any prize money, was pleased with his efforts in his first experience of professional tournament golf.

"You can never base anything on one event but it is nice to find out what a professional tournament feels like," he said. "This is my first professional event. I have played Open qualifying but that is open to pros and amateurs. I am very comfortably here because I am a member and have been since I was a boy, so it is nice to have some local support. I had eight birdies, taking advantage of the par 5s, and I hit a few wedges quite close.

"I will probably turn pro at the end of the summer. I am moving out to Houston, which is where I went to college, so I will go down the ­American route when I turn pro."

n North Berwick's Clara Young recaptured the form that took her to the final of last year's Scottish Women's Amateur Championship with rounds of 72 and 73 to be the top seed in the matchplay stages of the Scottish Under-18 Girls' Closed Championship at Dumfries and County GC. She finished a shot ahead of Germany-based Fiona Liddell (Gutersloh) (75,71) with the title-holder, Connie Jaffrey (Troon Ladies) third best on 147 (74-73).

The number of championship matchplay qualifiers was reduced from 32 to 16 this year because of the low entry - only 41 players - and the championship final will be played tomorrow afternoon instead of Saturday morning.

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