Lucan’s Richard O’Donovan defied winds gusting up to 30mph to graba share of the first round lead in the 118th Amateur Championship at Royal Cinque Ports and Prince’s.
Only four players in the 288-strong field broke par with O’Donovan, Lake Nona’s Charlie Bull and Dane Mads Soegaard sharing the lead after two under par rounds of 70 at Prince’s.
O’Donovan, 23, swapped three birdies and one bogey in the late afternoon to tie for the lead and after claiming a top-five finish at the Irish Amateur Open in May, he said he was looking to making it third time lucky in The Amateur Championship.
“It’s a different course tomorrow,” he said. “I will go out and have a gameplan on how I want to play the golf course.
“The main thing is to make the cut but it would be great to be the leading qualifier. Last year I was tied third but I was knocked out in the first round of match play so it would be good to go all the way this year.”
Norwegian Kristoffer Ventura carded a one under 70 at Royal Cinque Ports while Rathsallagh’s Jack Hume is tied for fifth after a 71 at Royal Cinque Ports.
A clutch of players were on level par including recently crowned Irish Close champion Cormac Sharvin (72 at Prince’s), St Andrew Links Trophy winner Neil Raymond, Nathan Kimsey and Scotsmen Grant Forrest and Graeme Robertson.
Mourne’s Reeve Whitson was tied for 13th after a one over 73 at Prince’s with left hander Richard Bridges and Castlarock’s Aaron Kearney shooting one over 73s at Royal Cinque Ports.
Other Irish scores:
James Fox 74 (+3), Shane McGlynn 75 (+4), Chris Selfridge 76 (+4), Robbie Cannon 76 (+4), Harry Diamond 76 (+5), Nicky Grant 76 (+5), Geoff Lenehan 76 (+5), Rory McNamara 77 (+5), Paul Dunne 77 (+6), Matt McAlpin 78 (+6), Brian Casey 78 (+7), Dermot McElroy 78 (+7), Gary Hurley 79 (+7).
Australian Brady Watt, ranked third in the World Amateur Golf Rankings, posted a ten over par round of 82 at Prince’s and Frenchman Julien Brun, ranked fifth, is five over par after a 76 at Royal Cinque Ports but local favourite Max Orrin, from North Foreland, is well placed after a two over par 73 at the same course.
The second stroke play stage of The Amateur Championship is played tomorrow before the field is cut to 64 and ties. The match play stage is played over the final four days at Royal Cinque Ports.
For the full round one results please click here.