Rebekah Gardner and Charlie Kelly are the best of the Irish at the R&A Boys’ and Girls’ Amateur.
Gardner, from Clandeboye, made the cut to the match play stages alongside Olivia Costello and Molly O’Hara while in the Boys event Charlie Kelly from Roganstown finished on 139 after two rounds, just two shots off the top spot.
He will be joined by Ballyneety’s Morgan O’Sullivan, Greenore’s Matthew Giles and Gavin O’Neill from Malehide.
The Spanish pair of Paula Martin Sampedro and Jorge Siyuan Hao led the respective top-64 qualifiers into the match play stages with history being made in Angus with leading under-18 players from across the world gathering for the two championships, proudly supported by EventScotland, at Carnoustie, Monifieth and Panmure.
In bright and breezy conditions, Sampedro, 16, was the only player from the 144-player Girls’ field to finish under par at Carnoustie. After two rounds of stroke play qualifying at the recent venue for The Open and AIG Women’s Open, she finished on a two-under total of 140.
“This shows how my game is right now and I’m really happy to be at the top of the leaderboard with all these amazing girls. I’ll go into the match play with the same mindset because it is what really matters in this type of championship,: said Sampedro.
“This is my first time playing the Girls’ Amateur and links golf, so it has been a really good experience and I hope it continues like this. I’m really enjoying my first time in Scotland,” she added.
Hao, also only aged 16, was a model of consistency to top the 252 players who competed in Boys’ stroke play qualifying at Monifieth and Panmure. Hao finished on four-under after scores of 68 and 69 for a 137 total.
Making his debut appearance in the Boys’ Amateur, Hao carded a two-under-par 69 at Monifieth to finish on four-under and secure his place in the match play stage at Carnoustie. Hao was one shot clear of Marco Florioli (18) from Italy and Swede Wilhelm Ryding (18) who posted three-under-par 68 and four-under-par 67 respectively.
Four players finished on two-under-par, led by Florioli’s compatriot Flavio Michetti and Ireland’s Charlie Kelly, who produced seven-under-par 64s at Monifieth. Sweden’s August Petersson was on the same mark, despite a double bogey at the last at Panmure, as was leading home hope Connor Graham, after a level-par round of 70 at the same venue.
For the first time, the match play stages of the Girls’ and Boys’ Amateur will be played simultaneously at one venue when they are held at Carnoustie later in the week.