Ireland’s Jack Murphy produced a round of the day 63, and Fulford course record, to ease clear in stroke play qualifying at The R&A Boys’ Amateur Championship in Yorkshire.
Over the testing Fulford lay out, Murphy was on fine form to post seven birdies and an eagle and sit three shots ahead after the opening round.In July, he became the first person to retain the Munster Boys’ title in 50 years and has continued his form this week.
The Douglas starlet leads by three shots from Spaniard Jorge Siyuan Hao and Connor Graham from Scotland, who is chasing a Great Britain and Ireland Walker Cup place, after their rounds of six-under 66. Englishman Kris Kim from Walton Heath is in the group at four-under.
Of the remaining Irish challenge Tipperary’s Donnacha Cleary is two-under after an opening 70 with Malone’s Fionn Dobbin two shots further back alongside Aodhagan Brady of Co Sligo.
Over at Ganton, Ortengren produced a thrilling back nine of five birdies in her last seven holes to share the early top spot with Moreno, who eagled the par-5 9th during her fine round.Helen Briem from Germany, the leading girl in the field at 11th on the WAGR, is well-placed after her solid round of four-under 70 following three birdies in her opening seven holes.
Sara Brentcheneff from France is also four-under, a stroke ahead of three players on three-under – including Spains Andrea Revuelta (41 on the WAGR).Francesca Fiorellini from Italy, a past winner of The R&A Girls’ U16 Amateur and Belgian Savannah De Bock – one of ten amateurs to compete in last week’s AIG Women’s Open at Walton Heath – are also well-positioned after their level-par rounds.
Meanwhile, in the Girls’ Amateur Championship, Meja Ortengen – one of the top-ranked players in the field – also shone in England’s north-east.
The Swede is placed 13th on the World Amateur Golf Ranking® (WAGR®) and showed her class to record a five-under-par 69 at Ganton, the same mark as Spaniard Marina Joyce Moreno.
Like last year at Carnoustie when the match play stages of the Boys’ and Girls’ Amateur were played simultaneously at one venue, the same format is taking place this week for the prestigious under-18 championships.Stroke play qualifying is taking place at renowned venues Ganton and Fulford before the knock-out stages move to Ganton for the conclusion of both championships.
Scottish Girls champion Olivia Costello (Roscommon) started well with a level-par 74 to share tenth place with Woburn based Roisin Scanlon a shot further back alongside Kate Dillon of Oughterard.
From a field of 144 players representing 29 countries in both events, the top 64 players will qualify for the match play stages.
View day one scores from Ganton and Fulford here.