NOTTINGHAM, England — There’s a three-way tie on three-under par 69 at the top of an international leaderboard after the first round of the Brabazon Trophy, supported by Your Golf Travel, at Notts Golf Club.
England’s Ben Taylor, who recently returned home after hitting the heights of US college golf, was first to set the pace. He was later joined by Austria’s Lukas Lipold and Lincolnshire’s Jordan Wrisdale.
A group of four players are a shot behind them, among them Cheshire’s Oliver Carr, who had two eagles including a hole-in-one on the 9th. He is joined by playing partner Ben Amor of Wiltshire, Yorkshire’s Jonathan Thomson and Ireland’s Colm Campbell.
They head an impressive leaderboard with 25 players at par or better on a day of sunshine, made tricky by a steadily increasing breeze. Among them is the host club’s Chris Hurrell who went round in level 72. It’s also a thoroughly international leaderboard with seven countries represented by players in the top 13 and ties.
Taylor, 24, is still buzzing from playing a crucial role with his university team to win the biggest championship in US college golf. And, as he proved with a bogey-free round on the Hollinwell course, he’s clearly kept the momentum going.
“I was very pleased with the round, it was very solid,” said the international from Walton Heath. “I drove it pretty well, kept myself in position off the tee and put myself on the right side of the flag.”
His card was immaculate, with birdies on the 6th, 10th and 16th – where he hit his shot of the day after his drive came to rest in a divot mark. He fashioned a stroke with his pitching wedge and was rewarded when the ball stopped within a foot of the hole for a tap-in birdie. “It made the best of a bad situation and I had good pars on the last two holes into the wind,” he reported.
His score was matched first by former Austrian champion, Lukas Lipold, who finished with birdies on both 17 and 18.
“I hit it really good today and gave myself chances on the par fives,” said Lipold, who birdied all three of the long holes. “I also managed to roll in some putts from 10ft.”
ordan Wrisdale, from Boston, came into this event in great form, having helped Lincolnshire qualify for County Finals with individual scores of 68, 64 at Gog Magog in Cambridgeshire. “I’ve been playing solid for some time and just waiting for it to click,” he said after today’s round.
Like Lipold, he had six birdies in his round, but his most memorable score was his par four on 18. “My second leaked into a bunker, I had one foot in, one out on a downslope and I just played to get it out. I hit it to 20ft and holed the putt. It was a great save!”
In the group immediately behind the leading trio is Jonathan Thomson (Lindrick) who scored two-under 70 and also had an adventurous end to his round. His drive on the 17th finished in a bush, from which he had to take a drop, his next plugged in a bunker, his fourth lipped out of the hole and he calmly holed the next for a par. “It was a pretty good par,” he said.
“I’m definitely pleased with my round. If you keep the ball in play the course is pretty scorable and I did, mostly, hit the ball really well.”
Oliver Carr, who was playing in the last group on the course, had the shot of the day, with a hole in one on the 178-yard ninth hole, where he used a seven-iron. He had already had an eagle three on the sixth, together with a couple of birdies and a bogey, and he reached the turn at five-under.
“I struggled a bit on the back nine,” he said, referring to loose shots on 15 and 17. “But I can’t say I’m disappointed, I’m pleased with the score, especially as it’s a four-round event. It gives you a nice look and puts you in contention.”
After tomorrow’s round the field will be cut to the leading 60 players and ties who will contest the final 36 holes.