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British Amateur: First Rd Loss for Defending Champ
01 Jun 2005
see also: British Amateur Championship, Royal St George's Golf Club

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SOUTHPORT, ENGLAND (June 1, 2005) -- Gary Wolstenholme, twice a winner of the championship, expected to be at home last night after a five-over-par 36-hole score in qualifying for the Amateur Championship. But his 147 total was just good enough to make the cut and he has survived the first two rounds of match play while his Walker Cup team mate Stuart Wilson, the defending champion, went out by 5 and 4 in the first round.

Wolstenholme, the winner of the title in 1991 and 2003, beat Mark Halliday of Royal Aberdeen by one hole in the first round and went on to a 2 and 1 victory over home club member Ben Parker in the second round.

Lloyd Saltman, back to back winner of the Brabazon and St Andrews Links events in the past few weeks, had a tough second round battle with fellow Scot Jamie McLeary of Leven GS. Saltman lost the opening hole, but birdied the second. He was two down after five, but square after eight holes. McLeary won the ninth and 11th, but lost the next three holes to par and when Saltman hit a five-iron second shot to two feet at the 16th the match was over.

"My course management is much better this year," said the 19-year-old Saltman, whose elder brother Elliot also successfully negotiated the first two rounds. "I'm now trying to hit fairways and aim for the middle of the greens rather than always firing at the flag."

His 23-year-old brother lived dangerously in the second round, having to make birdies at the two final holes for a one hole victory over James Ruth of Tavistock, who had finished in second place in the qualifying rounds.

Oliver Fisher of West Essex had a tough but successful day. He was first out in the bad weather at seven o'clock, completed a 2 and 1 win over Craig Fort of Nelson and was back on the course shortly after noon for a convincing 6 and 5 win over Christopher Evans of Maxstoke Park.

Leading qualifier Damian Ulrich of Switzerland was not able to carry his good form into the match play stages and lost 2 and 1 to Chris McDonnell (Stocksfield) in the first round.

Nigel Edwards, the Walker Cup player from Whitchurch, who was given a bye into the second round, was taken to the 19th hole in a tight match against Jonathan Evans of Wentworth. "It was a close match," said Edwards. "There was never more than one in it, but I felt I just had the upper hand."

Darren Crowe, from Belfast's Dunmurry Golf Club, one of the leading qualifiers, took advantage of his bye into the second round and came out refreshed in the afternoon to beat Michael McGeady, from the North West club in Co Donegal by 5 and 4.

Please click the tournament link above, then the 'results' button to view complete results (amateurgolf.com membership required)

ABOUT THE British Amateur

The first stage of the Championship involves 288 players each of whom plays two rounds of 18 holes, one to be played on each of the two courses. The 64 lowest scores over the 36 holes and ties for 64th place will compete in the match play stage of the Championship. Each match will consist of one round of 18 holes except the Final which will be over 36 holes.

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