France’s Julien Brun led the way with a seven-under-par 66 as the rain-delayed first day of the 2010 Boys Amateur Championship, which is taking place at Kilmarnock (Barassie) and Dundonald Links, came to a close.
Brun teed-off at 7.22am at Barassie in the third game of the day, enduring six holes of torrential rain before the sound of the klaxon rang out to let players know that play had been suspended. Well over an hour later, with the 18-year-old on level par, play resumed. Brun immediately made back-to-back birdies on the par-four sixth and par-five seventh, reaching the turn in 34, two under par.
He would go on to start and finish the inward nine strongly, with birdies on the 10th and 11th, and the 17th and 18th, punctuated by a two on the 210-yard, par-three 14th.
His 66 leaves him three shots clear of England’s Jake Harrison and Frederik Hammer of Denmark, both of whom signed for the second-best round of the day at Barassie with four-under-par 69s.
“I’m really very happy with today; my round, it was very good,” said the French boys international. “My ball-striking was really good today and also my putting. It’s my last chance to play this year so I really want to do well,” he added.
Currently in a six-way tie for third after his first round is Italy’s Domenico Geminiani, who, in May at the Italian Open, became the youngest player to compete on the European Tour. The 14-year-old was playing his first-ever round of links golf today, responding to the challenge well with a three-under-par, first-round 70.
“It was my first time playing links golf and it was very nice,” said Geminiani, who is coached once a month by David Leadbetter in Florida. “The rain didn’t bother be too much – I started with an eagle, then went bogey, bogey, birdie, so I was one under when the delay came.
“You have to hit it much lower on links courses, especially in the wind. You’ve got to swing it much smoother – you can’t just go at it 100% the whole time. I just tried my best, and my best was good today.”
One of five tied with Geminiani on three under par is Long Ashton’s Adam Carson, whose 69 was the low round of the day at Dundonald, three shots better than anybody else could muster at the venue. Having gone out in 35, one under the card, Carson made three consecutive birdies at the 12th, 13th and 540-yard, par-five 14th to reach four under, before slipping back with a bogey at the last.
Barassie member Jack McDonald, along with his Scotland team-mate Grant Forrest, the 2010 Scottish Boys Champion, slipped up over the closing holes. Both tarnished what would otherwise have been good rounds.
“I’m a bit disappointed,” said McDonald, who posted a 75, two over par. “I had a bad finish with a bogey at 17 and a double-bogey at the last. But I’m only two over and I just need to get into the top-64.”
Forrest, who opened at Dundonald with a six-over 78 said: “I played well, but just had a nightmare on the last three holes. I was one over after 15 – I birdied the hard par-three – but I triple-bogeyed the next, parred the 17th and then I doubled the last for six over. One over will be a good score round there, so I’m still confident of my chances of getting through to the match play.”
Full hole-by-hole scores from each and every competitor can be found by clicking here.
The second stroke play qualifying round gets underway on Wednesday at 7.00am. 64 players and ties for 64th will progress to the match play stages, which will be staged solely by Barassie.