Tournament Newsroom

Royal Ashdown Forest
13 July 2016

Tom beats the challenges to lead the McGregor

Teenager Tom Matthews overcame a host of challenges to take the first round lead in the McGregor Trophy with a score of two-under par 70 at Royal Ashdown Forest.

His trolley collapsed by the first green and he had to carry his tour bag for two holes while his dad dashed off to get a replacement.

Then his play was brought to an abrupt halt on the 13th when thunder, lightning and torrential rain forced the players off the course. The first round was suspended and 11 groups had to return this morning to complete their opening 18 holes.

But far from derailing Matthews, the 16-year-old from Oswestry played his way to the top of the leaderboard. He had five birdies on the front nine yesterday, including one on the fourth where he chipped in for three. He dropped his first shot on the 9th but another birdie on 10 took him back to five-over.

He dropped two shots before the break and another today, on the 14th, but said afterwards: “I’m extremely pleased. I played solid, sensible golf, attacked the pin when I needed to – and didn’t when I shouldn’t!” 

Matthews, who is the Shropshire & Herefordshire county champion, added: “The conditions yesterday were pretty bad but I didn’t really want to be called off. But now I think the break helped because I’d just made two bogies in a row.”

Matthews leads by one from four players who all completed their first round yesterday: Tom Stagg (Salisbury & South Wilts), George Raitt (Whetstone), Thom Hoetmer of The Netherlands and Nicolai Hojgaard of Denmark.

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Image: the second at Royal Ashdown Forest (Image © Leaderboard Photography)??

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