Carris Trophy starts with super scoring in the sun
Super scoring in the hot sunshine marked the first day of the boys’ Carris Trophy at Hunstanton in Norfolk, with two players leading the way on four-under 68.
Finland’s Matias Honkala set the target early on and was later joined by England’s Kristian Tannum Donaldson (Buckinghamshire) who produced his first bogey-free round in competition.
Right behind them are six players on 69: boy international Toby Briggs (Dunston Hall), Conor White (Bridgnorth), Thomas Harbord (Castle Eden), Angus Flanagan (St George’s Hill), Sweden’s Oscar Teiffel and Michael Gilbert (Chelmsford) who was runner-up in last week’s U16 McGregor Trophy
Altogether 31 boys made the most of the scoring conditions in the first round of the English U18 boys’ open stroke play championship, by either matching or beating par.
Honkala and Briggs (image © Leaderboard Photography) set off in the same group at 7.30am and, said the Norfolk player: “That was perfect, it didn’t get baking hot until we were about on the 15th.” Both players dropped a short on the long second, which should offer a birdie opportunity, but then Honkala got going, with four birdies before the turn and two on the back nine before another bogey on 17.
“I was hitting it pretty good and missed only one fairway and hit 16 greens,” said the 17-year-old, who is playing in the Carris for the first time. “Scoring conditions were good, but the course was getting pretty hard because it was so warm.”
Briggs got his round going with an eagle three on the 8th and said: “I created another four birdies but also had three three-putts and hit a ball in the water, so it had the potential to be much better and I’m looking forward to tomorrow.”
Briggs was quickly joined by other players on three-under, but no-one challenged the lead until Tannum Donaldson finished in the late afternoon, with his flawless 68.
He had one stroke of luck, when he holed an 80-footer for birdie two on the blind par three 14th. But for the rest, he said: “I was hitting fairways and greens and very, very rarely got myself in trouble.”
The 16-year-old – a former boys’ champion from Berks, Bucks & Oxon - is playing in the Carris for the first time and surpassed his personal goal of a two-under start to the championship. “It was a perfect day for scoring with not much wind,” he remarked with an eye on tomorrow’s forecast which promises more sunshine, but strengthening winds.
Click here for full scores