Flanagan holds off his ‘moving day’ challengers
It was moving day in the Carris Trophy today and the pressure was on – but no-one could catch overnight co-leader Angus Flanagan.
The 17-year-old from Surrey (Image © Leaderboard Photography) held off his challengers with a third round 69 and a 10-under par total for the English U18 boys’ championship at Hunstanton.
He’s two shots ahead of Oscar Teiffel of Sweden and Matias Honkala of Denmark who sscored 68 and 69 respectively. Kristian Tannum Donaldson (Buckinghamshire), who also led after the second round, is now six-under after scoring one-over 73 today.
Today’s action unfolded under more bright sunshine and the players capitalised on the perfect scoring conditions, notching up 196 birdies and 12 eagles between them.
That translated into an exciting battle for the top of the leaderboard - and a giant stride for Sweden’s Hugo Townsend, who shot the best score of the tournament so far. His seven-under 65 moved him up 26 spots and into a share of sixth place.
The scoreboards changed rapidly all day as a host of players staged their charge, particularly on the outward holes. Flanagan, from St George’s Hill, was firmly among them, speeding to the turn in five-under 32, hitting every green and taking only 12 putts.
At that stage he was 12-under for the championship, before dropping a couple on the way in as he grappled with the strengthening wind. “It was tough, it came from a completely different direction and I hadn’t played the course that way before.”
He kept his eyes off the scoreboards today, knowing that challengers were certain to come at him, but determined to stick to his game plan and not be influenced otherwise. “Tomorrow, hopefully I’ll just do the same as I have been doing,” he said.
Teiffel (pictured left) and Honkala played together, peppering the course with birdies and an eagle apiece. “I just tried to make as many birdies as possible,” said Teiffel, 16, who is playing outside Sweden for the first time. “But it’s difficult to chase birdies here, except on the par fives, so you have to give yourself as many opportunities as possible.”
Honkala, who has been in the top three throughout the championship, added: “I didn’t hit it so close in the beginning, but in the middle section I hit it really good.” He had a purple patch from the long ninth, where he almost holed in two, scoring eagle, birdie, par, birdie. His approach for tomorrow is simple: “I am going to make a lot of birdies!”
Behind them on the leaderboard is Tannum Donaldson in fourth place on six-under, followed by Alex Fitzpatrick (Hallamshire) on three-under after today’s 68. A shot further back are Thomas Plumb (Sherborne), who also scored 68, and Hugo Townsend, who played his way into the mix with his 65.
Townsend (pictured below) was five over after 36 holes and after a chat with his dad, the tournament professional Peter Townsend, who won around the world in the 60s and 70s, he decided a more aggressive approach was called for.
“My game plan was to hit more drivers and I was hitting great tee shots into position and my iron play was great. It was just a consistent round,” said the 18-year-old.
He was six-under to the turn, with four birdies and an eagle on the 9th, and came home in one-under. “It’s the back nine where I have struggled in the first two rounds and I told myself to just keep it together. I never lost my momentum, even when I had two bogeys, and that was the most important thing.”
Tomorrow’s final round starts at 8am, with the leaders teeing off at 12noon. Click here for full scores and tee times.