Storey and McCullen beat the elements to share lead
Brutal was the only way to describe conditions on day two of the McGregor Trophy, supported by FootJoy. Winds, sometimes gusting to 30mph, and driving rain lashed the Trevose links after which Jake Storey and Haydn McCullen shared the lead.
They are on 145, three over par after Storey, the Northumberland junior captain, returned 72 and McCullen, from Cheshire, shot 74. (image © Tom Ward) They are a stroke ahead of Scotland’s Ewen Ferguson and Klaus Ganter from Spain, one of only two players to match the par of 71.
The players preparing for the Open Championship at Royal Lytham may think they’ve got it bad but they would have something to complain about if they were battling the elements on the north Cornish coast.
It was far from summer weather, not what these under 16 players were prepared for, and even the ducks were staying at home. Needless to say, the nearby beach was deserted, but credit the players. They battled away manfully and the cream definitely came to the top.
Thankfully, the rain gave way to sunshine in mid afternoon, although the wind, if anything, strengthened, which meant the later starters were the ones who could afford a slight smile.
Both Storey and McCullen were out when the rain ceased and made up ground in the slightly easier weather. Sixteen-year-old Storey, in particular, made amends when it was needed.
“When the rain stopped on the fifth hole I was four over,” he said. “Then I eagled the ninth from five feet and birdied 15 and 16. As soon as it became drier it was more comfortable.
“I’ve never been in this position before but I think I’m a reasonable front-runner. We’ll soon find out,” he added.
McCullen, 15, who plays for Lancashire, lamented some chances that got away. “I missed a couple of birdie putts inside six feet, but it was quite hard out there.
“I don’t mind playing in windy conditions but it is difficult in the rain. The clubs keep getting wet and I couldn’t find my wet-weather glove. But I did find a towel which helped a lot.”
Ganter, 15, a Spanish junior cap from Madrid, played almost perfect golf in the conditions. In fact he only deviated from par on four holes, returning two birdies and a pair of bogeys.
“I am very happy with that,” he said. “I like playing links courses and I think I’m better in the wind. But we don’t get it like this in Spain.”
Conversely, Ferguson had only seven pars but found five birdies in his 74 to move alongside the young Spaniard.
Jack Singh Brar, the under 16 international from Hampshire, also had five birdies but ran up a double-bogey six on the 14th in his 74.
“I didn’t have any four or three putts like in the first round but it was still tough,” he admitted.
He shares fifth place with Chris Little from Frilford Heath, the other player to match par. A late starter, he had four birdies and four bogeys. If he hadn’t dropped a shot at the last he would have beaten par.
But it was the early starters who suffered most. Overnight leader David Brady from Ireland, off in the second game, followed up his opening 71 with 85 to miss the cut by a stroke on 156.
After returning his card and before dashing off for a dry set of clothes, he said: “The putts wouldn’t drop like yesterday. We had rain and wind at the same time and I think we got the worst of conditions on both days.”
His card showed three birdies, seven bogeys and five double bogeys.
A total of 43 players made the cut on 155, 13 over par and will play 36 holes tomorrow (Thursday).
In the battle for the Nations Cup, decided over the first two rounds, England 1, comprising Jack Singh Brar, Bradley Moore and Ashton Turner, came out on top with 296, three better than England 2, Jordan Boulton, Jack Hermeston and Haydn McCullen, and Scotland 2.