Raymond stays on course for elusive double
Neil Raymond has taken a key step towards adding the English Amateur Championship, supported by Abacus, to his Brabazon Trophy success after comfortably qualifying for the match play stage at Silloth on Solway.
The England international (image © Tom Ward) carded 73 at Silloth for 144, one over par, for equal seventh place, four strokes behind the leading qualifier, Jordan Smith from Wiltshire.
Smith, a member of the Wiltshire team that won the English County Championship last year, shot a bogey-free 69 at Seascale, coming home in 33 with a brace of birdies.
He finished a shot ahead of England boy cap Nathan Kimsey from Lincolnshire and Durham's Callum Tarren. Kimsey returned a four-birdie 69 and Tarren 70, both at Silloth.
Qualifying joint fourth were Jonny Mcallister from Sheffield and Cumbria’s own Seb Crookall-Nixon. Both carded 71 for 142, Crookall-Nixon at Seascale and Mcallister at Silloth.
The best round of the day came from Kent’s Michael Saunders with 67 at Seascale. He went out in 32 with three birdies and added three more in a homeward 35. It was in stark contrast to his opening 79 but enabled him to qualify on three over par 146.
Two Players to return 68 were Max Williams from Surrey, who had seven birdies in his round at Silloth, while Lincolnshire’s James Burnett didn’t drop a shot at Seascale as he collected three birdies.
A total of 64 players on 149, six over par or better will tee off in tomorrow’s match play stage.
One the highlights of the day was a hole-in-one by Scott Douglas from Yorkshire, who ‘aced’ the 201 yard sixth hole at Silloth.
“I hit a five iron which pitched on the front edge of the green and rolled into the cup,” said the 20 year old from Wakefield.
It helped him to a round of 74 but he missed out on qualifying on a card countback on six over par. It was also his second ‘ace’. His first, achieved at his club, was with the same iron.