Wiltshire’s Ben Amor played his way into the Brabazon Trophy, supported by Your Golf Travel, with a course record 65 in the southern qualifier at Liphook, Hampshire.
The 19-year-old from Marlborough finished birdie, birdie, eagle to clip a shot off the old record and to lead 30 qualifiers for the Brabazon, which takes places at Notts Golf Club (Hollinwell) from June 24-27.
His closest challengers at Liphook were Kent golfers Freddie Price and Alfie Plant, who were two-under par. Five players returned scores of one-under: Delon Hau of Wales, Bobby Keeble of Essex, Jake Burnage of Devon, Paul Waring of Suffolk and Jordan Lawrence of Hertfordshire.
Amor (image © Leaderboard Photography), a member of the England Golf ‘A’ Squad, started his round today with a bogey and reported feeling a little tentative, but he kept the ball out of the heather and reached the turn in level par.
He began his charge to his first course record on the 10th. “I holed a 25-footer, with about 3ft of break, for a birdie and that settled me down. I’d had the pace on the greens all day but I hadn’t been aggressive, after that I just let go.”
He birdied 14, dropped a “silly” shot at 15 and then produced his dream finish. “I hit great shots into 16 and 17, inside 4ft and 8ft, and then on the 18th I holed an 18ft putt for eagle.”
Altogether, he had six birdies and an eagle in his round and declared: “These are some of the best greens I have putted on, I thought they were fantastic.”
Amor, who won the Carris Trophy in 2013 and was runner-up in this year’s Darwin Salver, added: “This is a nice start to the year. It’s still early in the season and it’s nice to know my golf game is roughly where I want it.”
Amor will be making his second appearance in the English men’s open amateur stroke play championship and his first priority is to beat last year’s performance, when he just missed the cut. “The last man on the course came in and knocked me out,” he remembered.
“This year the first goal is to make the cut and then to try and go up the leaderboard,” he added.
The northern qualifier for the Brabazon Trophy takes place next Tuesday at Clitheroe Golf Club, Lancashire.