English Men’s Am – Day Two: Easterbrook ready to rise and shine

Sam Easterbrook is happy to have another early alarm call at the English Men’s Amateur Championship – even if his mum disagrees!

The England boys’ squad player topped the leaderboard after two tough days of stroke play qualifying with an aggregate score of -8 to win the David Frame Trophy and cruise into the knockout rounds.

Easterbrook followed up an opening round of 68 at Worksop with a 67 at Lindrick to lead by one from Hexham’s Morgan Blythe.

Jack Bigham, Josef Hacker, Max Hopkins and Will Hopkins finished two shots back on a day when  making the top 64 and reaching the knockout stages was what mattered most.

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For Easterbrook his good run of form is a continuation of a fine season which has seen him regularly feature in the battle for silverware.

Earning top seed status, however, does have its drawbacks.

The main one being that mum Debbie will need to forego a long lie to drive her son to Lindrick for a 7.30 tee time!

“Last year I was off first as I was seeded 64th – I feel for my mum a bit, but I’ll be all right!” said Easterbrook.

“It’s been a couple of good days and I’ve played steadily.

“I’m feeling good about my game and its nice to have a bit of form. I just need to stick to what I’m doing going into the match play.”

For most of the day, Blythe was in line to be top seed until Easterbrook’s late finish knocked him off top spot.

But the Northumberland golfer has nothing to grumble about based on the way he’s playing,

“I was steady away,” confirmed Blythe.

“I didn’t hit a single shot with a driver or three-wood, only my irons.

“I just kept plugging away and holed putts when I had to, and finished strongly which was nice. I’m looking forward to tomorrow.

“I’ve planned the way I would play it and I stuck to the plan and executed nicely.

“To be honest, I’m delighted. If I keep playing the way I am and hopefully it’ll be all right.

“This is the first time I’ve been in this competition but I really like match play.

“I’d like to think I’ve putted well which is a good strength and I’ll see how it goes.”

Josef Hacker has had one of the longest journeys of any of the competitors this week as he plays his golf at La Moye in Jersey.

And he may well have an extended journey in this event if the form which saw him play the back nine at Worksop in 33 shots continues into the match play.

The cut in the men’s event fell at +2 with two players on that score making it through to the final 64 by virtue of a countback.

 

Photography: Leaderboard