Dominic Barron Holden is hoping his putter stays hot and he can carry his stroke play form into the knockout stages of the English Amateur Championship.
The Kendal golfer topped the standings alongside England men’s squad player Haider Hussain on four under par after following up a three under par round of 68 at Moortown with a one under score of 70 at nearby Headingley.
Hussain’s consecutive rounds of 69 saw him ease into the last 64 of the match play with the cut for players coming at five over par.
For Barron Holden and Hussain, the key to their progress has been different. For Hussain it’s been his iron-play. For Barron Holden it’s the flatstick.
After sealing his place at Headingley, Barron Holden said: “I’m over the moon – I played well the last few days and I’m looking forward to the next couple.
“I putted really well the last few days – I just had to look at a putt and it’s going in. It’s good.
“I’ll give it my best shot and see how it goes.”
For Hussain – playing out of The Kendleshire Golf Club – the message was simple: “That’s the first part of the job done, now comes the next part of the challenge.”
He added: “I’ve just been playing solidly and hitting my irons really well.
“I’m just here to enjoy myself and my game is all about process ahead of outcome.
“I’ll take it as it comes.
“Moortown is a great course and a tough test. It won’t be a birdie-fest in the match play as it’s more of a strategic test.”
For most of the afternoon’s play, Barron Holden and England boys’ squad player Jack Bigham were locked together at five under par.
Bigham was left disappointed when his approach to the 18th at Headingley overshot the green and went out of bounds.
But two sub-par rounds of 69 (Moortown) and 70 (Headingley) left him feeling good about his overall game.
After making the last 16 of The R&A’s Amateur Championship at Nairn last month, he’s hoping to go further in his national championship.
Bigham (pictured above) said: “Hopefully I can. I’ll take it one match at a time as there are good players in the field.
“I’m playing well at the moment. I’ve had a good two days and played pretty solid.”
Zachary Chegwidden booked his place in the last 64 with a four under par round of 67 in the morning at Headingley.
Four birdies and an eagle helped wiped out the two bogeys on his card as the Essex golfer enjoyed a relaxing afternoon while others suffered in the downpours which punctured play on both courses.
Also through with aggregate scores of three under par were Harvey Byers of Walton Heath and Chartham Park’s Joe Sullivan.
John Gough was another qualifier who benefited from a good second round. A two under par round of 69 at Headingley balanced out the 73 he shot at Moortown on Tuesday.
Gough – elder brother of 2019 English Amateur champion Conor – will be hoping that he can make his own mark on this tournament now that he’s in the knockout stages.
Defending champion Jack Cope – who finished the stroke play on the cut margin – missed out on countback along with six others on five over par.
Meanwhile, Olly Huggins – the day one leader after a 66 at Headingley – suffered a disqualification for failing to sign his card after a level par second round at Moortown.
Photography credit: Leaderboard