English Under 25 Championship – Day Two: Thrilling Woburn finale in store

Toby Bishop leads the way for the men while there’s a trio of top talents at the head of the women’s leaderboard going into the final day of the English Under 25 Open Amateur Stroke Play Championship at Woburn.

Bishop posted a fantastic seven-under par round of 65 to vault into contention after an opening day score of 73 left him with it all to do.

The Welshman leads on -6 with day one leader George Mason from Wath and Letchworth’s Robert Holden two shots back on -4.

It’s even tighter at the top in the women’s section – Abbie Teasdale, Tilly Garfoot and Julia Kerrigan couldn’t be separated after 36 holes on a total of +3.

Aussie Teasdale and Garfoot, from Woodhall Spa, have posted identical rounds of 75 and 74.

Kerrigan, from Hendon, has the same rounds but in reverse order and England international Hannah Screen is lurking just one shot back of the leading pack alongside Ellena Slater.

Day Two Leaderboards

 

Men’s Championship

Toby Bishop is the Welshman, raised in Dubai and destined for college in Florida.

But before he makes his next move, the 18-year-old has his sights on winning in England.

A blistering round of 65 on day two of the English Under 25 Championship catapulted the Welsh international to the top of the pile with 18 holes to play.

The round was a result of Bishop refusing to panic after his play on day one saw him shoot one-over par.

The 18-year-old played better than his score suggested – and it all came together on day two to leave him quietly satisfied going into the final day’s play.

“It was a good round today,” Bishop confirmed.

“Not my best yesterday. I didn’t execute the gameplan. On a course like this, it’s about keeping it on the fairways. I executed the gameplan today.

“Mentally I was feeling great coming into this week. I’ve had a strong season, one of my best.”

Bishop shot nine birdies in his round including four in a row from the 10th hole.

It was a score that might even have been one or two better had his putter not cooled down a little on the closing stretch.

“Sometimes you take the foot off the pedal when you have a run of birdies,” he added.

“I had a 10 under round last year, so I’m used to going low.

“I made sure I kept doing the same thing and didn’t back off, but the putts didn’t drop on the final few holes.

“The first two days you have to make the cut and put yourself in a good position.  The plan now doesn’t change and the notes are set to give the best chance of a score on each hole.

“That’s what I’ll do tomorrow and hopefully look for a good result.”

Overnight leader George Mason was going well again and reached -7 with a birdie on 11 until a lost ball with his tee shot on the 14th cost him a double bogey. He eventually signed for a 74.

Tied with Mason is Robert Holden (pictured above). His consistent play over the opening 36 holes makes him a credible contender on -4 after adding a level par round of 72 to an opening 68.

Calum Fitzgerald from Bowood shot under par for the second consecutive day. The Wiltshire golfer’s tally was helped by chipping in for birdie from the back of the 18th.

Vying with Bishop for round of the day was Freddie Macarthur from Ullesthorpe Court. A round of 66 featuring four birdies in a back nine of 32 propelled him up the rankings to sit in a tie for fourth on -3 alongside Fitzgerald.

The cut in the men’s event came at +6 with 34 players making it through to the final round.

 

Women’s Championship

England’s Julia Kerrigan and Tilly Garfoot will feature in the final group tomorrow alongside Australia’s Abbie Teasdale as the women’s championship heads for a thrilling finale.

All three women are locked together on +3 after 36 holes on the Duchess Course at Woburn.

Teasdale and Garfoot have matched each other with rounds of 75 and 74 in that order. Kerrigan reached the same tally by shooting 74 and following it up with 75.

Kerrigan was proud of how she kept her round going after slipping to four over par for the round through seven holes.

A hat-trick of birdies in succession from the 14th helped tidy up the card and leave Kerrigan with hopes of victory.

Kerrigan studies psychology at college in America and knows the power of positivity may help her get over the line.

She said: “I do good-thinking psychology, but I don’t really use it for myself – I should! It’s just a way of bringing out the positives in everything.

“I was five over and made three birdies in a row. Obviously, good thinking helps.”

Kerrigan added: “It’s a very nice course and tight, but luckily I was still hitting drivers straight today.

“I thought it was a bit harder today because of a little more wind. The greens were firmer, but slower to putt on.”

On the prospect of sleeping on a lead, Kerrigan added: “Hopefully, no nerves. I want to play well and enjoy it being back at home.”

England international Hannah Screen is a shot adrift of the leaders on +4 after a second successive round of 74.

Kings Hill’s Ellena Slater joined Screen on that total after shooting a level par round of 74 – the best score of the day.

A total of 32 women made the cut which fell at +15.