When you jet halfway around the world for your first taste of English golf it can be a daunting challenge. But Bryan Teoh Wiyang revelled in it to shoot a best-of-the-day 68 in round two of the Carris Trophy at Moor Park.
The Malaysian is one of four players on level-par 144, just a shot behind George Gardner, who nipped in to snatch the halfway lead by adding a 72 to his opening 71.
But on a crowded leaderboard it is anyone’s guess who will be crowned champion on Friday, particularly if the weather stays hot and the wind is as tricky as it was for round two.
Teoh Wiyang (image © Leaderboard Photography) needed a day and a round to acclimatise but his record-equalling 68, witnessed by his parents, proved he had found his feet and even an early start at 7.40am proved no handicap as it had in the opening round.
“I started with four bogeys yesterday so it took time to adjust,” he said. “Today I found it chilly and I visited a few bunkers in the early holes. The greens are so fast here but I putted better than I expected but my swing was only average.”
His putting was certainly spot-on as he had just 24 strokes on the greens and he signed for five birdies, three in a front nine of 34, and only a bogey at 17 denied him a new course record.
Bryan, who hails from Penang, certainly enjoyed the best conditions before the wind began to increase, and summed up his first ever event in Britain by saying: “I just want to have fun.”
Gardner, 17, from Reading, felt his 72 was “nothing special” but he found three birdies and having finished runner-up in the recent South East Junior Championship over the same terrain could be one to watch.
Eyes will also be focussed on the three England boy internationals lying in wait. Bradley Moore is another on level par after a 71 which seemed to leave him nonplussed. “It was tough on the front nine and getting bouncy,” he said. “I eagled the ninth but missed a 15-footer at the next then birdied 14.”
Jamie Dick is also on 144 after a 74 which included a triple-bogey seven on the fourth, while Haydn McCullen returned 75 for 146 after going out in level par only to suffer a three putt double-bogey at 17.
“It was a stupid mistake,” he said. “I made a few mistakes and didn’t really get the round going. But conditions were tougher than yesterday, the greens were getting faster and faster and the wind got up.”
Overnight leader George Mullins was another to suffer on this testing course and his 76 also leaves him on level par 144 after double bogeys on 14 and 17. “It was a very scrappy round,” he remarked.
“Not as good as yesterday but conditions were a lot harder today and there were some tricky pin positions. It could have been better but it could also have been worse. I’ll push on tomorrow and just regroup.”
Day two witnessed a hole-in-one and it came on the 210-yard 12th hole by Louis Perrard from France with a four iron. It was his first ever ‘ace’ and it came in a round of 80 for 163 but it wasn’t enough to keep him in the championship.
During the afternoon a spectator was hit on the head by a ball struck by his own son. It happened on the 16th when Kevin Banger was felled by the drive from his son Mason. While dad was transported to hospital for treatment, Mason went on to birdie the hole in a round of 79.
The halfway cut came at 154, ten over par, with 60 players surviving for the final 36 holes over the following two days.
England 1 comprising McCullen, Moore and Ashton Turner, won the Nations Cup competed over the opening two rounds. With the two best cards in each round to count, they finished on 289, one over par. The team of Dick, Jack Singh Brar and Jake Storey representing England 2 were second on 291 with Italy 1 third on 293.