Berkshire’s David Langley shot 14-under par over 36 holes to lead the qualifiers into the match play stages of the English amateur championship at The Berkshire.
A total of 75 players – the leading 64 and ties – made it into the knockout as heavy rain dampened the scoring in the second round and the cut fell on level par.
But Langley ignored the conditions to add 68 on the Red course to his remarkable first round of 10-under 61, which is a new record for the Blue.
“It filled me with confidence but I knew I needed to forget about it and start afresh today,” said the 23-year-old from Castle Royle (image copyrght Leaderboard Photography). “In a way the tough conditions helped me forget about yesterday because it was so different. It really was a grind.”
Despite the rain and gusting wind he played the front nine beautifully in three-under and worked his way home in one-under, with his only bogey on the 17th.
He finished the qualifying three ahead of the field, but now the slate is wiped as the matchplay gets underway. Langley will be drawing on his experience in the Amateur Championship, when he reached the third round, beating such opponents as world number nine Connor Syme.
“I like match play and I’ve played a lot growing up. I think the Red course is one of the best courses in England and for match play it’s even better with the variety of holes. You could be a couple up with four or five holes left and still have a lot of golf to play. I’m really looking forward to it and I can take confidence from the Amateur.”
The second seed is Surrey’s David Corben (Hindhead) who returned five-under 67 on the Red, continuing his form of yesterday when he played his second nine in six-under 29.
“I pretty much had it stuck on the stick. Today wasn’t quite so pretty but it was reasonably effective,” said Corben who was spurred on by playing partner Tom Sloman who went round in seven-under 65.
“I just followed Tom. He led with a few birdies and I tried to keep up!” added Corben, who is a fan of The Berkshire courses, having been second, third and fourth in the prestigious Berkshire Trophy.
Corben who works full time as a financial equity trader last played in this championship on 2009, when he lost to Eddie Pepperell.
Sloman (Taunton & Pickeridge, Somerset) is just back from the Netherlands where he won the U21 Dutch Junior Open – and booked a place in the KLM Open on the European Tour. He’s brought his good play with him, qualifying in third place on nine-under par, and credits his results to keeping his temper.
“I’ve stayed quite calm,” he said. “I haven’t in the past, I used to get angry, but I’m just trying not to care and it’s much better,” he said. Also on nine-under are Andrew Wilson (Wynyard, Durham) and Todd Clements (Braintree, Essex).
Castle Royle is clearly a competitive golf club. As well as Langley, two other members have qualified for the matchplay: Aaron Siddell, 18, who is eight-under, and Tim Shin on two-under.
Defending champion Dan Brown (Masham, Yorkshire) made his way safely into the knock out on six-under.