Dominic Griffiths has admitted he took inspiration from the pros at this week’s Irish Open and used it to good effect in the opening round of the Logan Trophy.
Walton Heath’s Griffiths (main image) carded a superb first round of 68 (-3) at Liphook Golf Club to share the first round lead with Tent Valley’s Stuart Archibald.
Tucked just a shot behind the leading pair after shooting rounds of 69 are Martin Young from Brokenhurst Manor and two players from nearby Woburn – John Kemp and Ben Welch.
On a tough day for scoring with a stiffening breeze whistling between the tall pines, Griffiths was pleasantly surprised with his opening effort around a course that drew widespread praise from the players for its condition and the purity of the greens.
The 48-year-old’s day job involves him working with golf brand PING and travelling Europe looking after the needs of their top players.
Before pegging it up in the English Men’s Mid Amateur Championship, Griffiths was on duty at Mount Juliet for this week’s DP World Tour event and brought something back with him on the trip from Kilkenny to Hampshire.
He said: “I picked up a little tip or so on the range – I said I was playing and needed to get going.
“It’s great watching those guys and being around the best players in the world. You kind of give yourself a mentality to keep going forward like they do. It was nice being in Ireland, but very good today.”
Included in his round was a pair of twos – at the first and third holes – and that was the perfect settler.
He added: “The course is superb and the greens are tricky and slippery, but I managed my game well.
“I’m very pleased – I didn’t really expect that. Two twos will smarten your card up!”
“Walton (Heath) is great and this is superb – I know a little bit about heather!
“I’ll just keep plodding away and see what happens. I wasn’t expecting anything today and I’m not expecting anything tomorrow so it’s probably the best mindset to have.”
Archibald – a former player on the EuroPro Tour – followed Griffiths into the clubhouse with a round of 68 he later described as “solid and simple rather than spectacular”.
Again, the Hampshire golfer had a couple of twos on his card. He rolled in the putts after knocking an eight-iron approach to a foot at the third and a wedge to eight feet at the 12th.
Birdies at the 15th and 18th holes helped him match Griffiths’ total and left him sitting pretty ahead of the final two rounds.
“I grew up playing county golf in Hampshire and I knew Liphook well from training days,” admitted Archibald.
“I know you can’t go searching for flags and with most greens sloping back to front you can’t go beyond the hole.
“I only missed two greens all day and birdied three of the par fives so I built a score without the need to hole anything spectacular .”
Even if the scoring didn’t quite go his way with a round of 80 for +9, there’s no doubting the most committed golfer of the day; Belgian Pierre Relecom (pictured below).
The financial controller set off for Liphook from Brussels on Thursday and endured a torrid day of travel.
A delay at EuroTunnel stalled his progress and when his car broke down two miles from Liphook his journey ground to a halt.
Relecom – a member at Royal Waterloo in his homeland – then walked to Liphook carrying his case and clubs for a practice round!
However, a lightning storm forced him off the course after three holes!
Today, Relecom – still without transport – walked from his rental apartment along the A3 for an hour to get to the course and was still all smiles for his 2.30pm tee time!
After Saturday’s second round, the top 45 players and ties will make the cut and progress to play a final 18 holes on Sunday.