Yorkshire’s Nick Poppleton holed a 45ft putt on the 18th at The Berkshire to topple top seed David Langley in the first round of the English amateur championship.
“It was pretty dramatic,” said Poppleton, pictured top, (Wath), who won one up in gusting, blustery winds. “I was up most of the way then David started hitting some really great golf shots and I wilted a little – but came back.”
Langley (Castle Royle, Berkshire) – who shot 14-under in qualifying – had pulled the match back to all square on the long 17th on the Red course, where he hit two tremendous drivers to reach the green.
But Poppleton’s stunning putt on the last took him through to the next round where the 23-year-old will play Jack Dyer (Rochford Hundred, Essex).
There was another form upset shortly afterwards when Lytham Trophy winner and England international, Jack Singh Brar, was knocked out.
He went down by two holes to Harry Bayley of Chartham Park, Sussex, who is playing in the championship for the first time and got in off the reserve list.
The 21-year-old student at the University of Mount Olive in North Carolina, declared his intentions with birdies on the first two holes. The match was close but Bayley reached the last 1 up and his solid par took him through to the last 32.
Other internationals fared better, notably defending champion Dan Brown (Masham, Yorkshire) who eased through his game 5/4 with a solid display of sub-par golf. “I hit a lot of fairways and greens and applied a bit of pressure,” he remarked.
Brown is hoping to catch the eye of the Walker Cup selectors both this week and next, in the Dutch amateur. “I think I’m in the running, but you never know,” he said.
Another win would boost his chances and he must be knocking on the door. “I’ve played good this year but I just haven’t had a win. Every time I’ve played I’ve gone out to win but it just hasn’t happened.”
Now, Brown faces fellow England player Bradley Moore (Kedleston Park, Derbyshire) who beat Warwickshire’s Max Martin (Ladbrook Park).
Sean Towndrow, pictured bottom, (Southport & Ainsdale, Lancashire) returned to international golf earlier this year after recovering from blood cancer and today knocked out England A squad player Josh McMahon (Wallasey, Cheshire).
French open champion Josh Hilleard (Farrington Park, Somerset) and 2016 Amateur Champion Scott Gregory (Corhampton, Hampshire) both made their way safely into the final 32 – and will play each other tomorrow.
But Gian Marco Petrozzi (Trentham, Staffordshire) had to do double duty to make his way into the final 32. The international was one of 22 players who had to play a preliminary round this morning and is among five who will progress into tomorrow’s matches. The others are Martin Young (Brokenhurst Manor, Hampshire), Alex Fitzpatrick (Hallamshire, Yorkshire), Conor White (Bridgnorth, Shropshire) and Alister Balcombe (Clevedon, Somerset).
Images copyright Leaderboard Photography