South Africa’s Casey Jarvis scored two-under par 70 today to extend his lead in the Reid Trophy to four shots, with a round left to play.
He is six-under for the 36 holes played so far in the English U14 boys’ open championship at Manchester Golf Club.
As he made headway today his main rivals slipped back a little, but England’s Rory McDonald-O’Brien, pictured top, (Lilleshall Hall, Shropshire) also made ground. His 70 moved him 14 places up the leaderboard and into a share of fifth place on level par.
He’s the leading English player and, while this round isn’t his lowest, it is, he said: “Right up there with my best because of the conditions.”
The gusting winds made club selection difficult, but the 13-year-old got it right with a series of extremely accurate shots for birdies. On the seventh his sand wedge approach finished 1ft away; he repeated the feat on the ninth with a seven iron; on the 14th, his wedge shot from 60 yards lipped out and left him a 2ft putt; on the 16th he chipped in.
McDonald-O’Brien played in the Reid Trophy last year but missed the cut. This year, he has set his sights on a top ten finish, buoyed by a good result in the Scottish U16s, where he was 12th and played below his handicap in all four rounds.
His plan tomorrow is simple: “I shall be conservative and when I get opportunities I’ll try to take them.”
Casey Jarvis, has similar aims: “I am going to try and hit as many greens as possible and make a few putts – and hopefully I can do it.”
The 14-year-old showed his powers of resilience today. He was playing very steadily and was two under after 12 holes, when he took a triple bogey seven on the 13th after pushing his second into the long grass.
His response was to birdie the next two holes and to add another birdie on the 16th. “I knew I was hitting the ball really good, I knew I could come back and fight back,” said Jarvis.
His closest challenger is Finland’s Jesse Saareks on two-under, while Ireland’s Joseph Byrne and Jordan’s Shergo Kurdi are one-under.
After today’s second round the leading 70 players qualified for tomorrow’s final round with the cut falling on 11-over par.
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Images copyright Leaderboard Photography