Senior Men’s Amateur – Day One: Creed and Griffiths lead the way

Stephen Creed was philosophical about the one that got away as he finished day one of the inaugural English Senior Men’s Amateur Championship in a tie for the lead.

The Stratford-upon-Avon golfer finished in joint top spot with playing partner, Paul Griffiths from Enville.

Both men carded excellent one-over par rounds of 71 at The Leicestershire Golf Club on a day when blustery winds and hard and fast conditions made scoring difficult.

David Niven from East Berks claimed third spot on his own after finishing strongly with two birdies in his last five holes for a round of 72.

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Day two – Tee Times

Creed had a chance to take the solo lead after leaving himself a makeable 12-foot birdie putt on the last hole.

However, a well-struck putt horseshoed out the cup and stayed above ground much to Creed’s disbelief.

“Oh my goodness,” said Creed with a roll of his eyes.

“I got a good line myself, I consulted with my caddie.

“I had it at two balls outside right and he had it three so we went with three.

“It lipped out and finished at the back of the hole coming at me. It would have been nice to finish with a birdie, but a four is fine.

“Ben Hogan suggested three and a half as a score at one point in his career!

“I’m happy with a four but it really did feel like a three and a half.”

After the initial shock subsided, the Warwickhire golfer was happy at the way he played on a tricky day for scoring.

Gusty winds combined with bouncy fairways and small greens ensured that no one in the field was able to finish in red figures.

“I’m really, really pleased,” confirmed Creed who racked up birdies on the seventh and 10th holes.

“First of all you can play yourself out of a tournament really quickly, and in tricky windy conditions I’m pleased at +1.

“Clubbing was difficult. If I had any doubt my caddie clarified that doubt and we played the percentage shot to make the best of a bad situation.”

After the second round of stroke play is completed tomorrow (Tues), the top 32 players progress to the knockout match play stages of this championship – a brand new event on the seniors’ golf circuit.

Creed is aware that patience will be a virtue this week as well as stamina if you intend to go the whole way.

He added: “I’ve said to my brother who is here and my caddie – don’t play yourself out.

“Get into the draw, conserve energy and then take on the challenge of 36 holes in a day which could last for three days on a hilly golf course.”

Tying Creed for the lead was Staffordshire golfer Griffiths (pictured above) who also posted a 71 before the wind reached its zenith in the afternoon.

Griffiths’ card was more colourful than Creed’s with five excellent birdies cancelled out by four bogeys and a costly double at the 16th en route to a fine tally of +1.

Other notable names to quietly post a decent score on day one included England internationals Paul Wharton and Stephen Jensen.

Woodhall Spa’s Wharton is nicely tucked in with a score of +3 and enjoys a share of fourth spot with, among others, Jensen from The Wisley.

Rupert Kellock from Sunningdale – the current English Senior Men’s Amateur Stroke Play champion – found conditions tough but showed his competitive streak by piecing together a round of 75.

 

Photography credit: Leaderboard